Performers from around the world converge on Suffolk for FolkEast

The sixth FolkEast festival, at Glemham Hall. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The sixth FolkEast festival, at Glemham Hall. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

One of the most popular folk festivals in the country got under way yesterday as people started to pour in for three days of relaxed fun and excellent music.

Crowds start to gather on day one. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Crowds start to gather on day one. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Forecast sharp showers failed to dampen spirits at FolkEast 2017, which has a line-up brimming with top talent from home and abroad for the event’s sixth outing.

Set in the 300-acre grounds of Glemham Hall, the music and dance across six stages today and tomorrow includes BBC award-winning headliners Sam Kelly and The Lost Boys, Sunday headliner, the Dhol Foundation as well as festival patrons and multi-award-winning The Young’uns.

Yesterday kicked off with a range of music, including Jon Boden, the Busking Sharks and Slovenian cult folk band Terrafolk, a late addition to the line-up.

Once described as “folk rebels with punk attitude” the quartet has performed at European festivals including Edinburgh Fringe and Glastonbury, drawing on Balkan, Gypsy, Russian and Jewish music.

Lots to see at FolkEast. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Lots to see at FolkEast. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Organisers Becky and John Marshall-Potter have been delighted with the way the programme has shaped up.

Mr Marshall-Potter said: “A few weeks ago, the programme’s sorted and I got copied in on an email from somebody connected to Terrafolk who haven’t been in Britain for 10 years but are looking to reconnect with their UK fans.

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“They’re going to be in London for August and does anybody want them to do a concert? I immediately fired one back to ask them to end Friday night in the big tent.”

The festival is not all music and dance. This year sees the return of Gardeners’ Cornered, FolkEast’s answer to Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time where people can bring their horticulture queries to a panel including ex-Bellowhead member and keen allotment holder John Spiers.

Revellers enjoying the music. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Revellers enjoying the music. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Spiers will also reprise the outstanding collaboration formed at FolkEast last year with legendary fiddler Peter Knight of Steeleye Span as well as performing a solo spot.

Spiers’ former Bellowhead colleague, percussionist Pete Flood, will also be joining the Gardeners’ Cornered panel. And he will be swapping his drum sticks for binoculars as he leads festivalgoers on a nature ramble around the Glemham estate.

See the full line-up here, and read an extended interview with Becky and John Marshall-Potter here.

Ruben (left) and Ben Blades enjoying FolkEast. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Ruben (left) and Ben Blades enjoying FolkEast. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Getting in the spirit is David Cosby. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Getting in the spirit is David Cosby. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown