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Folk East launches best value Early Bird tickets as first acts announced

PUBLISHED: 13:24 09 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:24 09 December 2019

Afro Celt Sound System are headlining at FolkEast in 2020  Photo: Todd Beltz

Afro Celt Sound System are headlining at FolkEast in 2020 Photo: Todd Beltz

2018

FolkEast has in seven short years has gained a reputation for being one of the most quirky UK roots festivals. They have announced eight headline acts for next year’s event plus some Christmas saver tickets

The Shee are performing at FolkEast in 2020   Photo Sean PurserThe Shee are performing at FolkEast in 2020 Photo Sean Purser

Stuck for that perfect Christmas present for the music fan who has everything? Then FolkEast has come to your rescue with the launch of their Early Bird tickets.

Now firmly established on the UK folk calendar, Suffolk's decidedly quirky festival will return to the glorious Constable-esque grounds of the Elizabethan Glemham Hall between August 21-23, offering diverse performances on seven stages - featuring a range of talent from local acts to international stars. Early Bird tickets will be on sale right through the festive period, until January 6, representing great savings.

As Early Bird tickets go on sale for the eighth FolkEast, England's most easterly folk festival, organisers have announced the awesome Afro Celt Sound System will headline Saturday night.

The Grammy Award-nominated supergroup are past masters at fusing electronica with traditional Irish and West African music, producing a scintillating, high energy stage set. Winners of Best Group at the 2017 Songlines Music Awards they explosively combine folk traditions from contrasting cultures to breath-taking effect.

The Young'uns patrons of FolkEast are back on stage in 2020  Photo: FolkEastThe Young'uns patrons of FolkEast are back on stage in 2020 Photo: FolkEast

Their number includes The Dhol Foundation's drumming sensation Johnny Kalsi , vocalist, kora and balafon player N'Faly Kouyaté, bodhrán player and percussionist Robbie Harris and Armagh-born vocalist and flautist Rioghnach Connolly (The Breath), winner of Folk Singer of the Year at this year's BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

Alongside the festival's hugely popular, multi award-winning patrons, The Young' uns (Sean Cooney, Michael Hughes and David Eagle), FolkEast is delighted to announce eight top level acts from its highly anticipated line-up.

Heading for the main stage will be the sublime, seamless partnership of Welsh harpist Catrin Finch with Senegalese kora maestro Seckou Keita. The exquisite pair clinched the Best Duo/Group award at this year's BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, with Keita also winning the coveted Musician of the Year title.

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One of the most engaging events on the UK festival calendar, FolkEast was launched seven years ago by husband and wife John and Becky Marshall-Potter, who famously sold their home to fund their dream. Says Becky: "Our aim is to create three blissful, fun-packed days when the outside world can be forgotten, a community can be formed and quality time had with family and friends."

FolkEast loves its Celtic connections and this year will be no exception. Flying the flag for Scotland will be three superb acts. Pedigree triumvirate Drever, McCusker, Woomble (above) sees master fiddler John McCusker joining forces with Orkney-born singer songwriter Kris Drever and Idlewild's lead singer Roddy Woomble.

Named the Best Live Act at the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2018, quintet Elephant Sessions (left) will head to Suffolk from the Scottish Highlands with their unique brand of indie folk while the powerhouse sextet of female instrumentalists that is The Shee (including BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Musician of the Year 2017, harpist Rachel Newton) are sure to have the wow factor with their adventurous blend of Scottish folk, Gaelic song and bluegrass.

Peter Knight's Gigspanner Big Band takes folk legend Knight's original Gigspanner trio (himself, Roger Flack and Sacha Tronchet) and fuses them with the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 'Best Duo' winners Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin (Edgelarks) and erstwhile Bellowhead star John Spiers to make something truly special, bursting with invention, enigma and grace. Though all the musicians have played FolkEast in their separate guises (including the debut performance of Knight and Spiers as a duo) this is the first time the Big Band has headed to Glemham Hall.

Brighton's big band with a difference, The Moulettes have also been confirmed - described as an "eclectic art rock band' they journey their way through rock, prog, pop and psychedelic folk.

Finally new kids on the block The Trials of Cato will be coming to the party.

Formed whilst they were all living and working in Beirut, Tomas Williams, Will Addison and Robin Jones are one of the fast-rising acts in folk and earlier this year won the Best Album gong at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, for their hugely impressive debut CD, Hide and Hair.

Rekindling the ancient Eastfolk moots on the Glemham Hall estate where for three days a year the folk from the East would meet kith and kin at harvest time for "a bit of a do", this gathering celebrates Suffolk at every turn -from its locally sourced fare to its suppliers, arts and crafts.

The Early Bird Festive Ticket offer is now open until January 6, 2019. Advance weekend tickets are available price £120 (adult), £108 (full time students, 65+) and £80 for Youth tickets (12-17 year old) which must be purchased with an adult ticket. Family weekend tickets for two adults and two 12-17 year olds (and up to 3 under 11s) are £365. A great offer sees free admission for children aged 11 and under; camping under canvas is £20 and camping on wheels £30. To book tickets click here and for more information email: info@folkeast.co.uk


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