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Whitby Folk Week, August 18 to 24
THOUSANDS of singers, musicians, dancers and fans of folk music will descend on the east coast from August 18 to 24 for Whitby Folk Week.
Now in its 47th year, the festival will celebrate the traditional music, dance and song of the British Isles with 600 events in more than 30 venues. These will range from concerts, workshops, singarounds and dancing to musicians’ sessions, street entertainment, ceilidhs and children’s events.
The music will be complemented by a large craft fair and by extensive fringe events.
The festival’s concert line-up is topped by American singer and activist Peggy Seeger on August 23.
Peggy is the half-sister of folk revivalist Pete Seeger, sister of Mike Seeger, daughter of Ruth Crawford Seeger and partner of Ewan MacColl, who wrote First Time Ever I Saw Your Face for her.
Multi-instrumentalist Peggy is known for her renditions of Anglo-American folksongs and for her activist song-writing, especially in the fields of feminism and ecology. In a career of 22 solo recordings, and more than 100 with other performers, her best-known pieces are Gonna Be An Engineer and The Ballad Of Springhill.
Other artists at Whitby will include Stradivarius, The Wilson Family, Jez Lowe And The Bad Pennies, The Spiers Family, Grace Notes, Roaring Forties and Johnny Handle & Chris Hendry.
The festival will be hosting a number of special performances such as Bagpuss, a stage show which features Sandra Kerr, John Faulkner, Nancy Kerr and James Fagan as well as the big moggie himself.
Sandra and John did the music, songs and voices for the original BBC series, hence this spin-off live show.
Also of note are The Life And Songs Of Geordie Ridley, a tribute to the man who composed Blaydon Races 150 years ago; The Homecoming, a celebration of Australian Bush poetry and song, brought back by performers to their home country.
Purple Acres will take a journey through the Cleveland Hills and North York Moors with The Ironopolis Singers and songwriter Graeme Miles. York band Blackbeard’s Tea Party will host the festival ceilidh with a theme of pirates.
Barry Evans, one of the festival organisers, said: “Once again our festival will be the largest in the UK for storytelling with a line-up of Taffy Thomas, Xanthe Gresham Ruthie Boycott Garnett, Ursula Holden Gill, Tom Goodale, Bob Pegg, Guto Dafis, Roisin Murray and Nell Phoenix.
“This summer we have performance poets from the UK and from Australia, and we’re also pleased to welcome back, after many years, the man who started Whitby as a folk festival, Tony Foxworthy. Tony will be taking the Kentucky Running Set workshop and will be the subject of a Whitby Interview.”
A season ticket for the week costs £146 for adults, £112 for seniors and £74 for juniors; day tickets cost from £32/£24/£16. Camping facilities are available.
To find out more details and event dates for the Whitby Folk Week and to book tickets, visit whitbyfolk.co.uk