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Author: Folk Festival 2020

Dick Dixon - Artistic and Operational Director

Fancy building the festival of the future?

We’ll be back in July with new acts with a new site and a new face at the helm. After a lifetime of bringing top bands and more to the town, festival director Dick Dixon is standing down. And such is the size of the gap his departure leaves that we need not one but two people to take up the reins.

Having started the festival going back in 1980 Dick’s responsibilities grew with each successive year and rather than find a volunteer to take the whole task on, the festival is splitting the job to allow two volunteers to share the load.

A new Artistic Manager will have overall responsibility for programming the festival. Hundreds of performers contribute to the weekend and all will need to be booked, contracted and organised to make the whole schedule run smoothly from the first sound check to the triumphant encores on the last night. 

Working hand in hand with the programme planner will be the Operational Manager. This person will be responsible for making sure everything thousands of festival-goers expect to see at the site is there and working properly. From the giant marquee to the toilet blocks, everything has to be arranged and delivered perfectly. 

Backing up these two new roles is a team which has been responsible for bringing 40 years worth of musical treats to the town. 

“There’s always support there for the people organising the festival. We have bags of experience and some very committed volunteers willing to share the load, so the new leaders won’t be on their own,” said Dick. For full details of the roles on offer – and the kind of people we’re looking for to fill them – click here. 

New Roles - Artistic and Operational

Artistic Manager and Operational Manager

Warwick Folk Festival is seeking to recruit two Senior Festival Managers working on a voluntary basis to take a leading role on the Festival Management team. These roles will be working across Warwick Folk Festival which runs for four days, normally on the last weekend in July.

The roles will involve taking the overall project lead on each annual event with the additional responsibility of leading the creative project management across the festival. These Senior Festival Managers will also attend festival management meetings and report to the board. Some travel may be paid by agreement

Artistic Manager

You will have overall responsibility for programming the festival and the fringe festival some of which can be delegated to other members of the team.

This role mainly comprises but is not limited to:

  • Booking festival artists and negotiating fees.
  • Issuing contracts via our Festival Pro software.
  • Planning concerts and workshops
  • Arranging sound check times for each event where a PA will be used. This work will also be done on the Festival Pro software.
  • You will be able to delegate programming responsibility for Morris, Ceilidhs, and possible the fringe festival.
  • Book artist accommodation, transport needs, backstage requirements
  • Booking the sound engineers and equipment
  • Help with the printed programme and marketing content for the web site and newsletters

Operational Manager

You will work with the Artistic Director but have overall responsibility for the main operations of the festival

The role’s tasks include but are not limited to:

  • Booking the marquees, staging, toilets, generators, lights, tables, and chairs. Nic Hurst will supply a lot of the festival equipment for the site and the staging so a close working relationship with Nic will be required.
  • Liaising with our landlord Mr Chris Taylor and Warwick Castle as well as the Town and District councils.
  • Applying for the festival licence, fringe licence and our street collection licence.
  • Liaising with the emergency services – Police, fire brigade, Warwick ambulance and possibly attend the SWAG meeting where all the above will be represented.
  • Your knowledge of Health & Safety at venues will also be required.
  • Any other tasks required for the optimal running of the operations side of the festival.

Both successful candidates will have a proven track record of festival management and be able to demonstrate multiple examples management of events similar to Warwick folk festival. In addition, they will be able to demonstrate past experience in delivering the creative vision of festivals from initial brief through to on-the-ground delivery.

In your role you will be required to take the lead and run projects to ensure efficiency of delivery. You will be a clear and calm communicator. You will be prepared to go above and beyond what is required and take pride in achieving outstanding results.

Your role will require you to use your existing detailed knowledge of the folk festival industry to contribute ideas to event development and feasibility strategies, bring in new ideas and influences to Warwick Folk Festival projects to drive development and creative working.

The Festival aims to:

  • present a high quality and diverse programme of folk music and dance
  • create a ‘festival of experience’ which values and nurtures community, and ensure people attending have a really good time
  • support and showcase local artists and young artists, alongside national/more established acts
  • provide opportunities for participation, learning, and skills development in folk music and dance
  • contribute positively to the town and the local community operate in a way that is sustainable, both financially and environmentally

Please apply in writing to

Dick Dixon

Festival Director

Warwick Folk Festival

July 15th 16th 17th 18th July 2021



07831 890 905

Spiers and Boden

Announcing: Spiers & Boden – back by popular demand

The packed marquee who enjoyed a thumping set from folk headliners Spiers and Boden will never forget the experience – and they’ll be delighted to know the pair will be returning to the Warwick Festival stage in 2021.

Described by The Guardian as ‘the finest instrumental duo on the traditional scene’, John Spiers and Jon Boden rocketed onto the scene in 2001.
As Spiers & Boden they’ve picked up a clutch of BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards as well as a huge army of followers.
Now well-seasoned campaigners of the festival circuit they’ve built their reputation on stints with Eliza Carthy & the Ratcatchers as well as being founders of the ground-breaking folk big band Bellowhead who went on to Royal Albert Hall sell-outs, Proms In the Park successes, multiple awards, signing with Universal Records and over 250,000 album sales.
Spires and Boden’s appearance at the festival’s brand new site on Sunday, July 18 is just one more reason (as if you needed another) to check out the full line-up and details of how you can play a part in the next chapter of the festival’s life.

McGoldrick, McCusker and Doyle Christmas at Home

A Festive Treat: McGoldrick, McCusker & Doyle Christmas at Home

For a festive treat every bit as warming as mulled wine and mince pies folk legends Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker and John Doyle have recorded a very special Christmas show to be streamed into the homes of people the length and breadth of the UK – and it’s coming your way.

Warwick Folk Festival is delighted to be included in a virtual tour of UK festivals from the Highlands of Scotland to the far south of England – the trio will be stopping off with us on Sunday, December 20. The show starts at 8.00pm.

Well known for their work with Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, Solas, Capercaillie and Kate Rusby (amongst many) the trio will offer a diverse mix of classic Christmas melodies, traditional and contemporary songs and tunes.

Whether performing material such as the medieval based song Curoo Curoo, John Shehan’s hauntingly beautiful melody Christchurch or the majestic O Holy Night, their decades of renowned musical expertise promises to create a magical and lasting impression.

Just like a live appearance on the Warwick stage, each show is different and at the end, questions submitted from the audience (open to all ticket buyers) will make for some unique moments. Those searching for something a little different to wrap up for Christmas should definitely take a closer look.

Ticket sales will be split between the artists and the individual festivals, so you can be confident that your purchase will not only support McGoldrick, McCusker and Doyle at Christmas, but also Warwick Folk Festival. Tickets are £12 and if you’re in the Christmas mood, there’s a chance to put a little extra in the honesty box to cover your house guests and help the festival along the way.

Michael McGoldrick explained “We felt we wanted to connect with people at this time of year and had been looking for a way to do this. This November we were supposed to be performing in Switzerland and the Czech Republic and John Doyle had flown over from his home in the US. The tour was cancelled at short notice and so we thought, this is our chance to use the time to record something special”

So pour yourself a warming drink, unfoil a mince pie and take your seat for a unique yuletide treat. Go to https://myplayer.uk/christmasathome and look for our concert on the 20th. Once you have purchased your ticket you will receive an email with all the information you’ll need to watch the show in the comfort of your own home.


Coronavirus Update

April 2020:
We’re sorry to say, that due to the ongoing pandemic, we have to postpone Warwick Folk Festival until 22nd – 25th July 2021.
We would have loved to be part of the post virus celebrations, but it’s too risky to have so many people from all over the country together and the safety of us all – customers, volunteers, artists, suppliers alike – must come first.
We are delighted that many of our artists have confirmed their availability for 2021 so we can bring you the same great line up.
Thank you to everyone who has already purchased tickets, we would love to see you next year so will be in touch direct with you within the next 2 weeks to ask if you’d like to rollover or opt for a refund. We’re doing our best to minimise the financial impact on anyone involved.
We understand the disappointment this announcement will cause and we’re busy planning ways to bring the Warwick magic online and support you all through these strange days.
Please look out for details here on our website and social media channels soon.

The Canny Band

The Canny Band

A collaboration born from a love of traditional music and fuelled by student poverty, The Canny Band are an eclectic trad trio based in Glasgow. Sam Mabbett (button accordion) and Michael Biggins (piano) formed the band in 2016 and since then have been crowned finalists of the Danny Kyle Award at Celtic Connections and supported bands such as Vasen. With the recent addition of Callum Convoy (bodhran), the trio have arranged some new and exciting music for your delights.

Boundless Brothers

Boundless Brothers

British Pop-Rock-Folk trio. Making music, touring venues across the UK – and keeping the magic alive!
A Cornish band making melodic sounds and bringing an interesting mixture of Pop Rock and Folk music with electric and acoustic sounds across the UK. They blend their voices together to create 3 part harmonies, which adds allot of depth and interest to their songs and have been described as “ones to watch”.

Renowned for their piercing lyrics, timeless melodies and hypnotic harmonies, there’s a magic in the air when Boundless Brothers play live. Ever since being showcased by the likes of The Guardian and BBC Introducing, Sam Wilson (lead vocals and guitar), Seb Wilson (bass guitar, keyboards) and Bo Payne (drums) have taken the music industry by storm. After playing over eighty gigs in 2019, having just returned from a successful UK tour, and with the release of their new EP ‘Cause & Effect’ a few months ago, Boundless Brothers are on a roll – and loving every minute of it!

Dom Prag

Dom Prag

Southampton based singer-songwriter bringing together folk, blues and intricate classical guitar.
Dom Prag has been described as “Brighton’s best-kept secret talent”.

Singing songs of passion, loss, comical social disasters and everyday fears, this is singer-songwriting at its finest. Dom Prag’s perfomances feature raw musical talent, savoury guitar skills and poetic original writing.

Dom Prag is emerging as a fresh new folk talent. Currently operating anywhere he gets an invitation, Prag performs as a solo artist these days but used to play with The Knight’s Project and with his own band, The Toast.

Steve Tilston and Hugh Bradley

Steve Tilston and Hugh Bradley

Steve is one of our most celebrated song smiths, widely recognised within the world of folk and contemporary music; the words, arrangements and subtle, quite superb guitar playing could be no one else.

Fatea Awards Male Vocalist of the Year 2015, proof if needed, that after more than 45 years in the business Steve can still deliver the goods; Truth to Tell one of The Telegraph’s best folk albums of 2015 too.

The writer of such classic songs as The Slipjigs and Reels and the award-winning The Reckoning. He’s toured with John Renbourn’s Ship of Fools, traditional singer Maggie Boyle (the classic recordings Of Moor and Mesa and All Under the Sun), as guitarist with Ballet Rambert, with Maartin Allcock & Pete Zorn in WAZ! with Brooks Williams and with his daughter Martha. Plus collaborations with alt-country band The Durbervilles and old Bristol pals Keith Warmington and Stuart Gordon as the Steve Tilston Trio.

Steve is joined by the extremely talented Hugh Bradley who will be playing the double bass.



Vibrant, pulsating and with a huge following nationally, Bedlam are without doubt, one of the most exciting and highly acclaimed dance bands on the Ceilidh scene today. Bedlam have been performing at festivals and on the ceilidh circuit across the UK since 1995.

With line up of Will Hampson melodeon and bass, Ross McKinlay percussion, Bryony Griffith fiddle and recorder, Drew McKinlay Guitar. This Foursome blend traditional British, French and self penned tunes with driving rhythms and powerful harmonies to create their unique and highly inspiring sound.

Bryony Griffith – Fiddles,recorder,crumhorn.

Drew McKinlay  – Guitars, Didgeridoo.

Will Hampson – Melodeon, Harmonica.

Ross McKinlay – Percussion.

From Huddersfield West Yorkshire, they have been playing

up and down the country since 1993. Festival appearances include, Sidmouth, Cambridge, Holmfirth, Whitby, Chester, Wimborne, Beverley, Towersey and Bromyard.

Bedlam play a fiery style of folk dance music, both original and traditional. Yet when the occasion demands they can be subtle and sensitive. They are as much at home playing for dancers as they are in entertaining a seated audience with an acoustic set.