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Author: Folk Festival 2020

Spa Strummers

Spa Strummers

Leamington Spa’s ukulele band – formed 10 years ago are an accomplished crowd-pleasing ensemble with the emphasis on fun. Comprising a mix of local talent they have a large repertoire and can put together sets to suit any occasion. They have played extensively from Norfolk to Neath, at prestigious events and many festivals. They have a lively line of banter, and love audience participation and singalongs. The instruments are ukuleles of every type and size, including the bass and a unique slide uke. Songs are well known feelgood sing-along hits from all decades, plus numbers from shows and films, from the great American songbook, comedy numbers and even lilting Hawaiian songs.

The Sambassadors

The Sambassadors

The Sambassadors are thrilled and proud to be back at the festival this year. Consistently a firm favourite the Leamington based band will be creating a carnival atmosphere in Warwick once more. If you’d like to join the band speak to any band member.

As The Heron

As The Heron

‘As the Heron’ is a collaborative project between Gary Painting (Crybb/Cross the Border) and Lauren South (Greengrass). Mixing harmonies, fiddle, guitar, bouzouki and shruti box in a compelling mix of both original and reworked traditional songs.

Stacey McNeill and Jonathan Smith

Stacey McNeill and Jonathan Smith

North Wales based Stacey McNeill & Jonathan Smith are a singer/songwriter duo, formed in early 2020.

​Stacey and Jonathan’s joint musical journey began by chance in early 2020 when the two realised their close musical alignment in song writing and harmony.

​Since then, the pair have co-written and created a number of songs from across the breadth of the singer-songwriter genres, with a lean towards an acoustic folk sound, complimented by hints of country and pop. With their song ‘Between the Lines’ reaching the finals in the internationally recognised Blues and Roots song competition, and a further three songs achieving semi-finalist status in the UK Songwriting Competition, Stacey and Jonathan are set to release their third collection of self-penned songs in the summer of 2021.

​Taking influences in their individual and joint writing from the likes of Ron Sexsmith, Nanci Griffith, John Prine and The Civil Wars, the duo’s moving and heartfelt song writing provides an emotional, unfeigned look at the real world through the lens of earthy metaphors and delicate imagery. While leaning towards a largely acoustic sound, their more recent releases showcase the breadth of the duo’s style and musical flexibility, with songs from diverse genres including latin, contemporary ballads and American bluegrass.

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

Festival Plans

Festivals from Glastonbury to the Chelsea Flower Show may be either pulling the plug or moving back in the calendar, but Warwick Folk Festival is still aiming to bring you a festival to remember.

We have a new site to enjoy and the trademark top quality line-up spread across four days – and plans are gathering pace with many already taking advantage of special lower price tickets while the offer lasts.

Some world-class guests will be heading to the fabulous new site in the shadow of Warwick Castle where festival fans will find all the live music, workshops, craft stalls and food they’ve come to expect as well as a great camp site and full facilities. Festival organisers have put in a lot of hard work to make the site safe in the current climate and will always act within the latest guidelines.Top of the bill on Thursday 15thJuly is fiddle-maestro and songwriter Seth Lakeman, while Friday’s headliners are the irrepressible Show Of Hands.Widely acclaimed line-up The Young’Uns lead the Saturday line-up and highlight of Sunday’s programme is a reunion performance for squeezebox, fiddle and stomp-box virtuosos John Spiers and Jon Boden.

Festival patron and internationally renowned multi-instrumentalist Will Pound appears in his own right to present a musical journey across the states of the European Union, A Day Will Come

And the locally written, performed and produced folk opera, The Undoing of Polly Button, featuring Daisybell and other local artists will get its long-awaited public airing after last year’s planned launch was cruelly cut short by the first lockdown. 

Festival Director, Dick Dixon expects to have a much better idea in March of the full festival format. He says ‘We should be able to set up in our new site to meet social distancing guidelines with more public facilities plus an extra field if needed.’

Dick was due to step back from his role as Director last year, having worked with the Festival throughout its entire 40-year history but agreed to stay on until this year to oversee the change of main site location.

His workload will be taken on by two new team members acting as Artistic Manager and Operational Manager. Says Dick, ‘We’ve already received some good applications for these volunteer roles but we’d be happy to receive more.’

Breabach in Concert

A Night Out with Breabach

A Warwick Folk Festival and The Fleece Bretforton presentation.

Breabach (Dùsgadh) – Virtual Show
Sunday 21st Feb, 8pm, £12

With winter weather and the lockdown keeping most of us from leaving the home, the Festival is offering a ‘night out’ to look forward to without even having to get up from your sofa.

Scottish folk favourites Breabach will be stopping off on their virtual tour of the nation later this month and here’s how you can enjoy what promises to be a memorable evening.

Dùsgadh, which means awakening, is an exciting new collaboration between Scottish Bafta-winning animator Cat Bruce and the  internationally renowned, multi-award winning folk group.

This unique and innovative project takes the form of an animated film with an original score. Based on ‘The Sea Maiden’ a folklore tale collected by John Francis Campbell, the film is available to view in Gaelic and English, narrated by renowned tradition bearer Margaret Bennet.

It features a soundtrack comprising five new pieces of music, one from each of Breabach’s five members. It is a powerful and poignant piece of work conceived and delivered throughout a turbulent and challenging year for the arts; all music was written, recorded and produced individually, from home.

The hour long ‘evening with’ presentation – which starts at 8.00 – features behind the scenes footage and unseen live performances as well as a question and answer session hosted by BBC Radio Scotland broadcaster and musician Anna Massie.

Breabach – current holders of BBC Scots Album of the year award – are Megan Henderson (Fiddle, Vocals, Step Dance), James Lindsay (Double Bass, Moog, Percussion, Vocals), Calum MacCrimmon (Highland Bagpipes, Whistle, Bouzouki, Vocals), Conal McDonagh (Highland/Uilleann Bagpipes, Whistle, Flute, Vocals) and Ewan Robertson (Acoustic/Electric Guitar, Vocals, Cajon).

Ewan Robertson said “It’s been a great process to work with Cat again and to connect with the band, even although we’ve been doing most of it remotely. We are really pleased with this and looking forward to sharing it with audiences”

Warwick Folk Festival, in partnership with The Fleece Inn at Bretforton,  will stream the show on Sunday, February 21st and ticket buyers will be sent a time-limited ticket to watch either on their TV, PC or mobile device.

Tickets are already being snapped up so sign up to be part of this great evening on myplayer here.

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, Americana-Pop/Rock 3 piece dedicated to creating music with electric and acoustic sounds.
They blend voices together to create 3 part harmonies, adding depth and magic to their live performances.
Forming in 2014, they’ve built up a well respected reputation across the South West of England.
Living in Cornwall, following their passion for playing Live Music and Recording.
The band have been performing relentlessly to bring their music to audiences of all ages.

Having supported artists such as:
The Proclaimers, Newton Faulkner, The Red Nex and Top Loader, the band are in high demand across the UK.
With 8 Singles and 2 EP’s under their belt, they have been described as ‘ones to watch’.