A once in a generation volunteering opportunity to steer the brand development of one of the UK’s most successful folk festivals, developing and delivering the creative vision of the festival from initial brief through to on-the-ground delivery.
If you think this could be you – find out more here:
Playing it safe is the watchword from Warwick’s biggest festival as organisers plan the return of live music in the open air.
The town’s folk festival – running this year from July 15 to 18 – brings people from all over the UK to the area. Last year’s gathering fell victim to the pandemic but festival bosses are determined to go ahead this time round.
The Government’s schedule for a staged lifting of all the social distancing rules has a target of seeing the country fully out of all restrictions of June 21. This ‘earliest possible’ date falls three weeks before the festival is set to welcome folk fans to its new site in the shadow of Warwick Castle.
If the roadmap delivers on time event organisers up and down the country expect a deluge of interest in festivals in the UK. LIve gatherings are also expected to benefit from any lack of confidence in going abroad in the summer.
But while a return to the normality of festival life is welcomed, organisers of Warwick’s 40 year old festival understand that many music fans will be wary of taking things too fast.
Festival Director Dick Dixon says striking a balance between family fun and safety could hold the key.
‘We feel that even if the restrictions have all been wiped away, many people will still want to feel safe and take things carefully until we’re all certain the situation has improved.
“With that in mind we’re going to keep a lot of the safety measures we’ve got used to over the last year or so in place. We’ll have reduced numbers on each day and plenty of space in and around all the gigs.
“There will also be hand sanitisers and we’ll be working to ensure that those who want to keep socially-distanced are able to do so,” he said.
The festival is also hoping to bring in an app allowing people to get their drinks from the bar without having to venture into the beer tent.
With many regulars expected to snap up the chance of a long-awaited weekend in the open air, organisers have added an extra field to the site – already larger than the previous home at Warwick School – to allow campers to spread out as much as they feel necessary.
Reduced numbers inside the main venue will also help ensure more space and the festival is planning to feature a giant screen to allow hundreds to sit in the open air to enjoy the music.
Festival chairman John Plumb said: “We’re as keen as ever to bring music back to the town and to inject a real boost into the local economy. But it has to be done in a way that people are comfortable with and so the emphasis will be on keeping things as safe as possible.”
The festival’s line-up offers top class performers including Show of Hands, Seth Lakeman, Spiers & Boden, and Nancy Kerr alongside a full weekend programme of music, craft shopping and a wide range of festival food.
Would you like to perform at this year’s Warwick Folk Festival?
* NO auditions, NO Military Wives, NO Gareth Malone, NO revolving chairs, NO Simon Cowell !!!!
* No need to be able to read music – all songs taught by ear.
* Be part of an open-access 6-week choir, singing all manner of great songs from around the World
* Perform to your friends and a wonderfully supportive audience at the internationally-renowned Warwick Folk Festival
* Free entry to the Festival Site on the Sunday
* Receive mp3 (music files) of the harmony parts (so you can catch up if you have to miss a week)
Come and join over 50 enthusiastic singers on Monday evenings in Warwick
for a series of sessions leading to a couple of short, informal performances at the Festival on the Sunday in July. Over 6 weeks we will be singing a cracking selection of a cappella harmony folk songs from around the world. The sessions, run by popular local choir leader Bruce Knight, will be fun and lively and satisfy both the beginner and the seasoned a cappella singer.
PEEPING TOM were described recently as a “veteran folk-rock band with all the riffs and reels, National Treasures all of them”! They have been performing continuously over the last forty-five years, playing all the major festivals and dance clubs. Considered by many to be the UK’s favourite dance band they always produce a cracking dance. Peeping Tom have performed at many Warwick Folk Festivals since the very beginning.
Formed in 1972 by Ben Woodward, Peeping Tom have spent the last 40 years perfecting the art of performing high-energy music for English ceilidhs. They travel extensively, playing all of the major festivals and specialist dance clubs. They are noted for their ability to pick the right tune for the right dance, which makes them exceptionally easy to dance to. As you can imagine, their back catalogue of dance tunes is simply immense. Much of their material is written by Ben Woodward and Ian Wilson – both as a collaborative pair and individual composers. They only perform for dancing, although there have been several forays into the theatre, providing the music for Larkrise, Candleford and the Coventry Mystery Plays. Very highly regarded, they are considered by many to be the United Kingdom’s favourite dance band.
Ben Woodward – melodeon;
Ian Wilson – keyboards and cittern;
Pete Smale -guitar;
John McIntosh – bass guitar and tambourine;
Barry Malin – drums and percussion.
Panic Circus is the life work of Chris Panic and his family .Bringing his lifelong experience of work with children to a Circus outfit that brings the best workshops and performances to the festival scene. A full children’s festival in itself, the red & yellow striped tent is a familiar and much loved sight at the festival.
Enjoy storytelling, circus skills, puppet shows, bubble fun, parachute games and much much MORE
Keith can make you laugh, cry or do anything you may or may not want to do. He is an accomplished singer guitarist and writer of national fame. An incomparable funny man, as Jasper Carrot once said ‘Keith could make sheep laugh’.
There really is no-one else like Keith Donnelly.
He tells the most fantastic stories!
Some of them happen to have tunes and guitar accompaniment [songs!]
Most of them are true [at least that’s what he says!]
Some of them he makes up [at least that’s what he says!]
Most of them are very funny [at least…]
Some are very short [jokes!]
Some are a bit longer [anecdotes/routines!]
Some of them are mainly for youngsters [from 2 to 102!]
Some for older audiences [3 and a half to 103 (and a half!)
Granny’s Attic – Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne (Melodeon, Concertina, Vocals), George Sansome (Guitar, Vocals) and Lewis Wood (Fiddle, Mandolin, Vocals) – are a folk trio who play the tradition with verve, energy and their own inimitable style. These three young men are all exceptional musicians, fine singers and play a range of English, Irish and Scottish traditional music as well as their own compositions. Formed in 2009, they have since played at clubs and festivals up and down the country, and have been heralded for their lively performances and maturity beyond their years in their delivery and selection of traditional songs.
Equally loved by adults and children, Hand To Mouth Theatre is Martin Bridle and Su Eaton have been intriguing and entertaining children and adults in schools, theatres, and at festivals and celebrations around the UK and abroad since 1980, and are guaranteed to deliver a thoughtful, witty and enchanting performance.
This year they are will be performing Piggery Jokery and the Box of Mechanical Delights!:
The Box of Mechanical Delights: Steampunk and clockwork in style, this is a portable coin-operated box which opens to reveal small “mechanical” characters who go through a series of witty and surreal sequences.
“Piggery Jokery” is a whimsical perambulation through the seasons, touching on the circular nature of time, as told by the Green Man and his hurdy-gurdy playing Droning Crone and their troupe of rag-bag characters. There is plenty of laughter along the way as the old farmer tends his land and fattens his pig for the winter. It is both moving and entertaining with resonances of ancient pagan ritual and dark humour.
Baby Bops – Crafted for babies under 1! Feed your babies expression and creativity through songs, rhymes, shakers, bubbles, parachutes, puppets and sensory surprises!
Toddle Bops – Music mayhem for kids under 5! Singing, dancing, rhyme and silliness will have everyone up and grooving with rainbow ribbons, sensory shakers, parachutes, bubbles and much more!
The Selfie Fairies – Add a sprinkle and sparkle of magic to the festival… our friendly fairies will work the crowd from young to old and frame the perfect selfie with their handmade Warwick Folk Festival Frame!
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