CLICK HERE to download a pdf of the full festival programme.
Friday 20th April
On Friday we are delighted to welcome children from Oxfordshire schools to open the festival with our Hands Up for Singing concert, a culmination of a series of workshops in mainstream and special schools where the children have learned to sing folk songs with Makaton signing. Following on from this majestic event on Friday evening are False Lights, headlining our main opening concert with support from local trio Skeptics. If you fancy a dance, you could jump around to Banter at St Barnabas Church, or smoothly glide around the floor to the contra stylings of MG Maestro. There’s plenty of sessions as well - in St Aldates Tavern, The Crown, The Chequers, and the Royal Blenheim.
Saturday 21st April
Always our busiest day, this year Saturday is packed full of glorious delights such as the fantastic Eliza Carthy who is making her Folk Weekend debut as our Saturday headliner. You can also see our patron Jackie Oates performing with Jack Rutter, Sam Carter doing a solo show, enjoy a bal with Topette!! or a ceilidh with Bedlam, or if you fancy a trip to the beautiful Quaker Meeting House you’ll find local artist Jon Fletcher there in the afternoon, and Kim Lowings and the Greenwood in the evening. Our Family and Special Needs ceilidh is back at St Barnabas, and the Family Folk Show this year stars the excellent David Gibb. There’s workshops aplenty as well - from American Square Dancing to Shanty Singing, and Songwriting to Appalachian Dulcimer. For the kids, come and get your hands on a harp with Steph West, or try a mini-melodeon with Ollie King. We are running two local stages this year, in Blackwell’s bookshop and upstairs at St Aldates Tavern, on which you can see local artists such as John Carrington, Three Pressed Men, Mandolirium, Jody Wyatt, and Pete Joshua. Saturday sessions include Scandinavian, early English, Scottish, Irish, and songs.
Sunday 22nd April
We’re delighted to welcome The Furrow Collective to headline our festival Sunday, who will be joined by the wonderful trio Elfen all the way from Wales, and our local singer Mary Bateman. If you fancy a high-energy finish to your festival come and join Threepenny Bit at the Deaf Centre, and those who like a bit of structure to their dancing can enjoy Boldwood for our Sunday afternoon dance at St Barnabas. Duo Ross Couper and Tom Oakes join us for a concert, and you can also see them in a more intimate ‘Meet the Band’ setting. If you’ve always fancied getting up close and personal to Topette!! you’ll be able to do that on Sunday morning as well. Local favourites Jenkinson’s Folly are around on Sunday, and you can also see MAN CHOIR. We’ve got a special stage in the Weston Library on Sunday, where you can hear Giles Bergel talk about some of the ballads kept in the Bodleian archives, as well as learning to sing a few of them with Cat Kelly and some local community choirs. Of course, the local stages in Blackwell’s and St Aldates Tavern are running all day, featuring artists such as Under the Wychwood, Mad Marston Hares, Martha Bailey, Little Red, and Samantha Trigg Johnson. Sessions on Sunday include French, a slow session, songs, Irish, and our infamous Survivors Session!