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The tenth annual Leadenham Folk Festival and Artisan Market was held on Sunday.




The village of Leadenham became a Mecca for folk fans and performers yesterday, as around 1,500 people thronged village streets and venues for the tenth annual Leadenham Folk Festival and Artisan Market.

Some 35 bands and solo performers took part with five free folk events around the village.

There were also 40 craft and food stalls outside and music and folk dance workshops held in the village hall and parish church.

One of the organisers, Katie Gibson from Leadenham Teahouse, said: "It was the biggest and best festival we've had and the biggest thing about it is that it's a free event... All the performers do it for the love of the music and even the parking is free. Local businesses benefit of course, but the only costs are if people buy food or drink or programmes and T-shirts."

The day was the climax of around eight months' work by local businesses and supporters and their efforts drew not only big crowds but also top folk acts including headliner Miranda Sykes, who has recorded nine albums with the internationally renowned folk group Show of Hands, as well as making solo albums of her own.

Well-known performers from all over the East Midlands included Bill Whaley and Dave Fletcher, the Rye Sisters, Between the Lines, Woodhall Spa harmony duo Homity, guitar maker and player Ivor Pickard from Louth, and Derby duo Steve and Julie Wigley. There were workshops and demonstrations too from the Sleaford Morris Dancers and the Kesteven Morris Dancers.

This year for the first time Leadenham Teahouse added a marquee in adjoining fields to join the George Hotel as the other main performance venue, while the artisan market in the teahouse grounds featuring everything from potters to felters, artists, organic cosmetics, jewellery makers, craft beer, artisan bread and pastries and stone-baked pizzas.

"The organising committee started work on this year's festival in January and our focus for the whole year is to make the festival the best it can be, every year," said Katie."There's a huge amount of work involved in putting the festival on. We've just worked 13 days straight – but it's great for the village, and it's well worth it because it's so well supported.

"It's been a fantastic weekend and we are definitely trying to put Leadenham on the map. Leadenham House opened their gardens and the local polo club even put on a match so there was a real buzz all through Sunday."

Anyone who missed all the action can catch up with some of the music highlights on BBC Radio Lincolnshire's two-hour folk music slot on Thursday at 7pm.

"They were here recording from 11am to 5pm," said Katie. "They said they could hear the steam from the cappuccino machine in the background and they loved that. They thought it sounded really authentic!"


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