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A family feel to festival


As well as a full music programme, the organisers of this year’s Gate To Southwell Folk Festival have secured a host of events to make it more fun for all the family.

In addition to the line-up of many of Britain’s finest folk and traditional performers, the festival will feature masses of children’s entertainment and more than a dozen workshops in traditional music and dance.

It was originally intended to run from June 11-13, but this has been extended with concerts on the evening of Thursday, June 10, in Southwell Minster with the Sheffield Folk Chorale and the Newstead Abbey Singers, and the Admiral Rodney Hotel with Anthony John Clarke, Ray Baguley and Lucy Ward.

There will be a folk concert in the minster the following afternoon, and all these events are free to weekend ticket holders.

Headline bands for the weekend include The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, The Tom McConville Big Band, The Demon Barber Roadshow, Four Men And A Dog, Julie Fowlis, Vin Garbutt, and Rory McLeod.

There will be almost 40 other top performers including Horses Brawl, Kimber’s Men, Flossie Malavialle, Megson, the Carrivick Sisters, the Original Steamchicken Jazz Band, Benny Gallagher, Wheeler Street, Jez Lowe and Kate Bramley, Ben and Joe Broughton, the Dynamos Rhythm Aces, Clive Carroll, Mick Ryan and Paul Downes, and Anna Elias and the Forlorn Hope.

Musicians’ workshops include fiddle with Kate Bramley, songwriting with Benny Gallagher and Jez Lowe, blues guitar with Roger Sutcliffe, guitar tunings with Phil Hare, improvisation with The QP, harmony singing with The Kittiwakes, dobro and mandolin with the Carrivick Sisters, accordion with Shona Kipling, and a host of others.

Children’s entertainment includes the Matt Barnard children’s and family shows, Granny Turismo — the world’s only formation dance shopping trolley team — medieval musician Wyndebagge, and the Rainmakers family show.

There will be the return of Jan’s Van and festival favourite Keith Donnelly, plus face-painting, make-and-take activities, and music workshops for children.

On the Saturday, and timed to coincide with the annual Gate to Southwell procession of traditional dancers from Nottingham City Hall to Southwell Minster, there will be a procession of traditional dancers from the Saracen’s Head Hotel to the Burgage.

This will be followed by displays throughout the town by more than a dozen dance sides.

The festival will feature a continental market on the streets of Southwell on the Saturday, and a French bal (country dance) in the Market Square the following day.

Weekend tickets are available at a reduced rate until the end of the month.

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