Whilst Cambridge Folk Festival* is celebrated for an eclectic mix of first-rate music across four stages, the exciting extra activities around the site help to create a fully immersive weekend experience and keep Festival-goers returning year after year.
The Festival is set in the beautiful surroundings of Cherry Hinton Hall Park, an intimate, easily traversed and well-organised site. Behind the mainstage is the famed duck pond, an area to relax and take in a range of well-being activities from tai-chi and yoga to self-massage and positive thinking. Join the drawing/painting lessons then take your spot elsewhere around the site with paper and paints to capture the atmosphere over the weekend.
The nearby Flower Garden is another special little corner, providing workshops in Northumbria pipes, sing arounds, English tunes sessions and storytelling throughout the day, including a late night “scary story” session! There will also be talks about contemporary issues including mental health, being a woman in music, the environment and other important topics of the day.
Moving across the site, the Club Tent hosts workshops every morning from 10am when mainstage artists share their skills, tips and tunes with Festival-goers. This year meet Spiers and Boden and The Spooky Men’s Chorale, amongst others. Be sure not to miss the Songlines interview here this year with Suzanne Vega.
Catch tomorrow’s stars today in The Den, a smaller stage developed to support up and coming artists. Well-known for spotting future stars – Jake Bugg and Passenger first played The Den before headlining Stage 1 – Cambridge will announce a full bill shortly and sign-up slots are available each day.
For many an enduring highlight is the Festival Session on Saturday curated by Brian McNeill. Beloved by audience and artists alike, numerous performers from across the weekend’s programme rush to join Brian and the Stage 2 crowd for a hugely entertaining afternoon of music.
Another must-see moment on Stage 2 this year is the specially curated Folk Ballet on Friday, presented by Debbie Norris’s Ballet Folk and Words from a Fiddlers Daughter / Ciderhouse Rebellion. This new collaboration offers an original folk ballet, The Tears of Jenny Greenteeth which is an adaptation of the traditional folk tale of Jenny Greenteeth. Poet Jessie Summerhayes, musicians Adam Summerhayes and Murray Grainger, and Director/Choreographer Debbie Norris have created a captivating piece of theatre that uses the interplay between poetry, music and contemporary ballet to transport audiences to the valley of Greenwater to witness the dark yet triumphant story of Jenny Greenteeth.
In those few spare moments, pop along to the Songlines Signing Tent to get that new CD or t-shirt signed by your favourite artist, or just kick-back beside the beer tent and watch the outstanding Hammersmith Morris Men.
The Festival’s family-friendly reputation is evidenced by the numerous families of all ages who regularly attend. Providing entertainment for its “future Festival-goers” is a mainstay of Cambridge’s programming. Both Cherry Hinton Hall and sister camping site Coldham’s Common have a specific area dedicated to providing workshops and activities for children and young people, although kids of any age are encouraged to take part!
Cherry Hinton Hall hosts a full day of children’s activities including clog dancing, ceilidh dancing, face painting, crafting and a huge playpark and paddling pool. This year, Cambridge is delighted to welcome back Folk Idol; a chance for kids to get up and perform on stage with a live band.
Coldham’s Common offers fiddle lessons (providing fiddles for children to try), singing workshops, and crafts, including instrument making, with Makendoo and Spare Room Arts. Look forward to the procession at the end of the weekend showing off what has been made and learned.
The Festival places great importance on providing performance and learning to young people. One innovative initiative is The Hub Band Project: four instrumental/vocal tutors coach 14–18 year olds resulting in a band performance on the Club Tent Stage at the end of the weekend.
For those camping at Coldham’s Common, round off the evening with a spot on the Open Mic Late Night Stage. Cambridge is excited to be working with new bar provider and stage host The Hunter Club for 2022. Sign-up slots will be available alongside pre-booked artists.
Line-Up for Main Stages:
Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes – Passenger – Seasick Steve . Paul and the Broken Bones – Billy Bragg – Suzanne Vega – Clannad Afro Celt Sound System – Orchestra Baobab – This Is The Kit – Spell Songs Hurray For The Riff Raff – Show Of Hands – Julie Fowlis – Spiers And Boden – Billie Marten Chico Trujillo – The Young’uns – Flook – Sam Lee – Elephant Sessions Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram – Admiral Fallow – Elles Bailey – The Spooky Men’s Chorale Ballet Folk: The Tears of Jenny Greenteeth – O’Hooley And Tidow Davina & The Vagabonds – The Breath – Dustbowl Revival – N’famady Kouyaté Samantha Crain – The Magpie Arc – Katherine Priddy – The Copper Family VRï – Janice Burns & Jon Doran – The Honest Poet – Simon Care Trio Urban Folk Theory Live – Stumpy Oak
Look out for more artist announcements soon!
Cambridge Folk Festival takes place 28 – 31 July 2022 in the picturesque grounds of Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge. Early booking advisable. Purchase tickets from: https://www.cambridgelive.org.uk/folk-festival/tickets
“Year on year, it has evolved, staying relevant as the face of the genre has changed over the decades. Whether it’s classic folk or something more contemporary, the festival promises something for every folk fan.”
Evening Standard newspaper
Full festival ticket: £187, Thursday: £31, Friday: £78.28, Saturday: £78.28, Sunday: £78.28
Purchase from: https://www.cambridgelive.org.uk/folk-festival/tickets
For more information please visit: www.cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk
*Cambridge Folk Festival is one of the longest running and most prestigious folk festivals in the world. Established by Cambridge City Council and held each year since 1965, the Festival is renowned for its unique atmosphere and eclectic mix of music. It attracts legendary traditional folk artists along with cutting edge contemporary acts, the finest Americana, blues and roots artists, world music and acclaimed singer songwriters.