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Saturday 18 May 2024

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Cambridge Folk Festival Announce Line-Up for Emerging Talent Stage

May 2, 2024





 Áine Deane – Amateur Theatre Group – Anna McLuckie – Annie Baylis – Around About Dusk

Auka – Brown Horse – Chiara Gilmore – David Burnett – Ernest Aines – Fran Lusty

Francesca Louise – Gareth Dunlop – Jakey Boy Hughes – Joey Mac – Kim Yang – Konyikeh

Lily Lyons – Lorraine Nash – Lucy & Hazel – Mat Hunsley – Mezanmi – Mima Merrow

Monique Clare – Nectar Woode – River Roots – Robin Adams – Seánie Bermingham

Slow Worm Takeover – Sorrel Nation – The Deep Blue – Tricia Collins


One of the most keenly anticipated elements of the Cambridge Folk Festival programme is the line-up for Emerging Talent Stage, The Den. Expertly curated and featuring the brightest rising stars of contemporary roots music, The Den offers Festival-goers the chance to see the stars of tomorrow in a charming, intimate setting. Future hitmakers Jake Bugg and Passenger first played The Den before headlining Stage 1 and over recent years Christian Raphael Prize winners Angeline Morrison and Katherine Priddy have followed suit.

Cambridge is proud of its long-standing reputation for providing a platform for up-and-coming new artists and nurturing promising young talent and The Den is a smaller stage specially established to support musicians at the beginning of their careers. The Festival then continues its support by shaping a pathway for those artists to return and play on the bigger stages.

Eighteen of the thirty-plus artists playing The Den will be short-listed for The Christian Raphael Prize, which seeks to award a talented musician or group of musicians the tools they need to take the next step towards becoming a successful professional, including a year-long bursary, time in a studio or rehearsal space, a spot on the following year’s Festival, and music industry advice.

Introduced six years ago, the Christian Raphael Prize has become a major force in progressing the careers of its winners. Most recently Angeline Morrison, Katherine Priddy and Frankie Archer have all gone on to major success. Amongst the media accolades, Angeline and Frankie secured coveted slots on BBC TV’s ‘Later With Jools Holland’ and Katherine was featured on the BBC TV Glastonbury coverage.

The Prize was established and is funded by inspirational figure and keen supporter of Cambridge Folk Festival’s commitment to emerging young artists, Christian Raphael MBE. A 37-year-old man with severe and multiple learning disabilities who communicates non-verbally, Christian has been attending the Cambridge Folk Festival for many years.

The Den bill this year includes: BBC Spotlight artist Áine Deane; indie collective Amateur Theatre Group; vocalist and harp player Anna McLuckie; former The Voice TV show contestant, award-winning singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Annie Baylis; Around About Dusk telling tales of wonder and nature with nods to folk, jazz and chanson; instrumental trio Auka, paying tribute to the importance of protecting our wild waters; hotly-tipped Norwich band Brown HorseChiara Gilmore combining her deep love for music and nature; intricate folk and Americana from David Burnett; Australian Folk Alliance Artist of the Year nominee Ernest Aines; London indie-folk singer-songwriter Fran Lusty.

Singer-songwriter Francesca Louise, who has been compared to Carole King and Joni Mitchell; Northern Ireland’s Gareth Dunlop whose songs have featured on many TV soundtracks; eclectic indie pop singer-songwriter Jakey Boy HughesJoey Mac, known for her unique vocals and energetic percussive guitar playing; Taiwanese-Australian singer-songwriter Kim Yang; heralded as ‘one to watch’ by The Guardian, mesmerising vocalist, violinist, pianist and guitarist KonyikehLily Lyons, known for her angelic voice and complex, heartfelt lyrics; one of the most played female artists on Irish radio, Lorraine Nash; queens of the new vibe of activist British folk Lucy & HazelMat Hunsley, much-admired for his folk-tinged sound and unique brand of story-telling; ambient folk singer-songwriter Mezanmi; Glasgow-based, Irish alternative folk singer and writer Mima Merrow.

Australian vocalist and cellist Monique Clare, blending indie-laced folk with chamber pop; Ghanaian-English soul and jazz singer-songwriter Nectar Woode; good vibe acoustic folk-roots duo from the UK River Roots; described as “the best kind of songwriter” by none other than Ricky Ross, Scotland’s Robin Adams; Dublin-based folk artist Seánie Bermingham; folk/country/rock singer from Kent Sorrel Nation;  punk attitudes, beautiful harmonies and intertwined instrumentations from Manchester’s The Deep BlueTricia Collins, enchanting audiences with her unique Irish indie-folk soundscape.

Slow Worm Records – a new label based in London specialising in folk, trad, experimental, improvised and electro-acoustic music and created by musician and producer Tom Moore – will hold a takeover of The Den featuring eight of its finest artists: Grace Lemon, Paddi Benson, James Gavin, Tim Fairhall, Dave Malkin, Louis Campbell, Tom Moore and Archie Churchill-Moss.

As well as the extensive list of programmed musicians, sign-up slots will be available each day.

Alongside the world-class music, there is so much more to enjoy over the Festival weekend, including dedicated children’s activities; workshops on instrument making and song writing; a silent disco, storytelling, clog dancing, tai-chi, and an incredible selection of mouth-watering food trucks and bars from some of Cambridge’s finest food merchants. The Festival is also proud to have been deemed “Outstanding” at the Greener Festival Awards.

The Den artists join the stellar names announced so far:

 Robert Plant presents Saving Grace featuring Suzi Dian
Transatlantic Sessions exclusive UK Festival appearance

Blue Rose Code’s Caledonian Soul Cavalcade

Aoife O’Donovan – Capercaillie – Dani Larkin
Fantastic Negrito – Flamy Grant – Jerry Douglas
Katherine Priddy – The Langan Band – Larkin Poe – Mec Lir
Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker and John Doyle
Mitsune – Nitin Sawhney – Nora Brown & Stephanie Coleman
Oysterband – Peggy Seeger and Family – Raghu Dixit – Ralph McTell
Ríoghnach Connolly & Honeyfeet – Talisk – Tommy Emmanuel

Allison De Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves – Bess Atwell – Birdvox – Butler, Blake & Grant  Darlingside – Dean Owens & The Sinners – FARA – Genticorum  

Hollie Cook – Jeremy Dutcher – Jon Muq – Locarno – Leyla McCalla – Lizzie No

Niall McCabe – The Paperboys – Rum Ragged – Sangjaru – Sarah Hagen

Smith & Brewer Band – Taylor McCall – Turin Brakes

Showcase Scotland Expo:

Assynt – Constant Follower – Eabhal – Falasgair – Hannah Rarity 

Paper Sparrows – Paul McKenna (solo) – Sian – Ainsley Hamill

Birdvox – The Langan Band – Dean Owens and The Sinners


Ticket information: 

Full festival ticket: £230, Thursday: £35, Friday: £89, Saturday: £89, Sunday: £89

Prices include booking fees. Please see website for concessions, camping and parking information.

Purchase from: *

*Payment plan available: Many are opting this year to spread the cost of their tickets over 5 payments, with the Festival’s easy-to-use payment plan.

For further information please visit:

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