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Saturday 18 May 2024

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Cambridge Folk Festival Announces Exciting New Partnership with Showcase Scotland Expo

Apr 20, 2024



Assynt – Constant Follower – Eabhal – Falasgair – Hannah Rarity 

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

Birdvox – The Langan Band – Dean Owens and The Sinners




Cambridge Folk Festival is partnering with Showcase Scotland Expo to host the finest emerging artists from north of the border in an unparalleled initiative for an English festival this summer. Dozens auditioned for twelve coveted spots on Stages 2 and 3 and the eclectic line-up will feature:

Showcasing on Stage 3 – award-winning instrumental folk trio Assynt, who combine the myriad talents of BBC Scotland Young Musician of the Year finalists Graham Mackenzie (fiddle) and David Sheddon (pipes/whistles), and BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winner Innes White (guitar).

Stirling five-piece Constant Follower, created by frontman Stephen McCall and featuring Andrew Pankhurst (guitar), Amy Campbell (backing vocals/synth) and Kathleen Stosch (backing vocals, synth and bass), play soaring, ambient experimental folk music.

Steeped in tradition, Eabhal have made a significant impact on the Scottish music scene with their vibrant and energetic folk and distinctive West Coast sound. The band’s focus on kinship, and connection to people and the land are keenly reflected in its music and identity.

Up-and-coming six-piece folk band Falasgair came together in 2021 and have been wowing audiences with their energetic live performances ever since. Central to the band are the close-knit community of their home on Skye and the melting-pot of cultures in their new base of Glasgow.

Renowned vocalist Hannah Rarity honed her craft at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and performs a carefully chosen blend of traditional, contemporary and self-penned material. Her ethereal voice is reminiscent of legends such as Eva Cassidy and Cara Dillon.

Alt-folk trio Paper Sparrows‘ sound centres on their distinctive twin-acoustic guitar style, finger-picking harmonies and double bass. The bandmates’ friendship and humour, in addition to their musicianship and great songs, make them a must-see live act.

Paul McKenna, whose band the New York Times dubbed “The best folk band to have come out of Scotland in the last twenty years” will appear solo, sharing a love of traditional music and contemporary, dynamic compositions, all underpinned by Paul’s stunning vocals.

Sian comprises three of today’s most exquisitely gifted young Gaelic singers – Ceitlin Lilidh, Eilidh Cormack and Ellen MacDonald. Their deep feeling for tradition with boldly imaginative harmony work has seen them likened to The Staves and even Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

Critically acclaimed Ainsley Hamill, whose 2021 debut album scored Folk Album of the Month in the Guardian, specialises in Scottish Gaelic and English songs, sung with an extraordinary voice which has been compared to Adele, Julie Fowlis and Heather Small.

Playing Stage 2: Scottish quartet, Birdvox, a shapeshifting supergroup of female musicians – Sarah Hayes, Jenny Sturgeon, Inge Thomson and Charlotte Printer – gleefully fusing the traditional with the electronic.

The Langan Band (Below),  whose three members were initially brought together by a deep respect for traditional Scottish song and music and discovered a mutual love of the regeneration of these pieces into provocative and fascinating new compositions. This went on to inform the band’s now mostly original repertoire, and has resulted in a musical experience quite unlike any other.

Irvine Welsh calls Dean Owens & The Sinners “the pulse of all our lives” and the multiple Americana UK award-winner, dubbed “Edinburgh’s finest” really knows how to delight a live audience.

Lisa Whytock, Executive Producer of Showcase Scotland Expo, commented: We are delighted to be partnering with Cambridge Folk Festival in 2024, showcasing an abundance of Scottish talent, from up and coming acts to well-established, household names, as part of the incredible event. We hope the audiences enjoy the Spotlight and revel in the fantastic music on offer.”


Head of Music at Creative Scotland, Alan Morrison said: Cambridge Folk Festival is a major event on the European music calendar. The focus on Scotland in 2024 offers a unique opportunity to share our music with new audiences and showcase the high quality and wide diversity of our traditional and contemporary scenes. Creative Scotland’s support for Showcase Scotland Expo through National Lottery targeted funding has, over several years, helped a positive partnership with Cambridge to grow, and this summer we will see it blossom in full.”

Closing the Festival on Sunday evening in a fitting finale highlighting the huge impact of Scottish music, will be Blue Rose Code’s Caledonian Soul Cavalcade. Edinburgh-born Ross Wilson (aka Blue Rose Code), renowned for his powerful blend of alt-folk, jazz and blues, will be backed by a five-piece band and a horn section. Together they will perform inventive selections from the Scottish Songbook aided by a star-studded line-up of friends, including Karine PolwartJustin Currie (Del Amitri), Steve Knightley and Danny Thompson. Watch this space for more big surprises.

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.

“For sheer class and integrity, it can’t be beaten.” The Independent

These fine new names join the superb bill announced so far:

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

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



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.

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 *Creative Scotland is the public body that supports culture and creativity across all parts of Scotland, distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at Follow us on XFacebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at




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