Stellar line up for folk festival

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An international feast of folk and roots music has been lined up for next year’s Gate to Southwell Folk Festival.

The headline acts will include Canadian folk roots quintet The Bills and Scotland’s Treacherous Orchestra, a 10-piece supergroup featuring fiddles, flutes, banjos, bagpipes and drums, who were nominated for the Best Group in the 2013 BBC Folk Awards.

Bella Hardy, who hails from neighbouring Derbyshire, will be making her first appearance at the festival with her band The Midnight Watch.

Bella has become one of the major attractions on the British festival circuit since winning the ‘Best Original Song’ award for ‘The Herring Girl’ at the 2012 Folk Awards and she may well have won the Folk Singer of the Year award by the time she performs next summer.

Also featuring in the line up are all-female folk band The Poozies and the extraordinary, ever-changing 20-years-young Feast of Fiddles, an outfit starring fiddling legends such as Phil Beer (Show of Hands), Ian Cutler (Fairport collaborator), Peter Knight (Steeleye Span) and Chris Leslie (Fairport & Whippersnapper).

Confirming the growing international pull of the festival, the organisers are flying in The Sojourners, a much-acclaimed gospel trio based in Vancouver.

Speaking about their style, leader Marcus Moseley said: “This is real gospel, blessed with a soul that can’t be faked. It’s music for the sinners or the saved, no matter where you are on your spiritual journey!”

Over the last seven years, the festival has grown to become the premier roots music and dance event in the East Midlands, guaranteeing more than 40 top quality performers over three days, plus the premiere of A Day’s Work, Mick Ryan’s fifth folk opera.

In addition to returning folk stars such as The Henry Girls and the excellent Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar, the festival will also showcase major performers include Martyn Joseph and Stewart Henderson, acclaimed young Irish band Caladh Nua,the Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderon Big Band, the Ben Waters Band, Estonian duo Kadri Laube and Marju Varblane, the BeauBowBelles andmany more, plus the UK’s latest folk-singing sensation, 15-year-old Grace Sarah from Cambridge.

The event is taking place from 5th to 8th June 2014 and early bird tickets are on sale from www.southwellfolkfestival.org - or, in the New Year, through outlets including the Cathedral Shop, Southwell, the main tourist centre in Nottingham, Woodlanders, on King Street, Southwell, and RST Music Services, Cartergate, Newark.