Folk festival returns to South Hill Park after 20-year hiatus

Published: 13 Sep 2013 09:000 comments

A FOLK festival returns to South Hill Park for the first time in more than 20 years tomorrow (Saturday).

Artree Music, which promotes the centre’s Folking Live events, has teamed up with South Hill Park to offer a day of the best in nationally recognised and up and coming folk, roots and acoustic music talent.

The performances will be split across two stages – one ticketed in the Wilde Theatre, and one in the grounds of the arts centre, with the latter free to the public.

Phil Daniels, co-organiser, said: “Promoting a whole day of live acoustic music has been an idea of ours for a number of years and we’re delighted we have been given the opportunity to have a go.

“South Hill Park has a rich history of folk festivals in the past, and indeed festivals in general – and although this one will be small scale compared to the recent Big Day Out events, the concept is the same – lots of great music and entertainment being performed to what we hope will be a nice sized audience, on a lovely sunny day.

Spiers and Boden, frontmen of the UK’s foremost folk band of recent times, Bellowhead, will headline a six-artist line up in the Wilde Theatre that also includes folk legend Richard Digance and BBC Folk Award winner Lucy Ward.

Tickets cost £22.50 for seats or £20 for unreserved standing, with concessions for under 14’s.

Outside on the terrace and lower grounds is the free event, featuring a host of local and national folk and acoustic acts performing from midday until 9pm.

Mr Daniels said: “We obviously would love to see a full house for the ticketed event in the Wilde Theatre, as we believe the line up on offer for the money is excellent – however we just as much want people to come along to the free entry event with their picnic rugs and camping chairs and just enjoy a really relaxed day out in the grounds.”

There will also be craft stalls to browse, entertainment for kids including bouncy castle and circus skills, Morris dancing performances, a BBQ and a beer tent.

If the weather is poor, the outside stage will be housed in the static marquee that has been on the terrace at South Hill Park these last few months.

The Ale will be served at the bars instead of a beer tent, and the craft stalls that were to feature outside will still be in attendance – just in the house.

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