Warwick Folk Festival celebrates 40th anniversary - The Leamington Observer

Warwick Folk Festival celebrates 40th anniversary

Ian Hughes 30th Jul, 2019 Updated: 31st Jul, 2019   0

THERE was plenty of reason to celebrate as Warwick Folk Festival turned 40.

Over the past four decades the festival has gown to become a fixture of the roots music and dance calendar attracting fans and performers from across the world.

This year’s festival attracted over 30,000 people and saw 124 artists perform.

And the music was as varied as the weather, which in the great British summer festival tradition was a mix of sunshine and showers over the four days.

Veteran singer-songwriter Billy Bragg kicked things off on Thursday night with a set including new numbers and old favourites from his early days back in the 1980s. Never short of a comment on the state of the nation and the combined targets of Boris, Trump and global climate catastrophe look set to keep him in material for a few years yet.

Even though driving rain swept away some of the outdoor action, it failed to dampen the spirits of festival-goers and even the dancers kept dancing.

There were ceilidhs and workshops for those who wanted to get involved and a welcome return for Mick Ryan with his latest full-scale folk opera.

As ever with Warwick Folk Festival, there was something starting up around every corner and those who chose to browse the stalls and the delights of the beer tent were never far away from a wandering Morris performance or an impromptu fiddle and accordion session.

Aside from the activities at the main festival site at the ever-burgeoning facilities at Warwick School – now also home to King’s High School – there was also plenty going on in and around the town.

Festival director Dick Dixon said: “We are delighted with the success of our spectacular 40th Warwick Folk Festival which attracted record numbers.

“Everything ran smoothly and with the sun shining, it was great to see so many families and visitors with big smiles on their faces soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying a fantastic range of musical acts and events.”

All pictures by John Wright Studio (unless otherwise stated)

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