Festival announcement: Cambridge Folk Festival
Festival dates: 28 - 31 July 2016
More info: Festival website

The first names have been revealed for this year’s Cambridge Folk Festival, one of the longest established and most prestigious folk festivals in the world. Tickets are on sale.

An eclectic range of performances will include: iconic Irish folk singer Christy Moore in an exclusive English Festival appearance, performing with Declan Sinnott and Jim Higgins; high energy Gypsy folk-punk band Gogol Bordello, acclaimed for their live shows; rockabilly singer-songwriter Imelda May, a powerful live performer with “a whipcracker of a voice”; Academy Award-winning star of the film Once, Irish singer-songwriter Glen Hansard in an exclusive English festival appearance; American singer-songwriter and multi Grammy Award-winner Mary Chapin Carpenter; global beat pioneers Afro Celt Sound System who are celebrating their 20th anniversary with a new album; the “screaming eagle of soul” Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires; the ever-popular Barnsley Nightingale Kate Rusby; Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band, featuring the English folk figurehead nominated for Folk Singer of the Year in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and her all-star band; a standout performer of his generation, the Bellowhead lead singer and main arranger, Jon Boden, in one of his first solo appearances since their final gig in May; Songs of Separation, a special collaboration between ten leading Scottish and English female folk musicians on the issue of ‘separation’ including Eliza Carthy and Karine Polwart; song collector and nominee for Folk Singer of the Year in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Sam Lee & Friends; leading folk multi-instrumentalists the Michael McGoldrick Band, featuring the trailblazing player and composer; prolific and multi-award winning Scottish fiddle band Blazin’ Fiddles; one of the world’s most exciting Celtic bands, Solas; Edward II, who uniquely blend the rhythms of the Caribbean with traditional songs from the British Isles; dynamic Quebecois folk band Le Vent du Nord; acclaimed Scottish fiddle player and composer Duncan Chisholm; relentlessly energetic groovers Kíla, who interject Gaelic rap and world influences into traditional folk; multi-award winning Scottish firebrands Breabach who have just released their fifth album entitled Astar; New Orleans jazz, hip-hop, funk sensations Hot 8 Brass Band; one of the best U.S. blues bands, Cash Box Kings, playing their old time Chicago blues in an exclusive UK performance; the beloved musical project of Kate Staples, alternative folk band This Is The Kit, championed by 6Music; fRoots magazine Album of the Year 2015 winners Stick In The Wheel, nominated for Best Group in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards; up-and-coming North East duo and Radio 1 favourites Seafret; The Mike + Ruthy Band, who produced one of the standout Americana albums of 2015; one of Time Out's rising stars of 2015, rambling folk singer Will Varley, who previously toured with Frank Turner; the refreshingly witty Irish singer-songwriter Lisa O’Neill; multi-instrumentalist Brian McNeill, leading the Festival session; barnstorming live performers and nominee for the Horizon Award in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys; five-piece Ímar, which features some of today’s most exciting young traditional musicians including current and former members of Mànran, RURA, Talisk and Barrule; Glorystrokes, possibly the world’s only traditional English metalcore ceilidh band; a fun-packed family ceilidh with the ever-popular Steamchicken; The Dovetail Trio, with their bold new approach to traditional songs, featuring Rosie Hood, nominated for a Horizon Award in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards; Flats & Sharps, blurring the lines between bluegrass, folk and country; an exciting sing-along experience for children from Funbox, formerly The Singing Kettle; a Silent Ceilidh with caller Cate Bannister; and children’s entertainers The BarrowBand celebrating healthy eating through song. More major names to be announced.

Having started life in 1965, the 14,000 capacity Festival draws acclaim for both its internationally renowned headline artists and for showcasing up-and-coming young performers. The Festival continues to enjoy sell-out crowds year on year.

Popular for its unique parkland setting and great facilities, the Festival offers something for everyone. There are four covered stages, music workshops and sessions, raucous ceilidhs, open stages, street theatre, real ale bars, Wi-Fi, various camping options including glamping, a youth area, kids’ ceilidh, storytelling, free crèche, paddling pool and a playground. Music playing and participation are welcomed, both of which are engrained in the culture of the Festival.

Press reaction to date

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

“An event with everything anyone could ask for.”  - Sunday Express

“One of Europe’s biggest folk fests, CFF is bursting with established and traditional talent alongside younger acts.”  - Time Out

More information

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