Shrewsbury Folk Festival has announced the first artists on its 2015 line up as it prepares for earlybird tickets to go on sale on December 1.
Canadian folk royalty La Bottine Souriante and top Irish accordionist Sharon Shannon will make their first appearances at the four-day event at the Greenhous West Mid Showground in Berwick Road from August 28 to 31.
Sharon, who has performed with The Waterboys, will join other headliners including Oysterband, Kate Rusby, John Jones & the Reluctant Ramblers, the high energy Peatbog Faeries, Nancy Kerr and the Sweet Visitor Band, Mawkin, False Lights – the new band of Jim Moray and Sam Carter – and festival patron Steve Knightley from Show of Hands at the festival.
Other artists signed up include: O’Hooley & Tidow, world music duo Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita, Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, The Wilsons, The Young'uns, New Rope String Band, Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson, Lucy Ward, Patsy Reid, Jack Harris, The Willows, Gren Bartley, The Roaring Trowmen, Winter Wilson, Teacups, Fran McGillivray and Mike Burke, Granny’s Attic, Mary Humphries & Anahata, The Boundless Brothers and Paula Ryan.
Special performances will come from Oysterband frontman and festival patron John Jones with The Oxford Girl show, and Folk Nations – a British Council musical collaboration featuring British and South Asian artists.
As ever, Shrewsbury will open its doors to a number of overseas artists with unique Australian group The Spooky Men’s Chorale making a welcome return. Canadian bands Ten Strings and a Goatskin and Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys have been signed up along with the Barra MacNeils.
Following on from the success of last year’s visiting venue The Peace Tent, there will be a special Peace concert during the festival weekend. Additional artists on the line up will be revealed in the coming months.
The festival has five music venues, a dance tent, runs more than 100 workshops, a popular children's festival, a dedicated youth programme for 12 to 17-year-olds, onsite camping, a craft fair and food village.
Festival Director Alan Surtees said: “We are still working on the line up and will reveal more exciting artists in the coming months but we are delighted to already have a diverse and creative line up.
“We are very pleased to have secured La Bottine Souriante as their appearances in the UK are rare! It will be the first Shrewsbury festival for Sharon Shannon as well and it will be great to welcome back favourites like Kate Rusby and Oysterband.”
Mr Surtees added: “As our regular festivalgoers know, we aim to offer you old favourites alongside new names and mixes traditional and contemporary folk and acoustic music.
“Shrewsbury has a reputation for inventive programming and coupled with the excellent location and facilities we have and the added extras of the dance programme, and children and young people’s festivals, we can guarantee a great weekend for everyone.”
The earlybird offer ticket lasts until March 31. Adult weekend tickets are £125 until then. Day tickets start at £34 for adults.
Children under four go free and family tickets are available. Onsite camping is available to all weekend ticket holders at £25 per adult.
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