Preview: Cambridge Folk Festival Presents City Roots 2017

By on Thursday, 2nd February 2017 at 11:00 am

The Cambridge Folk Festival is a world-renowned festival in its own right. Countless legendary artists have played it, including Paul Simon, Elvis Costello, Ray Davies, Frank Turner and Mumford and Sons. And let’s not to forget this year’s headliner Jake Bugg. Quite the history, I’m sure you’ll agree. This year, there’s a new addition to the festival proceedings. From the 3rd until the 11th of February, there will be a mini-festival of sorts, aptly entitled City Roots. Why is this apt, you ask? Well this mini-fest takes place throughout the city of Cambridge itself, celebrating the heritage and connection the festival has with its mother city. Events will take place at venues all across the city, from The Portland Arms, a pub with a perfect little stage tucked at the back, to the more familiar Junction and Corn Exchange.


The opening night’s event is at the aforementioned Portland Arms and comes courtesy of local boy Steven James Adams and Band, the leader of whom is rather prolific, just check out his back catalogue here. If you head over to The Junction on Sunday the 5th, there’s a performance from folk mastermind Jim Foray who is simply not to be missed. His blend of folk music with video accompaniments will serve to recruit you as a fan in no time. The Corn Exchange will host the final evening’s event, a performance from Afropop artist Salif Keita (pictured at top), more affectionately known as ‘the Golden Voice of Africa’.


Though events like these are the intended main draw, the real magic is sure to come from the sessions that have been arranged across the city. Folk music is renowned for its ability to bring together people of varied social standing and unite them in the addressing of the world’s current issues.. With the world in its current state, there’s definitely to be some shining voices speaking out loud and sing-alongs aplenty. Head to The Union bar on the 7th of February for one such session, there’s no stage split listed yet. There could be anyone onstage, which makes for all the more fun!

This is just a short preview of what you can expect from City Roots starting tomorrow. Check out the full listing so far on the official event Web site. Be prepared to get lost amongst the traditionalism and storytelling of generations old and new. If you don’t come away from City Roots having found a new story that speaks to you, new artists who say what you cannot or even a new friend, then you get one more chance at the festival proper in July.

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