Preview: Cambridge Folk Festival 2017

By on Wednesday, 21st June 2017 at 11:00 am

Fifty-two years is quite a long time for a festival to be running, but when it’s something as revered as The Cambridge Folk Festival (27-30 July at Cherry Hinton Hall in Cambridge), you can understand why. Always attracting the biggest and brightest of the folk world, this year is no different. Alongside the already announced top billing of Jake Bugg and Indigo Girls, there is also now the addition of unstoppable juggernaut of Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls.

Having taken place every year since 1965 at the beautiful Cherry Hinton Hall, it’s the world’s premier event for folk and acoustic music. Its history is steeped in some of the biggest legendary names in the genre from Emmylou Harris and Joan Baez through to Mumford and Sons, and even with Scottish rockers Idlewild. While these names from past events and the ones performing this year are all fantastic, the real magic lies in the social and ‘give it a go’ ethos of folk, with stages that give amateurs and audience members alike a chance to get their folk chops out.


Of course, the larger names at the top of the bill are the real draw for the majority of the crowd, and with one of the UK’s most prominent, and youngest songwriters keeping it acoustic, you can be sure that Jake Bugg will cement his place in folk history at this year’s Cambridge Folk Festival. Speaking of folk history, the seemingly always touring Frank Turner has played the festival multiple times now and always brings a good show. With his punk/folk hybrid sound a stark contrast to Bugg’s solo acoustic efforts, you get the best of both worlds. So it’s definitely worth hanging around for the entire festival.

Another name that you may want to check out is Benjamin Francis Leftwich, who’s so rooted in being himself and with his acoustic guitar that it’s hard to tell where either begins: utterly beautiful, and soul crushing songs. Perfect. There’s also the current hot artist in UK country, Ward Thomas. The London duo have been making some serious waves in their circles for some time, and those waves are suddenly getting bigger. You also can’t miss Hayseed Dixie, Americana at its finest. Interpretations and originals galore, they’re old hat at this now and will get you dancing, no worries.


If you want something even further off the beaten track check out Amelia Coburn, who, in a similar fashion, though less in your face to Hayseed Dixie performs interpretations of everything from Bowie to The Specials, and all with a ukulele! At only 19 and with a sense of music like this, she’ll be going places very soon.

Tickets have pretty much sold out for this year’s event, though there are a few tickets kicking around for each day, so head to the site now to get yours.

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