Folk Roots Festival is now even bigger as it enters its third year

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Hebden Folk Roots festival is now in its third year and firmly on the folk scene map.

The festival, which takes place over the weekend of May 12-14 showcases over 200 performers at a host of venues from the larger Trades Club and Birchcliffe Centre to pubs like Old Gate, Shoulder of Mutton, Stubbing Wharf, The Swan, Fox and Goose, Nelsons, Mooch and many more…

O’ Hooley and Tidow, who were nominated for the BBC folk awards this year are one of the headliners at The Birchcliffe Centre, says festival musical director Dave Boardman.

Celtarabia and The Baghdaddies are part of our world music strand and top of the bill for our Bluegrass and Americana offering is a western swing band, Rob Heron and The Teapad Orchestra who will have the Trades Club audience reeling and jiving.

“Also on the bill is Murston Bapchild and the Braxton Hicks, The Kentucky Cow Tippers, Tilter Wheel, Thunderbridge Bluegrass Band plus many more,” added Dave.

This year, the folk festival has a Klezmer day and evening at the Birchcliffe Centre (Sunday, May 14) curated by Opera North’s Stephen Shulman and headed by The Freylich Band and Chancery Blame and the Gadjo Club.

“We have some old favourites from the folk world: Plumhall will be back, as will the fantastic Jess Morgan with her band and Bradford’s Bella Gaffney. Also joining the party are former Lindisfarne bass player and Jack The Lad leader, Rod Clements, as will Clive Gregson, one of the country’s great songwriters,” said Dave.

Eight local choirs; Three Valleys Gospel Choir, Sailah, Zarebi, Satteli – Swiss Folk duo, Calder Valley Voices, Corista, Remingtons (Barber Shop Choir) and The Refugee Choir will all come together and perform their own unique vocal masterpieces on Friday, May 12.

Do not miss the chance to sing with James Sills of the fabulous all male acapella troupe The Spooky Men’s Chorale and their UK offshoot Fistful of Spookies who will be offering a singing workshop ‘just for men’.

Among this year’s spoken word events is Shakespeare’s King Lear Re-told by Debs Newbold at Stubbing Wharf on Friday, May 12 (8pm).

Ghost Walk: ‘Beyond the Veil of Calderdale’ is a spine-tingling, grizzly ghost walk hosted by award winning storyteller Ursula Holden Gill.

Aimed at adults and older children but suitable for families it promises a magical evening of murder, mystery and mayhem. It starts at 6pm by the wavy steps opposite the Swan on Saturday, May 13.

The streets will be alive with dancing, busking and street performers throughout the weekend. Other events include children’activities in the park with Park life Cafe.

Dance Day takes place from 11am on Sunday, May 14 at the Masonic Hall and covers all types of dances. Each workshop lasts 90 minutes and is free to festival ticket holders.

Brian Toberman, a founders of the event says: “The committee has created a festival I as a musician would love to be playing at.

“We are lucky to have such amazing talent on our doorstep. The Hebden Folk Roots Festival brings people and music together and celebrates our local community.

“It is always good to give something back to our lovely town and bring a smile to people’s faces. We work closely with all local people, musicians and businesses to create a people’s festival.”

Those who are visiting the festival from out of town can make the most of an official camping site at Old Chamber Farm. You can find links to their website, alternative accommodation and all ticketing for weekend and day passes by going to