Extra date for first folk festival in Todmorden

New, extra, date - Kitty Bridges
New, extra, date - Kitty Bridges

With only eight days to go before Todmorden hosts it’s inaugural folk festival, organisers have announced that due to the huge interest that the festival has generated it has now been expanded to include events on Sunday, April 19, as well.

Initially planned as a one day festival to be held on Saturday, April 17, it soon became clear that too many people wanted to be involved to make that viable and so it was decided to start with a Ceilidh on the Friday night and have the main events on the Saturday, explained organiser Richard Parkes.

However, even that has proved insufficient and so organisers have found venues and booked artists to perform on the Sunday.

The first new event will take place at The Golden Lion starting at noon and will be “Kitty Bridges’ Pocket Book of Tunes”. Inspired by a collection of dance tunes from 1745, Common Ground Theatre presents a critically acclaimed, upbeat, lyrical feast of storytelling, music, poetry and song. Kitty Bridges leaves her beloved Yorkshire and meets scoundrels, rogues and vagabonds in ballrooms, back streets and on the open road. A play about music, freedom, greed and ownership. With live folk music for dancing, and cavorting.

The afternoon sees the festival come to a close with a truly multicultural feast of music at St Mary’s Church, which will host three totally different kinds of performers.

The folk music element of the concert will be provided by local singer/songwriter Richard Parkes who will aim to provide a taste of Folk music through many of its forms, from traditional ballads to more recently penned songs. Following on from that will be the hugely popular Three Valleys Gospel Choir who will, as usual, delight the audience with their range of popular gospel songs.

The afternoon will then be brought to a stunning climax with the appearance of the Qawwali singers Shah e Mardaan, a local Muslim choir who rehearse at Todmorden Unitarian Church. Qawwali is a type of Sufi devotional singing popular in south Asia.

The festival organisers are very excited that Shah e Mardaan have agreed to headline the Sunday concert as this now makes the festival truly multi-cultural, which was always the aim of the event.

All the new concerts and events are ticketed separately but a weekend ticket still gains the holder entrance to all ticketed events throughout the weekend.

Running alongside the ticketed events there are a huge range of attractions that are free entry and family friendly.

On the Saturday there will be Morris and clog dancing at Pollination Street, the outdoor market and Fielden Wharf. Central Methodist Church will host a Craft fair, Festival cafe and kids room with a host of activities for kids of all ages! Included in the craft fair will be demonstrations of clog making by Walkleys Clogs, and local ceramic artist Gary Thomas will be giving demonstrations of throwing pots - on his potters wheel, of course, not at the general public!

Festival programmes are now out around town and freely available at all the pubs and venues that are hosting sessions, and on the indoor market. All event tickets are available via the website at www.todfolkfest.co.uk (although ceilidh tickets are already sold out) and weekend tickets can also be purchased from Physio and Therapies Ltd, 61, Halifax Road. Todmorden.