More artists announced…

Lifetime achievement award

More headliners announced

Folk legend Richard Thompson is set to make an electrifying return to this year’s festival with a rare appearance with his Electric Trio.

The former Fairport Convention musician, named by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the top 100 guitarists of all time, will headline the Bellstone stage on Saturday August 25.

Other names added to the programme include the new duo of Peter Knight (ex Steeleye Span) and John Spiers (Bellowhead) and singer songwriters James Riley and Edwina Hayes.

Already announced are American singer songwriter Gretchen Peters, Steeleye Span, Irish super group Usher’s Island, Show of Hands, Jon Boden and The Remnant Kings, Gigspanner, BBC Folk Award winner Daoirí Farrell and Scottish folk rockers Skerryvore.

Chinese flautist Guo Yue and Japanese drummer Joji Hirota will reunite for the festival with the London Taiko Drummers and Canadian band The Fitzgeralds – one of the hit groups of last year’s festival – will also make a welcome return.

Other performers include Welsh indie roots band Rusty Shackle, State of the Union – the duo of Boo Hewerdine and Brooks Williams, O’Hooley & Tidow, Megson, Blowzabella, Banter, Alden, Patterson & Dashwood, The Rogues Shanty Crew, Emma Morton & The Graces, Midnight Skyracer, FOS Brothers, Inlay, and Foreign Affairs.

Dance bands will be Blowzabella, Bedlam, Committee Band, Vertical Expression, Kirkophany and Out of Hand.

More than half of adult weekend tickets have already been sold with more than six months to go!

Director Sandra Surtees said: “We are delighted to have secured this rare appearance by the Richard Thompson Electric Trio for Shrewsbury. Richard is a folk legend but he doesn’t often perform in this format so it’ll be a real treat for our audience.

“The line up contains a wide variety of traditional and contemporary folk alongside singer songwriters and north American and Canadian acts so there is something to appeal to all tastes.

“That’s echoed in the strong ticket sales we’re experiencing with many of our visitors coming back year after year as they love the festival so much!”

Weekend and day tickets are now on sale and can be booked at

First 2018 acts revealed

Buy the Resound tribute CD online

A CD launched in tribute to our co-founder Alan Surtees has raised more than £4,000 for a charity set up in his name to support young and emerging musicians.

The profits from Resound, a 15-track recording featuring tracks from artists including Oysterband, Jon Boden, Grace Petrie and Karine Polwart, will be ploughed into the Alan Surtees Trust.

The Trust, which has been formed by musician and clog dancer Hannah James, aims to open applications for its first grants next Spring. Trustees involved in the charity include Alan’s wife Sandra, with whom he co-founded the festival in 1997.

Hannah came up with the idea for the trust following Alan’s death from cancer in June.

She said: “As someone who has benefitted from the generosity of Shrewsbury Folk Festival, I want to take the baton and keep some of this support and momentum going. It seems like a very fitting way to serve Alan’s memory.

“The tracks on this album are all from artists who have had strong links with the festival and some are songs which we know were favourites of Alan’s. I hope it captures some of the spirit of the festival and the passion that Alan had for this music.”

More than 500 CDs were snapped up in exchange for donations at this year’s festival and it is now available to buy online at Fish Records.

A fundraising gig is being planned for February 2018 to raise additional funds with the first round of applications for grants opening in March. Further fundraising will be organised in future years to support the charity’s ongoing activities.

To buy a CD direct, go to:

For more information about the trust:

A very big thank you

Thank you so much for all your amazing fundraising efforts for Hope House at this year’s festival. You’ve helped to raise more than £6,400 for music therapy sessions for the children with life limiting illnesses that use the hospice.

This year’s fundraising takes the overall amount pledged to Hope House since we began our partnership in 2008 to more than £56,000!!!

The money is raised through collections on Sunday afternoon, the fee for charging mobile phones and other electrical items, the Hope House stall on site and a donation from us for every adult weekend ticket that is sold.

Vanessa Thomas, Major Gifts Manager for Hope House: “Every year, we are delighted by the generosity of the visitors to the folk festival as they continue to support this valuable service. Many children who use the hospice can’t communicate through the usual channels and music therapy is a fun way to make themselves heard. We are looking forward to celebrating a decade of fundraising with the festival in 2018.”

Festival director Sandra Surtees: “Our charity partnership with Hope House means a great deal to us. Music is at the heart and soul of the festival and we know how it helps people to express themselves so we understand how important the music therapy sessions are. We are so pleased to have smashed through the £50,000 barrier and can’t wait to continue our support in the coming years.”

For more about the hospice and its great work, click here.

And in at number one…..

Every year, we eagerly await the news from our friends at Roots Records about which were the top selling CDs of the festival. They’ve crunched the numbers and this year’s top 20 was:

1.    Skipinnish
2.    The Fitzgeralds
3.    Daphne’s Flight
4.    Eric Bibb
5.    Le Vent du Nord
6.    The Young ‘Uns
7.    Sarah Jarosz
8.    The East Pointers
9.    Steve Knightley
10.   The Unthanks
11.   Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar
12.   Oysterband
13.   Chris While & Julie Matthews
14.   Joe Broughton’s Conservatoire Folk Ensemble
15.   Jamie Smith’s Mabon
16.   Coven
17.   Jim Moray
18.   Andy Fairweather Low
19.   Maz O’Connor
20.  The Rheingans Sisters

A celebration of Alan’s life

A celebration of Alan’s life will take place on Monday July 17th at St Chad’s Church, 1 St Chad’s Terrace, Shrewsbury, SY1 1JX, at 1.15pm.

Please arrive at 1pm for a 1.15pm start. There is no dress code – please wear whatever you feel comfortable in which may include a festival t-shirt. Black is not obligatory.

NO FLOWERS please but donations would be very welcome to Severn Hospice’s Hospice at Home service. You will be able to make a donation at the church or alternatively send it to Aubrey Kirkham Funeral Directors which can be contacted on 01743 368999.

Everyone is welcome to a reception afterwards at Albrighton Hall, Ellesmere Road, Albrighton, Shrewsbury, SY4 3AG, to raise a glass in Alan’s memory.

Car parking:

There is very limited parking near the church and in the town centre so we advise you head to one of the following car parks and allow a 10-15 minute walk:

Raven Meadows, Shrewsbury SY1 1PL
St. Austins Street Car Park, Shrewsbury SY1 1SA
Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ
St Julian’s Friars, Shrewsbury SY1 1XL

Alan Surtees

It is with immense sadness that we have to announce the death of our co-director Alan Surtees following a short illness.

It was Alan’s vision and passion, along with that of his wife Sandra, which turned the idea they had 20 years ago of a folk festival for Shropshire into the major event that we enjoy today.

He loved everything about the festival but most of all the people – the performers, the volunteers, the visitors. Nothing made him happier than the sight of people having a great time while listening to fabulous music.

Alan was someone who embraced life and lived it to the full. His joie d’vivre and irreverent sense of humour were infectious and he was always the life and soul of any party.

The show will, of course, go on this year and in future years. Alan would want nothing less and it will be the most fitting way to honour his memory.

We’re the best!

Best Midlands Music Festival!

We don’t like to blow our own trumpet (very often) but we’ve been named the BEST MIDLANDS MUSIC FESTIVAL in the 2017 What’s On Reader Awards!

Not only that, we were runners up in the BEST SHROPSHIRE FESTIVAL too. There was tough competition in both categories so a massive thanks to everyone who voted for us.

We strive to make the festival the best we can but there’s no doubt that YOU are the ones who create the amazing atmosphere.

Festival directors Alan and Sandra Surtees with our awards