What a weekend!

What an epic weekend!

There were times when we wondered whether we’d be able to have a festival at all in 2021 and if we could, what it would be like. But it’s fair to say that this weekend exceeded all our expectations by a mile!

A massive thank you to our team and committee for their hard work and creativity to make it happen – without your dogged determination the festival would be nothing. To our volunteers and contractors – you are simply the best #dreamteam. To the artists and performers, thank you for the joy you gave us.

And most of all, to everyone who came, thank you for creating the magical Shrewsbury Folk Festival atmosphere. It was the best four days!

We’d love to hear your views on some of this year’s changes and whether any of them should stay. Complete our feedback survey before September 30th and you could win a free ticket with camping for next year.

2021 beer guide

The team at Moongazing Hare Bars has pulled off another amazing line up of beers and ciders for this year’s festival bars.

Whatever your fancy, you should find something to whet your whistle! And if beer’s not your thing, there’s wine a plenty, prosecco on tap and the return of Olive, the double decker cocktail bus, for a cocktail or two.

Click to browse this year’s bonanza of beers & more!

2021 – a celebration of British based folk

We have revealed our plans for a covid-safe festival including a refreshed line-up to celebrate the best of British based folk artists.

We have elected for outside stages and more outdoor activities to ensure we can meet any possible covid related regulations that might be in place by August Bank Holiday.

The new line up released today includes Kate Rusby, Oysterband, Show of Hands, Afro Celt Sound System, Seth Lakeman, The Christians, Dervish, Lindisfarne and The Young’uns.

Shrewsbury will host the only festival appearance of The Lost Words: Spell Songs with Karine Polwart, Julie Fowlis, Seckou Keita, Kris Drever, Rachel Newton, Beth Porter, Jim Molyneux and illustrator Jackie Morris and shanty sensations The Longest Johns are also on the bill.

Other acts include leading kora musician Sona Jobarteh, Joji Hirota and the London Taiko Drummers, Band of Burns, Seckou Keita Quartet, The Trials of Cato, Calan, Edwina Hayes, FOS Brothers, Sheelanagig, Kabantu, Pendevig, Benji Kirkpatrick & The Excess, The Carrivick Sisters, SherburnBartleySanders, Sheema Mukherjee, The Boxwood Chessmen, Sisters of Elva Hill folk ballet, The John Martyn Project, Will Pound’s A Day Will Come, The Jellyman’s Daughter, Truckstop Honeymoon and James Yorkston.

Planned appearances from international stars like Judy Collins and Galician piper Carlos Núñez have been rolled over to 2022 due to uncertainties surrounding international travel. More artists will be announced ahead of the festival that runs from August 27 to 30 at the West Mid Showground in Shrewsbury.

Director Sandra Surtees said the festival’s revised format would ensure the usual brand of festival fun that would meet any covid related guidelines if required.

“It has been very hard trying to plan the festival when we don’t know exactly what the situation will be in August but we’re confident that we have the best solution to bring the usual brand of festival magic back to Shrewsbury after our year off.

“Whilst the hope is that life will be back to normal after June 21, we have to book our extensive infrastructure and line up and plan our programme far in advance so being more of an open-air event was the safest way forward this year,” she explained.

Sandra added: “Although there may be some international travel allowed by August, we just don’t know so, as much as we will miss our international performers, we’ve still got a diverse line up from British based musicians.

“There have been tough decisions to make and we know that there will be differences this year but we hope festivalgoers appreciate why we’ve had to revise our format for 2021. We have done everything we possibly can to make the festival an environment where people can enjoy the unique magic of Shrewsbury safely.”

For more information about this year’s festival, go to shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk/about/guide-to-shrewsbury-2021/. Weekend and day tickets can be booked at shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk/booktickets/ with onsite camping and glamping available for weekend ticket holders.

Culture Recovery Fund grant

We are over the moon to have received another grant to fund us while we plan a fantastic return this return this August! Thanks to Arts Council England and the government’s Culture Recovery Fund, we can continue to be #HereForCulture with a grant of £45,265 to support our running costs.

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including Shrewsbury in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund announced today.

Festival Director Sandra Surtees said the funding was “incredibly welcome” as the festival had been through a long period with no income.

“This is the second grant we’ve received and having this financial support has enabled us to continue working to plan a fantastic return this summer. We want to make sure that we put on the usual high quality festival that we’ve built our reputation on whilst incorporating any covid-safe measures required.

“Having these grants has been key to securing a more sustainable future for the festival and we’re very grateful. Our ticket sales reflect the positivity people are feeling about getting back to events and we’re looking forward to putting on one hell of a celebration in August!”

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced.

“Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said: “Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work

“We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.

To find out more about our 2021 line up so far, click here Line Up 2021. To book tickets, click here.

Looking forward to August

We were so sad to hear that Cambridge Folk Festival won’t be taking place this year – our hearts go out to the team and all the festivalgoers who had been looking forward to a glorious return this summer, as are we.

As an independent festival, we are in a different position to the organisers of Cambridge. We are, of course, watching the progress of the Government roadmap out of lockdown very, very closely and working with Shropshire Council as part of this. 

We will adapt our festival plans for August accordingly over the coming weeks and months. This may mean things are a little different to what you’re used to but we’ll share more on that if and when we need to. If you have any questions in the meantime, please read our info & FAQs. You can read more on our line up so far here.

Judging by everyone who has rolled over their tickets or bought new ones this year, you’re all keeping the faith that we’ll be back in our favourite place over the August Bank Holiday as well. In the meantime, stay safe and we’ll see you in August!

Sandra & the festival team.

Bring on your favourite summer festival!

We hope you’re doing as well as can be expected in these testing times but our summer festival is an ever-increasing ray of light at the end of this dark period.

Nobody knows exactly what the situation will be by then. But we are heartened by the positive numbers of people being vaccinated.

So we’ve been busy making plans to ensure that if there are still covid related restrictions in place, you’ll be able to enjoy a fun filled summer festival following the relevant Government guidelines.

We really hope to follow our normal format but want to reassure you that we have a back-up plan in place if it’s needed. We’re still working on the finer details and will, of course, let you know should we need to implement any changes.

We have also revised our refund policy to reflect the different range of Covid-19 situations – please click on the link below to read the new policy on our Information and FAQ page.

In the meantime, our weekend tickets are selling at Tier 3 so best to book them now. Here’s a reminder of the line up so far (more to be announced):

2021 line-up

Here is the first major line-up announcement for Shrewsbury Folk Festival 2021. And we’re delighted to say we managed to secure the majority of our performers from the festival-that-never-was!

Who’s playing?

American folk legend, Judy Collins, globally acclaimed Galician piper Carlos Núñez, Lindisfarne, Show of Hands, Oysterband, The Lost Words: Spell Songs with Karine Polwart, Julie Fowlis, Seckou Keita, Kris Drever, Rachel Newton, Beth Porter, Jim Molyneux and illustrator Jackie Morris, Canadian folk rockers Blackie and the Rodeo Kings and The Young’uns are among the first names to be announced.

Also signed up so far are Stephen Fearing and The Sentimentals, the Seckou Keita Quartet, Moonlight Benjamin, Welsh super group Pendevig, sitar maestro Sheema Mukherjee (Imagined Village, Transglobal Underground), Zimbabwean group Black Umfolosi, American duo Truckstop Honeymoon, Colin Linden, Calan, The John Martyn Project – a musical tribute to the legendary singer songwriter and guitarist, The Trials of Cato, FOS Brothers, Kabantu, Will Pound’s A Day Will Come, Sisters of Elva Hill folk ballet, The Jellyman’s Daughter, The Boxwood Chessmen, Sherburn Bartley Sanders, Benji Kirkpatrick & The Excess, Sheelanagig, Tom Wilson, and Yorkston Thorne Khan.

Something for everyone

Festival Director Sandra Surtees said: “Being able to reveal such an exciting line-up for 2021 is a huge milestone for us in what has been a very challenging year. It’s giving us positivity for the future and something to look forward to. As ever, there’s something for everyone including household names like Judy Collins and Lindisfarne, alongside top folk and roots acts from the UK and some brilliant world musicians too.

“We’re making plans to deliver a covid-secure event where our festival family can enjoy the same fabulous Shrewsbury atmosphere and be safe. It’s too early to predict what, if any, changes may be necessary, but the size and flexibility of our site gives us lots of options.”

Booking & more info

Tickets can be booked at www.shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk/booktickets/. For more information and FAQs, click here.


Graphic announcing artists for Shrewsbury Folk Festival 2021


Festival lifeline grant from Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

Shrewsbury Folk Festival has been awarded £93,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced today.

The four-day annual event is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced today as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

The funding will help with the festival’s on-going running costs as it plans its 2021 event and will support the implementation of the relevant measures to ensure the safety of festivalgoers attending next year.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.

“These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”

Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said: “Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”

Festival Director Sandra Surtees said: “We are very excited and grateful to have received this grant. It will allow us to lay on the same fabulous festival that we always do with the necessary measures in place to ensure the wellbeing of our festival family.

“Being able to bring such an incredible variety of live music to Shrewsbury every year is a huge honour and we’re delighted that the contribution we make to local culture and the economy has been recognised with the award of this grant.”

Cryptic crossword challenge


Order your festival beer!

As anyone who has ever been to the festival knows, great real ale is a key component of our line up! So we’ve teamed up with our friends at the Salopian Brewery to bring you some of its finest beers delivered direct to your doorstep so you can recreate the festival atmosphere at home.

You can order a mixed case of 12 bottles featuring six of its top tipples including Shropshire Gold, Lemon Dream and Oracle and two Salopian Brewery pint glasses for £32 – £39.99 delivered. Collection from the brewery near Shrewsbury is free.

Click here to order this special offer just for Shrewsbury Folk Festival fans!