An Irish folk legend, an American two-time Grammy award nominee and a chart-topping UK band are among the first wave of artists announced for this year’s Shrewsbury Folk Festival.

Mary Black, American blues singer songwriter Eric Bibb and Ward Thomas lead the charge for our initial line-up reveal.

Other acts are sensational Scots Mànran who’ll be making their Shrewsbury debut, Quebecois band Le Vent du Nord, Dream in Colors – a new festival band from Show of Hands Steve Knightley, Johnny Kalsi (Afro Celt Sound System, The Dhol Foundation), Eliza Marshall (Ranagri), and Bennett Cerven (The Trouble Notes), The Longest Johns, Spanish band El Pony Pisador, Suntou Susso Band, Ranagri, Joshua Burnell Band, Nati Dreddd, The Hunch, Rosie Hood Band, Cajun band Joli Blon, The 309s, The Lost Notes and duos James Delarre & Saul Rose, Winter Wilson, Harbottle & Jonas and Patakas.

Exclusively to Shrewsbury, Danish band The Sentimentals will celebrate 20 years of playing together with two special shows that will include guest appearances from some of their musical friends and heroes.

The first names for our dance line-up have also been released with acclaimed folk pairing Spiers & Boden topping the bill for a rare ceilidh performance. Also confirmed for ceilidhs and social dance to date are Banter, Cri du Canard, Crowdy Kit, The Dancing Mister, EFDSS Ceilidh Band, James Delarre, Saul Rose & Dave Delarre, Monster Ceilidh Band, Tom Moore & Archie Churchill-Moss, Steamchicken and The Oakstone Trio. Entertainer Dan the Hat will also make his first visit to Shrewsbury to entertain festivalgoers with scheduled and impromptu shows across the weekend.

Director Sandra Surtees said: “Shrewsbury has a long-established reputation for its eclectic line-up allowing people to sample the best of British folk along with Americana, blues and world music along with one of most friendly and welcoming atmospheres on the festival circuit.

“Our festivalgoers love knowing that they will see their favourite bands but also discovering music that is new to them. The 2024 line-up so far always reflects that and we’re delighted with how the it is shaping up with many, many more exciting UK and international acts to be revealed.”

She added: “As if the music on four stages wasn’t enough, there will be packed programmes for children and young people including music, dance, crafts and more as well as more than 100 workshops for adults from yoga to crafting, instrument tuition, songwriting, dance, singarounds and music sessions.

“Couple that with brilliant food and five real ale, wine and cocktail bars, a craft fair and on-site camping and glamping, all set on a location close to the town, it’s a perfect festival experience for experienced and first-time festivalgoers.”