This year we’re teaming up with What’s On to bring you some of the best up and coming young performers at The Launchpad on The Village Stage.

We’re looking for bands, duos or singer songwriters aged 16 to 26 who live in Shropshire, Mid Wales or the West Midlands to pitch for one of the three places available on The Launchpad. Each of the successful candidates will perform two 30-minute sets over the weekend.

Artistic director Sandra Surtees: “Every year we are astounded at the wealth of talent that we uncover for The Launchpad. One of our first ever Launchpad performers was The Trials of Cato, which won Best Album at the BBC Folk Awards in 2019 and came back to play our main stage last year.

“For many young musicians, appearing on The Launchpad will be the first time they’ve had the opportunity to take part in a major festival like ours. It’s good experience and the chance to reach a new audience. We’re inviting applications from bands, duos or solo artists in the folk, roots or acoustic genre who’d like this opportunity.”

Davina Evans, Managing Director of What’s On: “Shrewsbury Folk Festival is one of the top events of its kind and the opportunity to play there is a great step for young musicians looking to make a name for themselves and get some festival experience. At What’s On, we know there is a wealth of talent out there from across the region and we’re delighted to be supporting The Launchpad again.”


  • Performers must be aged between 16 and 26 on August 26th (parental permission required for 16-17-year-olds)
  • Resident in Shropshire, Mid Wales or the West Midlands
  • Available to attend the festival between Friday August 26th to 29th
  • Perform 2 x 30-min sets on either Friday August 26th, Saturday August 27th or Sunday August 28th (dates will be confirmed).

How to apply

Send a short biography (including location and ages), links to performances (Soundcloud, YouTube etc), website or social media and your contact details to before May 27. Only the selected performers will be contacted.

Launchpad performers will receive a free artist and guest ticket, on-site camping and access to backstage hospitality.