We are honoured to have John Jones (Oysterband) and Steve Knightley (Show of Hands) as our festival patrons.
Read their thoughts:
It’s that time of year when we start looking forward to festival season and the big one, Shrewsbury, where I am both performer and patron this year.
Hitting the Bellstone stage as headliners on the opening Friday night of the festival will be one of Oysterband’s summer highlights and, for me, the perfect start to a great weekend of music, dancing and socialising.
I think I’ve played most of the stages in some form or other and each one brings a different experience for performers and audience alike, but it’s those pathways in between – the hidden outdoor session you come across, the unexpected meeting with friends, the chance encounter with music you’ve never heard before – that make Shrewsbury special.
Meet You There, JJ.
It’s late May and Phil and I are in Cornwall nearing the end of our Spring duo tour. In the Autumn, Show of Hands will become a four-piece with the return of Miranda and the addition of Cormac Byrne but, for now, as spring gives way to early summer our thoughts turn towards the upcoming festival season.
On most weekends from now until mid-September there will be an event of some sort that features acoustic and folk/roots music. England seems unique in the scope and variety of occasions on offer – from the huge Shrewsbury marquees to the small country fair folk festivals such as Priddy – where we once more get the chance to meet up with our friends, rivals, colleagues and collaborators to drink, play, sing, enjoy sessions and generally shoot the breeze.
Shrewsbury is unique in the behind the scenes facilities it lays on to enable this social side of the scene to flourish! In the early days Alan asked for feedback regarding ways to improve the artist’s experience of the festival and nowadays the social and communal feel of the backstage areas adds to the quality of the performances on offer.
The other unique aspect of the festival is the outstanding video production of Charles and Heather and the Micro Video team. The big screen and worldwide streaming presentation have all contributed to making Shrewsbury the country’s foremost folk festival and to be presented, at no cost, with a beautifully produced record of your show is generous in the extreme!
I shall be playing a solo this set this year and Phil will be here with his band and, without doubt, the cocktail and real ale bars will be doing their best to help you soak up that festival feeling!
See you there! Steve.