Cambridge Folk Festival at Home 2020 begins tomorrow

The Cambridge Folk Festival has announced Cambridge Folk Festival at Home 2020, a unique event to mark the Festival weekend by inviting the public to create their own festival atmosphere at home (bonfire in the garden, copping off at 2 in the morning, throwing up in the bushes) and enjoy a range of special entertainment and activities. Cambridge was forced to cancel this summer’s Festival due to safety concerns in light of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, which has led to the widespread cancellation of live events across the world.

Running from tomorrow during the scheduled dates of the 2020 festival, Thursday 30th July to Sunday 2nd August, Cambridge Folk Festival at Home 2020 will include a mix of exclusive video content from artists, social media opportunities for audience interaction, and Cambridge-curated playlists which can be streamed online.

As part of the Festival’s celebrations, BBC Folk Singer of the Year Bella Hardy will lead the Cambridge Folk Festival’s Virtual Choir. A long-time performer at the Festival, Bella helped introduce The Hub in 2006 as a music making area for young people. Bella will lead a workshop the morning of Saturday 11 July teaching participants to sing the popular folk song, The Parting Glass in three-part harmony. If they wish, participants will then have a week to record themselves and submit videos, as many of which as possible will be assembled into a video collage to be shared during the Festival weekend.

A highlight of the weekend will be the Songlines Interview, featuring Songlines Magazine editor Jo Frost in conversation with Fatoumata Diawara, which will be available to watch on Facebook.

Further talks and workshops being run remotely over the course of the weekend will include a talk about environmentalism from folk singer Sam Lee, a storytelling workshop with professional storyteller Alex Ultradish, a movement workshop created by Debbie Norris, who choreographed the folk ballet The Sisters of Elva Hill which premiered at the 2019 Festival, and yoga sessions. Further talks and workshops will be announced in July.

‘The Folk Festival has been a highlight of Cambridge’s summer calendar every year since 1965,’ said Cllr Anna Smith, Executive Councillor for Communities at Cambridge City Council. ‘I know folkies from Cambridge and much further afield will be missing the chance to gather at Cherry Hinton Hall to make and hear amazing music. We want to do what we can to bring the festival into people’s homes, and I look forward to enjoying the programme.’

You can find out more about what’s on on the official Cambridge website here.


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Author: Mark Whitfield

Mark Whitfield has been the Editor of Americana UK for the last 19 years and still feels like this is his pretend job, mainly because it is.

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