PAST present and future rubbed shoulders to great effect at this year’s Warwick Folk Festival.
Established names like Barbara Dickson and perennial favourites Oysterband showed there’s still plenty of juice in the tank, while Australia’s finest export the Spooky Men’s Chorale returned once more bringing a brilliantly polished slice of mayhem.
But while there was no shortage of entertainment from those relatively familiar on the festival circuit, it always seems to fall to those just starting out to provide the spark that makes events like this more than just a top gig in a large tent.
And this year did not disappoint. Fine sets from Rachel Croft, Jack Blackman and Goitse all showed – in vastly different ways – that the future is in safe, and very talented hands. Special mention must also go to Granny’s Attic who, collectively and individually, seemed to pop up everywhere.
The crowds came in their numbers despite the weekend’s spectacular and not even a few heavy downpours could dampen the festival spirit.
There were plenty of attractions beyond the big names. The festival programme offered smaller gigs, an abundance of workshops, chances to meet the artists and plenty to entertain those dragged along by their parents.
Lecture exploring the traditions of folk music also featured, giving those who prefer their entertainment at a sedentary pace the chance to use ears not feet. And for those of an opposite bent hardly an hour seemed to pass without a ceilidh starting up.
Stop for a moment to talk to those coming from far afield to enjoy this festival and they’ll all sing the praises of the programme, the facilities and the general atmosphere. In its hugely successful festival, Warwick still has a lot to be proud of.
Photos by Marcus Pendleton, BBC Coventry & Warwickshire