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Cambridge Folk Festival

Cambridge Folk Festival is one of the longest running folk festivals in the world. Held each year since 1965 it attracts around fourteen thousand people, many of whom return year after year.

  • 28th July 2022 - 31st July 2022

Returning to headline in 2022, international chart-topper Passenger, who progressed from his 2011 debut on emerging talent stage The Den to headlining Stage 1 in 2015 – when he also drew record crowds with an impromptu busking session!  His number one single Let Her Go scooped an Ivor Novello Award and a Brit Award nomination for single of the year.

Appearing for the first time since 2010, Seasick Steve, who became an overnight success in his sixties for his unique take on blues, roots and country music. Renowned for his personalised instruments and explosive, rocking live performances, his headline set is guaranteed to bring the house down.

Making a second appearance at the Festival, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, an American eight-piece soul band from Birmingham, Alabama, whose joyous sound is set to take Cambridge by storm!

Multi-award-winning Clannad who, in an exceptional 50-year career have taken Irish music and language to a worldwide audience, make a much-anticipated return to play the Festival’s first-ever Folk Legends slot during their farewell tour.

One of the finest and most prolific singer-songwriters of her generation, Suzanne Vega celebrates her catalogue of hits with her current live album, An Evening of New York Songs and Stories. Perfect timing then to take to the stage at Cherry Hinton Hall to perform ground-breaking songs such as Tom’s Diner, Luka, Marlene On The Wall, and many other gems from across her 35 year career.

Cambridge is excited to host the unmissable Spell Songs, a musical companion to The Lost Words and The Lost Spells books by Robert Macfarlane, which combines music, literature, language and art to reawaken our love of the wild. The Spell Songs ensemble features the renowned talents of Karine Polwart, Julie Fowlis, Seckou Keita, Kris Drever, Rachel Newton, Beth Porter and Jim Molyneux.

Also playing in 2022, highly rated, alt. folk band This Is The Kit, aka Kate Stables and her band (Rozi Plain, Jamie Whitby-Coles, Neil Smith), who count Guy Garvey amongst their fans.

Regarded as one of the leading forces in British folk, Show of Hands – the redoubtable Steve Knightley and Phil Beer – remain at the top of their game after more than two decades on the road.

One of the world’s foremost Gaelic singers and Scotland’s inaugural ‘Tosgaire na Gàidhlig’ (National Gaelic Ambassador), Julie Fowlis, whose crystalline vocals have enchanted audiences on her own solo albums, high profile collaborations and her film and TV work.

A very welcome return for Festival favourites Spiers And Boden, described by The Guardian as “the finest instrumental duo on the traditional scene”, who are back with a brand new album.

South America’s hugely popular Chico Trujillo, aka ‘The Latin Gogol Bordello’, purveyors of a barnstorming mixture of nueva cumbia chilena (New Chilean Rock) and hints of rock, punk and ska.

Triple BBC Folk Awards winners, The Young’uns – three huge hearted, brass lunged lads from the North of England singing folk songs for our times with heart and humour.

With flutes and whistles, guitar and bodhran, Flook spins traditionally rooted tunes into an enthralling mix of fiery technical brilliance, delicate ensemble playing and bold imagination.

Rising blues prodigy, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram from Clarksdale, Mississippi with a sound that encompasses B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix and Prince and whose current album 662 has been Grammy nominated.

The Mary Wallopers, a folk group from Dundalk breathing new life into both well-known and rare ballads. Their raw energy has been described as “the Clancy Brothers meet John Lydon”.

Formed in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales and celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, The Spooky Men’s Chorale are sure to be an instant hit with Georgian table songs, pin-drop beautiful ballads, highly inappropriate covers, and immaculate man anthems!

Bringing 100 years of American music, plus original compositions, Davina & The Vagabonds, whose shows are filled with New Orleans charm, Memphis soul swagger, Kurt Weill-esque sounds and tender gospel passages.

Manchester-based alt-folk duo The Breath, featuring guitarist Stuart McCallum and BBC Folk Award winner, singer Ríoghnach Connolly.

Essex-born folk songwriter well-known for his honest and self-depreciating writing, Beans on Toast; a cult hero for singing simple songs that tackle big issues.

Seven-piece Americana soul band from Venice, California, Dustbowl Revival, known for their free-flowing and joyous live shows, combining their funk rhythm and brass section with a fast-picking string band section.

Young, energetic, master musician from Guinea, N’famady Kouyaté, a talented multi-instrumentalist wowing audiences with modern interpretations of traditional West African Mandingue songs.

Rising star of the contemporary roots music scene, Katherine Priddy, whose 2021 album The Eternal Rocks Beneath topped the UK Folk Chart.

Hailing from the Welsh valleys, VRï re-interpret Wales’ rich and diverse musical repertoire into a joyous celebration of Welsh identity, sung in the Welsh language.

Tapestri, bilingual female-fronted band featuring Welsh singer-songwriters Lowri Evans and Sera Zyborska whose heartfelt songs take in Americana, Roots, Folk and Country.

South Wales based singer/songwriter, The Honest Poet, who performs a unique blend of hip hop, spoken word and soul with open and honest lyrics.

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Did you know?

The first game of football, as we know it, was played in Cambridge in 1848.