Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting OXFORD NEWS to 80360 or email us
Folk fans tune up for a big weekend
UNUSUAL venues in Oxford will be filled with fiddlers, song and dance as more than 1,000 music fans gather for the city’s second annual folk weekend.
Folk Weekend Oxford will see performances in former prison cells at Oxford Castle, at Wesley Memorial Church Hall in New Inn Hall Street and in the Newman Rooms off St Aldate’s.
Organiser Cat Kelly said this year’s event, which runs from Friday, April 19, to Sunday, April 21, would be bigger and better than last year.
She launched the celebration of folk music last year after the Oxford Folk Festival failed to go ahead in 2011.
The 32-year-old fiddle player from Eynsham performs in a trio called Triptych, and also conducts a choir from Risinghurst called Rising Voices.
A part-time researcher at Oxford Brookes University, she lives with partner Ewan McGill, 32, and daughter Faye, five.
She said: “Support for the folk weekend is definitely growing.
“The Oxford Folk Festival started in 2002 and was very well established, but it was cancelled at the last minute in 2011 and local folkies said we should do something. There were a few impromptu events in 2011 and then we decided to hold a proper folk weekend last year.
“This year we have got a committee of about 10 organisers and 30 to 40 volunteers and there will be lots of performances for the whole family.”
Performers include local acts Magpie Lane, Ian Giles and Dave Townsend, Boldwood, Jon Fletcher, Jenkinson’s Folly, and Oxford’s glam-folk performer James Bell.
Ms Kelly added: “We will also be hosting some top artists from the national folk scene.
“Our patron Jackie Oates, who has won two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, will bring her new show, as well as dancing with Summertown Morris.
“We will also welcome the stunning Melrose Quartet, BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award finalists Tyde, and Turkish-Cypriot singer Dogan Mehmet.”
Musicians Dave Malkin and Charlie Pell, who form the folk duo Tandem, will perform a concert on the Mound on Saturday, April 20, at 1.30pm.
Three concerts in former prison cells at Oxford Castle are due to take place on Sunday, April 21, with other performances being held on the mound outside.
And Gloucester Green will be the venue for the Oxford Village Fete, which will be packed with morris dancers and arts and crafts stands, as part of the folk weekend.
Oxford Folk Festival spokesman Tim Healey said: “The Oxford Folk Festival will no longer take place and Folk Weekend Oxford is its replacement.”