Billy Bragg announced as headliner for the 40th Warwick Folk Festival

Billy Bragg has been announced as the headliner for the 40th Warwick Folk Festival.

Thursday, 31st January 2019, 11:18 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 10:00 pm
Billy Bragg. Photo by Murdo McLeod lr

Billy Bragg will headline the popular festival which returns for its milestone 40th year from Thursday July 25 to Sunday July 28 at Warwick School and the surrounding town.

The festival will bring together other leading names from around the world including Skerryvore, Karan Casey, Calan, Will Pound & Eddy Jay, Breabach, O’Hooley & Tidow and Nancy Kerr for a four-day event.

Warwick Folk Festival covers a wide range of tastes and styles including blues, rock, country and funk.

Billy Bragg. Photo by Murdo McLeod lr

Visitors can enjoy a full programme of ceilidhs, concerts, singarounds, dance, intimate acoustic performances or full on gigs.

There will also be a beer tent, street food, craft stalls, a chance to learn a new skill, and a wine and cocktail bar. There will also be a full programme of activities for 12 to 18 year olds.

In the town centre there will be a vast array of colourful dance displays, pub music sessions and open air concerts.

Billy Bragg will perform on the Thursday in the main marquee. Billy has been a recording artist, tireless live performer and peerless political campaigner for more than 35 years. Honoured with the PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music award at the Ivor Novello awards in 2018, he is regarded as a valuable statesman.

The Warwick Folk Festival will be returning for its 40th year in July.

Billy will be supported by 'hypnotically original' new folk collective Bird in the Belly. Singers should seek out the Big Sing, and for the party animals, Spa Strummers return to their late night slot in the festival bar. Mick Ryan's Folk Opera 'Here at the Fair' will delight all with a strong cast of folk favourites.

On the Friday Ceilidhs get underway with Random and Urban Folk Theory, plus Skerryvore.

Festival patron Will Pound will bring his harmonica skills to duet with Eddy Jay's accordion. Trials of Cato return after wowing audiences last year.

On Saturday audiences can listen to the award-winning Scottish sounds from Breabach, celtic bluegrass with Bella, Polly and the Magpies, 'brave and beautiful' song from O'Hooley & Tidow, tender love tales and virtuosic guitar playing from Blair Dunlop, and ceilidh with Tautas Roks and the folk heavy metallers Glorystrokes.

Sunday will feature: Welsh Calan, Karan Casey, Kabantu, the Bar Steward Son's of Val Doonican and Keith Donnelly.

Dick Dixon, Festival Director said, "We are delighted to be celebrating our special 40th year and want everyone to come and enjoy that special Warwick Folk Festival magic. We have something for everyone, whether it’s great music, camping, workshops, singing, dancing, sessions and giggles galore at what is one of the friendliest and established folk festivals around.

"Billy is an exciting addition to a line-up that celebrates the full range of the eclectic folk world along with the rest of our superb award winning folk stars”.

To help celebrate their 40th year the organisers are asking people to send in photographs capturing memories of earlier festival moments such as engagements, births, chance meetings that have sparked musical and personal projects and generations growing up with the festival.

Images can be sent to: [email protected] or via Facebook by clicking here.

There are a few super early bird tickets available but are expected to sell out in the next few days.

Visitors to the festival can choose from Friday to Sunday tickets, Thursday to Sunday tickets or just visit for the day, and under 14s go free.

Tickets can be booked online. For more information click here.