Bob Fox Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar Isla St Clair Jeff Warner Jez Lowe Keith Donnelly Moirai Mrs Bruces Boys (Fraser & Ian Bruce) RPR (Ritchie, Parrish, Ritchie) The Teacups Andy Fawthrop Barry Goodman Buckingham-Phillips, Cox-Smith and Chant Carolyn Robson Crossing the Rockies Dave Field Flash Jack Flossie Malavialle Hector Gilchrist Kitty Vernon & Derek Burgess LightGarden Marilla Homes Mike Danver Scott Moira Craig Nick Dow Peter & Barbara Snape Rosie Upton Si Barron The Cleverley Brothers The Yirdbards Tom & Barbara Brown Tony O'Neill Ursula Holden-Gill ...
This is our 45th Chippenham Folk Festival and we still maintain it's original core objective "... to be primarily a participatory festival promoting and presenting some of the best in English Folk Song, Music and Dance ..." It does this by presenting over 200 individual events and workshops, all in one weekend on the Spring Bank Holiday.
Chippenham Folk Festival is a unique and distinctive event of national importance. It features the very best in English traditional music and dance with an emphasis on participation and education. Run entirely by volunteers, it has minimal and very local sponsorship; it is fiercely independent and entirely in control of its artistic programme. Ticket prices are kept as low as possible and the festival runs over four days. It is designed to be non-profit.
It is a '200+ events, make up your own festival in a variety of venues in a small, welcoming, market town' festival. Just like English traditional music and dance it is modest, unassuming, inclusive, fun and ultimately rewarding.
The festival started in Lacock, a nearby picturesque village in 1972. It was soon clear that the Festival had outgrown the village and it gravitated to the nearest picturesque town. The festival has continued to evolve while holding true to the original principles. The people involved in it have changed, new areas become dynamic, some venues disappear and new venues become available; putting on the festival is always challenging but at its core, the people who are involved in the festival are passionate about it.
Chippenham is a small Georgian market town, sometime referred to as "Little Bath" surrounded by rich Wiltshire countryside. It has developed over many centuries from a crossing point of the River Avon and following the building of the canal, the railway and the M4 Motorway. Despite modern development it retains its historic character.
Chippenham is extraordinarily blessed to have the countryside coming all the way into the town alongside the river. The festival is privileged to be able to make use of this green space right in the middle of the town at the historic crossing place of the River Avon for four days each year. This Island Park is the hub of the folk festival and one of its major attractions; for many people it is the vital green space within this beautiful market town which can be enjoyed as part of the festival ambience.
Bob Fox can be counted among Britain's folk elite. In 1975, after spending 5 years as a floor singer around the many folk clubs in the North East of England he started his career as a professional folk singer/musician.
He continues to be one of the most popular performers on the world folk stage and after nearly four decades remains at the very top of his game. In that time he has performed all over the world and has built up a vast repertoire of traditional and contemporary material which he delivers on stage with ease and mastery.
His wonderful velvety voice is one of the best and is effortlessly combined with stunning guitar technique. An artist of great integrity and ability - he is not to be missed under any circumstances.
Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar
Two time BBC Folk Award winners Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar met in 2011. Soon after the joining of the pair, the duo were signed to Fellside Records and in July 2012 released their debut album, The Queen's Lover. Numerous tours followed as the duo developed and honed their stage craft, becoming one of the most sought after young acts on the English Folk Scene. "The press coverage and folk club reports have been glowing and rightly so" (R2 Magazine).
In January 2013, the pair picked up the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk award. Following the award win, Russell and Algar toured the country in April and, after completing school and University Exams in May, began touring again at the beginning of June - a schedule which saw them play venues and festivals such as Cambridge Folk Festival and Fairport's Cropredy Convention as well as appearing live on Mark Radcliffe's BBC Radio 2 Folk Show.
After recording their second album in the November of 2013, again with Fellside, Russell and Algar received the Horizon Award for Best breakthrough act at the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. The second album, The Call, was then released in July receiving 5 Stars in fRoots, 4 Stars in both R2 Magazine and The Telegraph and a host of other brilliant reviews, Bright Young Folk describing it as an "outstanding show of maturity" with "enormous promise".
The duo come from musical households and both began to develop their musical skills long before joining forces. Algar, originally a member of TRI became All Ireland Champion, and All Britain Champion on numerous occasions before the age of 16 and Russell had begun a career as a solo musician supporting acts such as Karine Polwart and Lau, amongst others.
Jez Lowe has built an enviable reputation as a songwriter and performer in the world of acoustic music and as a recognised musical ambassador for his native North East England, with more than a dozen albums and countless live performances around the world over the last twenty years.
A great many of his compositions address the decline of the coal-mining industry and the economic distress and the social repercussions that the North Country is still suffering as a result. Anybody who is anybody has recorded their own versions of his songs; his best known works have generated scores of cover versions around the globe, and are now classics of their kind. He has performed at some of the most prestigious venues in the world, both solo and with the Bad Pennies. Jez Lowe is one of the best, busiest and most in-demand performers on the current acoustic music scene. In addition to singing his songs, he accompanies himself on guitar, harmonica, cittern, and piano.
Stand-up comic, fall-down comedian, surreal snigger-songwriter, guitar-hero, performance-artist, [tall] story-teller, philophoser, scriptwriter, [none can] compere, man-of-mystery, inner-childminder, actor, stuntman, metaphysical-poet, human ping-pong ball, life and soul of the [kids] party, world-class athlete, leading socialite, raconteur, business tycoon, wit, author, half-wit, secret[sh!]-agent, [vauxhall] astral-traveller, shamen, geordie-cultural-attache, word-juggler, snake-charmer, underline-dancer, unexpected clairvoyant, dream-weaver, daydream believer, psycho-linguist, shark-wrangler, smile sculptor, [compulsive] lying-tamer, Great-British eccentric, [alleged] international-jewel-thief, hot-dog-skier, alien-abductee, zen grand-master, champion tiddly-winker, sandancer, friend to the pantomime horse, erstwhile slice of bacon, and all-round good egg.
Need we say more?
Ok then we will!
To say kids love Keith is like saying they love chocolate, it just goes without saying! Keith's original songs and stories will have kids of all ages (and any grown-ups in the area!) in stitches. You really haven't seen children's entertainment until you've seen Keith entertaining children!
Photo Credits: (1) Chippenham Folk Festival, (2) Bob Fox, (3) Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar, (4) Keith Donnelly, (5) Jez Lowe (unknown/website).