BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards

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BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards
Mark Radcliffe and Julie Fowlis host the 2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.jpg
Event hosts, Mark Radcliffe and Julie Fowlis
Awarded forOutstanding achievements in folk music
CountryUnited Kingdom
Presented byBBC Radio 2
First awarded2000; 18 years ago (2000)
Television/radio coverage
NetworkBBC (2000–present)

The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards celebrate outstanding achievement during the previous year within the field of folk music, with the aim of raising the profile of folk and acoustic music. The awards have been given annually since 2000 by British radio station BBC Radio 2. It takes place in April.

Award recipients have included Joan Baez, Cat Stevens, John Martyn, Steve Earle, The Dubliners, Martin Carthy, Billy Bragg, Shirley Collins, Kate Rusby, Cara Dillon, Eliza Carthy, Bellowhead, June Tabor, Aly Bain, Richard Thompson, Nancy Kerr, Seth Lakeman, Show of Hands, Lau, Tom Paxton, Don McLean, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Nic Jones, Bella Hardy, Rhiannon Giddens, Norma Waterson, The Chieftains, Joan Armatrading and James Taylor.


The event has been staged at The Brewery in London, The Lowry theatre in Salford, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and in 2014, 2016 and 2017, the Royal Albert Hall.[1] In 2015 the event was staged at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.[2] In 2018, the awards were held in Northern Ireland, with the event taking place at the Belfast Waterfront.[3]

The Folk Awards was hosted by Mike Harding between 2000 and 2012, and broadcast on BBC Radio 2. Mark Radcliffe and Scottish Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis took over presenting the ceremony in 2013. In 2004 the awards were shown on television for the first time, on BBC Four. The event usually streams live in audio and video on the BBC Radio 2 website, the BBC iPlayer and/or the BBC Red Button TV service.[4]

The Young Folk Awards were added to the event in 2011, having previously been awarded in a separate ceremony.[5][6]

In 2016, Rhiannon Giddens became the first American (and first non-British) winner of the 'Folk Singer of the Year' award.


The nominees in most categories are chosen by a panel of 150 representatives from the British folk world, including broadcasters, journalists, record producers, festival organisers, venue bookers, record company directors, agents and promoters. The panelists can vary slightly from year to year, with new panelists being invited (or self-applying) each year. The final panel is selected by the Folk Awards committee, which includes staff from the BBC, the production company 7digital Creative, and representatives from outside those organisations.[7]

The 'Best Original Track' and 'Best Traditional Track' categories are chosen by smaller specialist panels of judges, and the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award - presented as part of the Folk Awards - is decided by a standalone contest.[7]

The 'Best Album' category is decided by a public vote, hosted on the BBC website.[1]

Compilation album[edit]

A Folk Awards double-album,[8] featuring music by most of the nominees, is released annually by the event's producers in collaboration with BBC Radio 2 and the record label and distribution company, Proper Music. The album is distributed physically and digitally.[8]

Hall of Fame[edit]

In 2014, a posthumous award was introduced to celebrate the contribution of significant figures in folk music's past.[9]

Award winners[edit]


Venue: Belfast Waterfront[10]


Venue: Royal Albert Hall, London[11]


Venue: Royal Albert Hall, London[12]


Venue: Millennium Centre, Cardiff[13]


Venue: Royal Albert Hall, London[14]


Venue: Glasgow Royal Concert Hall[15]


Venue: The Lowry, Salford[16]


Venue: The Brewery, London[17][5]





Simon Nicol of Fairport Convention photographed at the 2007 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards









  1. ^ a b "2017, BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards - Folk Album of the Year - BBC Radio 2". BBC.
  2. ^ Irwin, Colin (23 April 2015). "Homegrown talent shines as Wales hosts BBC folk awards" – via The Guardian.
  3. ^ "Folk awards go to Belfast for first time". BBC News. 7 February 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  4. ^ "BBC - BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017 - Media Centre". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  5. ^ a b "BBC - Press Office - Radio 2 Folk Awards 2011 winners announced". Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  6. ^ BBC. "BBC - Radio 2 - Events - Young Folk Award 2010". Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  7. ^ a b "BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards - BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Rules".
  8. ^ a b "BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017". Proper Music Distribution. 2017-03-09. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  9. ^ "BBC - BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017 - Media Centre". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  10. ^ "BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2018 – Winners Revealed". 2018-04-04. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  11. ^ "BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017 Winners Announced". 2017-04-06. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  12. ^ "The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2016 winners are…". 2016-04-28. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  13. ^ "The Winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2015 Announced". 2015-04-23. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  14. ^ "BBC RADIO 2 FOLK AWARDS 2014". 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  15. ^ "BBC - BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2013 winners announced - Media Centre". Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  16. ^ "BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2012 Winners Announced". 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  17. ^ "BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2011 Winners | Folk Radio". Folk Radio UK - Folk Music Magazine. 2011-02-08. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  18. ^ "Folk honours its heroes". BBC News Online. 11 February 2002. Retrieved 5 October 2016.

External links[edit]