Beverley Folk Festival

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The Beverley Folk Festival is a three-day celebration of music, workshops, comedy and spoken word that is held at the racecourse in Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, England.

Established in 1983, the festival was originally organised by the White Horse Folk Club. Over the years it grew to occupy the largest venue in the area and has developed into one of England’s most popular festivals of its kind.

There is onsite camping available with amenities and free car parking for the weekend on Beverley Westwood opposite the site. The Westwood is a picturesque area on the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds with paths leading down to Beverley Town Centre. A festival shuttle bus is operated by local bus and coach company Acklams which serves the bus and railway stations and the main shopping areas.

Whilst British Folk Music, both traditional and new, remains at the heart of the festival, it also features many genres of music from Americana, world music, classic rock, punk, a variety of acoustic performances and much more. In recent years it has expanded to encompass comedy, film, poetry, drama, literature and storytelling.


Newcastle Kingsmen at the 1997 festival

Past line-ups have ranged from folk legends such as The Watersons, Steeleye Span, Oysterband, and Ralph McTell to Billy Bragg, Barbara Dickson and The Proclaimers. Newer performers have included Seth Lakeman, Bellowhead, Eliza Carthy and Blackbeard's Tea Party. Outside the realms of mainstream folk music, headliners have ranged from Joe Brownn to Paul Carrack.

The festival gives young and up-and-coming performers, along with a wide variety of local music groups, the opportunity to perform to a festival audience. Young musicians can join and play as part of The Westwood Sessions and those who continue as musicians have the opportunity to move to "Area 2" where they can earn the chance to play at other festivals around the country.


The Festival Village: Here there are the widest variety of open-air musical performances, a range of quality food providers, information and craft stalls and much more.

Main Stage Marquee (The Big Top: This marquee hosts not only the festival’s main headliners, but also stages a variety of performers throughout the weekend. It has a capacity of well over 1000 and is regularly filled on all three nights of the festival.

Concert Marquee (The Little Top: Showcasing some of the freshest young talent, old favourites and a truly eclectic mix to suit all tastes. It is also home to some of the “Community” Concerts.

The Atom: Always a very popular venue which includes the Late Night and Moonbeams Sessions, improvised jamming, quality local real ale and a truly intimate and inviting atmosphere.

The Attractions Room: The main functions and conference room in the Grandstand is host to a mix of events, from talks and history presentations to rock music and music films and more “Community” Concerts.

The Racecourse Rooms: Each room or bar at the racecourse takes on an identity of its own, ranging from open music sessions, sessions by local and not-so-local folk clubs, The Westwood Sessions, comedy, drama, literature and more.

Children’s Marquee: Running a range of activities, including arts, crafts, music and storytelling, this venue ensures the festival is a family friendly event.

Festival Fringe: Several of the pubs in Beverley Town Centre schedule their own entertainment throughout the weekend to complement the official festival and dance troupes make their way to the Market Place and shopping areas to perform throughout the weekend.


The festival is run on a not-for-profit basis and is managed by a board of volunteer directors. Other volunteers are also key to the festival, with dozens of people taking part as stewards, on the reception desk, directing parking, selling merchandise and as part of the recycling (Green) team, etc. Infrastructure is managed by Cornucopia Events with whom the festival has a very close and mutually helpful relationship.


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Coordinates: 53°50′41″N 0°27′24″W / 53.84472°N 0.45667°W / 53.84472; -0.45667