Beverley Folk Festival
|Beverley Folk Festival|
|Frequency||Annually (second weekend of June)|
|Years active||38 years|
The Beverley Folk Festival was a three-day celebration of music, workshops, comedy and spoken word, held at Beverley Racecourse in Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, England. As of 2018, it has been replaced by an enlarged and reformed Beverley Fringe Festival.
Established in 1983, the festival was originally organised by the White Horse Folk Club. Over the years it grew steadily in size and became based at Beverley Leisure Centre, with the venue hosting the main stage, with further music and craft tents on the adjacent site along with the campsite. Nearby pubs in the town including the Sun Inn and Tiger Inn also hosted live music, and the town centre various fringe events. Songwriter and radio broadcaster Mike Harding, and playwright and dramatist John Godber are among the festival patrons.
Past line-ups have ranged from folk legends such as The Watersons, Steeleye Span, Oysterband, Ralph McTell, Lindisfarne, and the Peatbog Faeries, to Billy Bragg, Barbara Dickson and The Proclaimers. Contemporary performers have included Levellers, Chumbawamba, Seth Lakeman, Bellowhead, Eliza Carthy and Blackbeard's Tea Party. Outside the realms of mainstream folk music, headliners have ranged from Joe Brown to Paul Carrack.
The festival was run on a not-for-profit basis and managed by a board of volunteer directors with volunteers involved across all areas of the festival.
In 2013, the festival moved to Beverley Racecourse and expanded during the next five years. The Racecourse site included: The Festival Village (food and craft stalls and open-air performances), Main Stage Marquee (The Big Top) (large marquee hosting festival headliners, with a capacity of over 1000), Concert Marquee (The Little Top) (smaller marquee showcasing new and old artists), The Atom (venue hosting the Late Night and Moonbeams Sessions, beer tent and improvised music), The Racecourse Rooms (main Grandstand function rooms/bars hosting talks, open music sessions, The Westwood Sessions and comedy, drama and talks), and Children’s Marquee (running arts, crafts and music for children). Alongside the Racecourse site continued the Fringe Festival, in and around Beverley Market Place and pubs.
In April 2018, it was suddenly announced that the years festival would be cancelled, citing the loss of its primary source of funding as the reason for its cancellation. The company was placed into immediate voluntary liquidation.
Fringe festival (2018-)
Within hours of the news emerging of the cancellation of the 2018 festival, organisers involved in Fringe Festival events announced their intention to host an enlarged fringe to fill the void.
Reflecting very much the festival origins and roots, a reformed and expanded Fringe Festival ran over the planned three days with performances at venues including The Tiger, Sun Inn and Monks Walk public houses, Memorial Hall, East Riding Theatre, a well in and around the town centre.
- "Beverley Folk Festival, various venues". The Independent. 8 June 2012.
- "Mike Harding and John Godber Encourage Music Lovers to support Beverley Folk Festival". Just Beverley. 30 May 2017.
- "Music festival moves to the Racecourse". Beverley Racecourse. 25 February 2013.
- "Long-running Beverley Folk Festival cancelled". BBC News. 23 April 2018.
- "Beverley Fringe Expands to fill Folk-Festival hole". Just Beverley. 30 May 2018.