The 23rd Ely Folk Festival takes place over the weekend of Friday 11th July – Sunday 13th July.
This will be my 8th visit to the Festival and, Iâ€™m ashamed to say, it should be my 23rd. It wasnâ€™t until I was invited along to pen some words (from a non-folkie viewpoint) by Ely Online that I took off the blinkers and saw beyond the stereotype of beards, rainbow-coloured waistcoats and men waving hankies around. Of course, all that is on offer at the festival but thereâ€™s also a lot, lot more. The Ely festival features a wide variety of styles, all which fit into the broad church of folk.
This yearâ€™s line up is no exception with an impressive guest list and programme of workshops, concerts, displays, ceilidhs and childrenâ€™s entertainment. Iâ€™m looking forward to watching guitar maestro Gareth Pearson (a big hit at last years festival), The Mighty â€˜Show of Handsâ€™, local bands Lightening Jack and the Wide Glide Band, Last Nightâ€™s Fun, Boo Hewerdine, Spiers and Boden and the extremely noisy percussion band Saor Patrol.
The amply stocked beer-tent and food stalls will keep me fuelled for the weekend and Janâ€™s Blackboard Van will keep me occupied if I fancy drawing a picture on the side of a lorry. Music, beer, food and men waving hankies â€“ what more could you possibly want? See you there.