Despite The Weather Ely Folk Festival Set For Another Sell-Out

With only a handful of Sunday tickets now available, the committee and volunteer stewards are beavering away on the festival site getting everything ready for the festival opening tomorrow. Rain, rain and more rain has not dampened the enthusiasm of all involved in the festival to ensure another great Ely folk festival experience.

Given the extent of rain that has fallen in this last week, and with more due to come, the festival committee is putting measures in place to manage the situation appropriately and to try and keep things as smoooth as possible for those arriving with tents and caravans tomorrow afternoon, and minimise damage to the surface of the various sports pitches we use during the festival. Stewards will be briefed this evening so that they’re prepared to give best guidance and assistance to festival-goers tomorrow.

Advice on getting to the festival

If coming by car, the festival site will not open until 13.00. Please don’t arrive early as you will likely be turned away while site preparations are completed.

If arriving by train, the festival shuttle bus will be doing a loop between the festival site, Market Street in Ely, and Ely rail station every 15-20 minutes from 14.00 to 00.30.

The festival shuttle bus will run approx every 15 minutes between the festival site and Market Street in Ely as follows over the weekend:
Friday : 14.00 – 00.30
Saturday : 09.30 – 00.30
Sunday : 10.00 – 23.00 (will drop off at station on request)

Festival concerts, workshops & ceilidhs

All marquees are now erected on the site, and are waterproof! As some of the marquees are larger this year, there should be plenty of space to shelter from the weather and take in some great music. In particular, marquee 3 is much larger and is located next to the beer tent – a configuration which seems to work well and will has us put on more workshops, mini-concerts and late night sessions.

The festival programme which wil be on sale on site sets out all the timings of the various concets, ceilidhs and workshops. Details of concert start and finish times are now available on the website. Details of workshops, meets and sessions are below.

Meet Steamchicken – 19.30-20.20
Singaround with Mary and Anahata – 20.30-22.30

Tai Chi – 09.30-10.30
Singing workshop with Lady Maisery – 11.30–12.20
Meet The Willows – 12.30-13.20
Guitar workshop with Ewan McLenan – 13.30-14.20
Singaround with Andy Wall – 14.30-15.50
Meet Nancy Kerr and James Fagan – 19.15-19.50
Shanty session with Sound Tradition – 20.00-21.00
Saturday Night Blowout Session with Pete Cunningham – 21.00-23.30

Tai Chi – 09.30-10.30
Harmony workshop with the Woodberrys – 12.00-12.50
Meet Mrs Ackroyd Band – 13.00-13.50
Jews Harp workshop with Pilgrim’s Way – 14.00-14.50
Rhythm workshop with TwoManTing – 15.00-15.50
Songwriting workshop with Anthony John Clarke – 16.00-16.50

Dance like a Witchman?

The now traditional morris dancing procession through Ely will start off from the cathedral area at 11.00 on Saturday morning. Morris teams will perform at various spots in the city centre, Jubilee Park & on the festival site on Saturday and Sunday afternoons (weather permtting). The sides will be collecting contributions for the Ely Aquarius Gateway Club who the festival is supporting this year – this is a local charity that works with adults with learning difficulties.

A molly dancing workshop with Pig Dyke will take place at 10.30 on Sunday morning, and a border morris workshop with Witchmen at 13.00 on Sunday afternoon – both in marquee 2.

And finally…

This is the last newsletter before the 2012 festival. We’re keen to get feedback from festival-goers on what has worked well and what hasn’t worked so well at this year’s festival, and suggestions on how we could improve the visitor experience. You can provide feedback via the feedback forms available on the festival site or by emailing us at We’d love to hear from you.

If you’re coming to Ely Folk Festival 2012, have a great time, may the sun shine on you at least some of the weekend, and don’t forget to pack your wellies!