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!

Ely Runners Beginners course

About the course:
The 10-week course has been put together by coaches at England Athletics with the aim of introducing you to running in a safe and enjoyable way. We’ll start with some gentle walk/jog sessions, and hopefully by the end of the 10-weeks you’ll be able to run 5 kilometres (just over 3miles) – or perhaps even further!! Along the way we’ll give you advice on footwear and clothing and show you some stretches to help you stay injury free. The course lasts for 10-weeks and will start on Tuesday 17th July at 7pm. We’ll meet at the Paradise Centre in Ely – initially sessions will be held on the sports field behind the centre. We’ll then meet at the same time and place for the remaining 9-weeks. The course costs £10.

What do I need to wear?
You don’t need lots of kit to start running, but it’s important that you’re comfortable in what you’rewearing. It can be warm at this time of year – so either shorts or lightweight jogging bottoms would be ideal. During sessions you’re likely to get quite warm – so a short-sleeve T-shirt would be sensible with a lightweight long sleeve top for before/afterwards. Given the recent inclement weather it mayalso be worth obtaining a shower-proof jacket (about £10 from JJB or Sports Direct). You can buy perfectly good running clothing quite cheaply from big chains like JJB or Sports Direct (Cambridge Retail Park). If you want to spend a bit more, Advance Performance or the Sweatshop in Cambridge provide a very good service. You don’t need special trainers to get started as you won’t be running long distances just yet. A running shoe is best but cross-trainers like you would wear to the gym would also be fine to get you started.

Who leads the course?
The course will be led by qualified coaches from Ely Runners. They’re all experienced runners now, but they were beginners themselves once upon a time. All of our coaches will be happy to shareadvice and tales of their own running experiences (you can probably count on the latter)!!

What happens after the course?
At the end of the 10-week course we welcome you to join us at the free Cambridge Parkrun (5k) event at Milton Country Park in Cambridge (Saturday 22 nd September). This will provide you with an opportunity to see what a difference 10 weeks can make!! If you decide you’d like to continue running then you’ll also have the opportunity of joining Ely Runners at the discounted price of £35 (a £10 discount – i.e. the cost of your course). Visit Ely Runners website for further details.

What is Run England?
Run England is a part of England Athletics and was set up to try and encourage more people to try running in a completely non-competitive way. They aim to remove barriers to participation so that anyone can ‘give it a go’.

What is the Ely Runners Beginners group?
Run England have set up a network of running groups around the country that are just about running for fitness and enjoyment without any pressure to be fast or enter races. Ely Runners are setting upone of these groups.

If you decide to give the course a try, just complete the attached registration form and send with a cheque for £10 made payable to ‘Ely Runners’ to: Steve Tovey, Secretary Ely Runners, 19 Merivale Way, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4GQ

Winners of Ely Folk Festival 2012 Band Competition

Against strong competition from 14 other entries, bluegrass band The Woodberrys are worthy winners of this year’s Band Competition. Formed in 2011, The Woodberrys perform gorgeous three- and four-part harmonies singing mostly bluegrass and original material. They will open the 2012 festival by performing in the main festival marquee on Friday 13th July.

Fancy catching some of the other music acts who will be appearing at this year’s Ely Folk Festival? Get along to Jubilee Park in Ely for the Eel Day celebrations on Saturday 5th May. The festival is sponsoring lively local band Pagan Molly, acapella group Sound Tradition and acoustic folk band Two Coats Colder to perform during the afternoon. The festival is proud to support up-and-coming East Anglian folk acts and events like this provide a great showcase for local talent. Entry to the Eel Day event is free.

Festival ticket sales have been strong since the box office opened in February, so check out the website if you want to book a ticket. Remember that the early bird period for reduced price tickets finishes at the end of May.

More information about the festival and the acts appearing can be found at