SEPTEMBER is almost here, which can mean only one thing in Bromyard - the arrival of dozens of the most outstanding local, national and international traditional folk musicians for the annual Folk Festival, a feast of more than 175 hours of traditional music, song and dance.
This year sees the welcome return of folk legends, Oysterband, who will be rocking back to the festival on Friday, September 12, after a 21 year absence spent folk song-smithing and world touring. "We make a kind of modern, folk-based British music, acoustic at heart but not always quiet," they say.
The festival is also proud to have We Banjo 3, from Galway in Ireland, who have exploded onto the traditional scene with fresh and award-winning Irish music, exciting, invigorating, virtuosic Irish and Americana banjo music and song. They'll be on stage on Saturday, September 13.
Folk star Vin Garbutt returns with his powerful heart-rending songs, and BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Best Duo 2013, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman will treat the audience to their eclectic repertoire.
There's plenty of opportunity to hit the dance floor, with some punchy bands including The Old Dance School, a forward-thinking septet delivering duelling fiddles, soaring brass crescendos, foot-stomping grooves and some of the most ambitious arrangements you’re ever likely to hear, and Blackbeard’s Tea Party.
Also on the line-up are Jo Moore and Cuthbert Noble, joint winners of last year's Future of Folk Award, which will take place once again this year, open to any singer up to the age of 25, on Sunday in Falcon Mews from 12 noon to 1.30pm. To enter, simply pick up an application form from the Information Office on the Festival site and submit it by 6pm on Saturday. The winner will receive a handsome trophy and be booked to appear at next year’s Bromyard and Warwick Folk Festivals.
Another popular feature of the festival, the Dancers’ Day of Dance, features a busy programme of dances and dance workshops on Saturday from 10am to 10pm at the Falcon Ballroom in Bromyard town centre - the perfect day for dancers who are serious about their folk dancing.
Elsewhere, the town comes alive with the torch-lit Morris procession and the pubs buzz with musicians. On the music festival site there is also a craft tent crammed with traditional hand-made products, a wide variety of freshly cooked cuisine options and a great selection of real ales and ciders.
With over 175 hours of live entertainment, the festival offers an extensive variety of concerts, ceilidhs, workshops and displays to choose from.
For details of the complete line-up and further festival information, visit the website at bromyardfolkfestival.co.uk. To book, call The Courtyard box office on 01432 340555.