The stage is set for the first Malmesbury Folk & Roots Festival and tickets are on sale! And what’s more, fans from across the region look set to arrive in the Wiltshire market town to see some of the genre’s best-loved acts.

Malmesbury Folk & Roots Festival - Fly Yeti Fly
Malmesbury Folk & Roots Festival – Fly Yeti Fly

Location, location, location

The Malmesbury Folk & Roots Festival is being staged on Saturday September 23 in Malmesbury Abbey Cloister Gardens. It’s timing ties in with the inaugural European Folk Day.

Supported by Malmesbury Town Council, it’s on course to becoming an annual highlight of the folk music calendar. Organisers are hoping for a capacity crowd of 450 plus.

‘I’m so excited Malmesbury is celebrating the inaugural European Folk Music Day with our first ever one day Folk & Roots festival of traditional music and dance,’ said Malmesbury Mayor, Cllr Gavin Grant.

It promises to be a terrific event with its beautiful cloister gardens setting. There’s a great line up of musicians, local talent showcase, food stalls and bar, and raising funds for my Mayoral good causes. I hope it will become an annual fixture in Malmesbury’s events calendar.’

Behind the scenes

Town resident Catherine Burke is organising the event. Catherine is a folk music lover who runs the annual, world-renowned Purbeck Valley Folk Festival.

Catherine has booked some big names for the stage, including Martha Tilson, Old Baby Mackerel and Wiltshire band Fly Yeti Fly. Headlining is 3 Daft Monkeys. She said the festival would offer something for everyone to enjoy.

‘People sometimes have an idea of what folk music is, but it’s much broader. Ed Sheeran is a man with a guitar, storytelling, and to me that’s folk music. We’ve called the festival ‘folk and roots’, to show we have a wide variety.

  • Opa Rosa is an upbeat Balkan band
  • Old Baby Mackerel are bluegrass – so think Dukes of Hazzard.
  • And Martha Tilson plays very laid back, chilled music.

Everyone will enjoy it.’

As part of the festival, Morris dancers will perform at different places around the town. And local cafes, shops and restaurants are getting ready for a busy day. Burton Hill campsite is offering a discount to festival-goers.

Musician Stephen Kearney, director of MusicLan Studios and European Folk Network member, is also getting involved.

‘There was never a better time to celebrate the incredible musical diversity and cultures of Europe,’ he said. ‘The traditional arts are an essential element of European cultural identity and diversity. They are a source of wealth in every sense of the word. There are millions of us who work, create and are active participants in this fundamental element of our culture. I’m delighted that the Mayor of Malmesbury has embraced that and mobilised the town’s people so effectively.’

Tickets etc

Malmesbury Folk & Roots runs from 1.30pm to 10.30pm.

Get your tickets from: – they cost £25. Under 12s go free but they must have an adult with them.

You can also get tickets from Malmesbury Tourist Information Centre and high street shop Renew.

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