Folk by the Oak is Five!

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Folk By The Oak

Show of Hands, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Cara Dillon, Breabach, Chris Wood, Nancy Kerr & James Fagan, and Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo.

Folk by the Oak will be celebrating its fifth festival in 2012, and will once again be filling Hertfordshire’s beautiful Hatfield Park with equally beautiful folk and acoustic music. Sunday 22 July will certainly be a date for the diary, as the organisers announce another fabulous line-up:

Show of Hands, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Cara Dillon, Breabach, Chris Wood, Nancy Kerr & James Fagan, and Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo.

Last year’s crowds were craving more of Show of Hands, who performed in 2011 but who will be returning this year as the headliners with a full closing set. 2012 will be a milestone year for this iconic folk duo, as they celebrate a 20 year stand-out career.

Virtuosic phenomenon The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain have a busy year ahead, with tour dates as far flung as Europe and Australia, before returning to a leafy park in Hertfordshire for your listening pleasure. The Independent said that they are “worth travelling a thousand miles to see”, so catch them here before they are whisked away to another corner of the world with their all-singing, all-plucking obituary of musical history. 

Cara Dillon’s crystal clear vocals also make a welcome return (she performed at the very first Folk by the Oak) and Breabach will have the crowd out of their seats for the mid-afternoon set with their rich and dynamic live show which includes pipes, whistles, guitar, fiddle and double bass as well as energetic vocals.

The “warm, dark brown voice” (fRoots) of Chris Wood is another FBTO favourite, and after touring extensively with his critically acclaimed album Handmade Life, he’ll no doubt have this audience hypnotised once again.   

Well respected folk duo Nancy Kerr & James Fagan are currently celebrating fifteen years on the road. Renowned for a warm interaction with their live audience, this family-friendly setting should be a perfect platform for their stunning live show. 

Hailing from Bridgetown in Western Australia, relative newcomers Emily Barker & the Red Clay Halo will open the festival. ‘Nostalgia’, a track from Emily’s second album, is the theme tune to BBC1’s Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh, so even if the name is as yet unfamiliar, there will be many who will recognise this Bafta-winning song.

As well as a list of stellar folk performers there will be plenty for all the family to enjoy at the stalls and activities including a craft tent, workshops, children’s activities, storytelling, circus skills, real ale bar, music stalls, recycled gifts and delicious food. 

Local craftspeople will be on hand if you feel the wish to combine beautiful music with learning a new craft or maybe purchasing a trinket or two, and fun for the younger audience members includes archery and hands-on Celtic crafts with local group Celtic Harmony.

With a trend over the last few years for smaller, more convenient, more recession-friendly festivals like this growing in popularity, Folk by the Oak has gathered a strong following since it arrived back in 08, not least amongst the artists who have frequently claimed that it has the best backstage hospitality in the business! 

It has its own unique style with a relaxed and family friendly feel, where the organisers encourage you to bring your own food and drink along and make yourself at home. It’s a compact and leafy site with one main stage so you can pick a grassy spot, kick back and enjoy a whole day of top quality live music. 

Fifty pence from each ticket sold for Folk by the Oak is donated to Hatfield-based charity The Willow Foundation, who provide special days for seriously ill 16-40 year olds. Organisers are proud to announce that nearly £22,000 has been raised since the first event, both through ticket donations and on-the-day collections.

Published on 15 March 2012 by Ben Robinson

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