Jethro Tull celebration announced for Shrewsbury Folk Festival

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Martin Barre

A celebration to mark 50 years of one of the UK’s most iconic bands tops the latest tranche of artists to be added to the line-up of Shrewsbury Folk Festival.

Jethro Tull’s legendary guitarist Martin Barre will bring his new show with former band members Dee Palmer and Clive Bunker to the event at the West Midland Showground, which runs from August 23 to 26.

Other new announcements include an exclusive UK festival performance from American activist and musician Rev. Seckou; Irish band Jiggy whose video Silent Place took the internet by storm clocking up more than 30m views; Cajun Country Revival which hails from Louisiana, USA, with special guest Vera van Heeringen; American alt-country blues musician Amythyst Kiah; blues and world music trio Michael Messer’s Mitra; and the return of Jim Moray’s Kingstone Press Folk Slam as the traditional finale on the festival’s Pengwern stage.

Already revealed are a host of top folk, roots and singer songwriters including Andy Fairweather Low and the Low Riders with the Hi Riders Soul Revue, Oysterband, Kate Rusby, Capercaillie, Martyn Joseph, Skerryvore, Daphne’s Flight, American trio Birds of Chicago, Gary Stewart’s Graceland, Phil Beer Band, Steve Knightley, Merry Hell, Edgelarks, Grace Petrie, Urban Folk Quartet and many more.

There will also be a special day of programming on the Pengwern Stage by duo Chris While and Julie Matthews to celebrate 25 years of their musical partnership. They have chosen Blair Dunlop, Burden of Paradise, singer songwriter Charlie Dore and former Fairground Attraction lead singer Eddi Reader and another act to be announced to perform on Sunday August 25, which will be topped off with a show by the While & Matthews Big Band.

Weekend tickets are already selling at its third tier price and only a handful of Saturday and Sunday day tickets remain. Friday and Monday tickets are also available.

Director Sandra Surtees said: “We are over the moon to be hosting Martin Barre’s special celebration of 50 years of Jethro Tull as it’s a band that spans generations and genres and will be the most incredible show.

“We always look to bring a diverse mix of music to the festival and we’ve developed a reputation in recent years for programming some of the most exciting Americana and world music alongside traditional folk. This year is no different with the new headliners we’ve just announced.

“With four main music stages, there’s always lots to choose from and our visitors love to discover music that’s new to them – that’s part of the joy of the festival.”

The festival also has a dedicated dance tent hosting ceilidhs, workshops and dance shows, children and youth festivals, workshops, craft fair, food village, real ale, cocktail and gin bars and on-site camping and glamping.

Fringe music events take place in town pubs with dance displays in the centre and a parade through the streets on the Saturday afternoon.

Published on 26 March 2019 by Ben Robinson

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