From all of us at Bristol Folk Festival we'd like to say a great big thank you to everyone for your support, work, performance and investment on so many levels - this Festival is here to stay!
"A stellar line-up" ~ Max Reinhardt, BBC Radio 3
"Festival returns to a storming success" ~ Bristol Evening Post
"At last Bristol has a Folk Festival worthy of the name - it was wonderful to see the Colston Hall full of energy and life!" ~ Venue Magazine
"Proved itself a world-class event" ~ Taplas
Bristol Folk Festival is back with a bang!
Bristol's first Folk Festival in 32 years was back with a bang over the May Day holiday weekend as glitter and confetti cannon showered the Colston Hall stage at the end of supergroup Bellowhead's flourishing finale.
Voted a resounding success, the bustling three-day festival fielded some of the biggest names in folk as its headliners, drawing around 2,000 people - from all over the South West to as far afield as Scotland - to the new-look venue.
There were celebrations all round when the music extravaganza opened on Friday making a double date with Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding day and giving lots of Bank Holiday makers the chance to attend. Festival patron Seth Lakeman, a former Mercury nominee and the man credited with making folk “sexy”, headlined Friday night with the phenomenally popular West Country duo Show of Hands topping the bill on Saturday and 11-piece folk juggernaut Bellowhead on the Sunday – all prompting standing ovations.
More than 50 diverse music acts made up the bill on three levels of the venue while a multitude of "fringe" events included 200 Morris dancers performing outside the Colston Hall on May Day, following sunrise celebrations on the city's Brandon Hill. The old Colston Hall bar (now Hall 2) was renamed the Fred Wedlock stage for the duration of the festival in honour of the much-loved Bristol folk singer.
The long held dream of bringing the festival back to Bristol was realised - a complete leap of faith! All of us at Bristol Folk Festival would like to thank everyone for their support, work, performance and investment on so many levels. This festival is here to stay!
Seth Lakeman said afterwards: “There was an amazing array of talent on show and the atmosphere was brilliant –I’m sure the success of this first year means the event can only grow” whilst Steve Knightley, frontman of Show of Hands added “It was great to see the festival back in town and we certainly hope it will become an annual high spot on the South-West and UK festival calendars.”
Three presentations took place at the event – Show of Hands' multi-instrumental wizard Phil Beer received a 2011 Musician of the Year award from Spiral Earth website's Dave Kushar while Welsh band Jamie Smith's Mabon received the 2011 Spiral Award for Best Instrumental Album for their 'Live at the Grand Pavilion' record.
Bristol's nu-folk star Jim Moray (who also performed at the festival) presented the folk extravaganza that is Bellowhead with their award for winning the prestigious fRoots magazine Critics' Poll for 2010 Album of The Year - for their highly acclaimed record 'Hedonism'. Pictured here are Bellowhead's Jon Boden with the fRoots award and Jim Moray to his left, along with the rest of the Bellowhead troupe.