Cheltenham: Festival Full Of Fabulous Folk

The 10th Cheltenham Folk Festival bursts onto the scene from 9th-12th February 2006. 2006 not only heralds ther tenth year as the UK’s premier mid-winter Folk Festival but also an exciting new chapter in the Festival’s history with Eliza Carthy as Festival patron.

After performing at the 2005 Festival, Eliza now makes a welcome return, joining not only as patron but also as one quarter of the phenomenal Waterson:Carthy. Having performed for more than 30 years Waterson:Carthy are one of Britain’s most successful and influential folk groups - making this year’s Cheltenham Folk Festival, an extra special occasion.

Winners of the 2004 BBC3 World Music Award, the Warsaw Village Band joins the Festival to kick-start the exciting programme. With their new-age-hard-core folk sounds this group of Polish players looks set to deluge Cheltenham in an ‘avalanche of rhythm’, on Thursday 9th February.

The weekend offers opportunities to enjoy special rare appearances by Roy Bailey, John Kirkpatrick and Martin Simpson in ‘Sit Down & Sing’ at the Everyman Theatre plus Martin Carthy and Martin Simpson in Martins² in a Showcase concert on Saturday afternoon. Newcomers The Devil’s Interval perform a group repertoire which is a varied mix ranging from English tradition to influences from Tom Waits to Phoebe Smith and Dolly Parton. The Festival Finale on Sunday evening opens with the one and only ‘one man folk industry’ Pete Coe. Next up, and making their Cheltenham debut all the way from Winnipeg in Canada are The Wailin’ Jennys, who create masterful three-part vocal harmonies. With the stage well and truly warmed-up, the winners of the 2005 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Best Live Act, BELLOWhead close the Festival with strings, pipes, eclectic percussion and a funky brass section, making the dynamic 11-piece megaband that you just can’t sit down to!

For those who might wish to dance the weekend away, there will be the opportunity join in the Friday and Saturday night dances on the newly refurbished floor. The Aardvark Ceilidh Band and The Committee Band will provide the music, so bring along your dancing shoes for some wonderful Festival fun.

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