The 11th Derby Folk Festival takes place from Friday 6 to Sunday 8 October 2017 and is jointly produced by Derby City Council’s Derby LIVE and Derbyshire-based PR Promotions.

This year, Furthest From The Sea (FFTS) Comedy and Arts CIC have once again, been invited to curate and host the free fringe stages at Derby Folk Festival at The Old Bell Hotel in the heart of Derby’s Cathedral Quarter. From 1-7pm on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 October, they will be showcasing some of the best folk and folk-inspired variety entertainment acts from Derbyshire and neighbouring counties.

FFTS are an arts business run by passionate and dedicated artists committed to a ‘hands on’ approach to creativity. Based in Derbyshire, but operating around the country, they believe in the power of art to rejuvenate towns and cities, to bring people together and to celebrate and take pride in the place that means most to them – the place they call home. They exist to champion the diverse arts scene throughout Derby and Derbyshire and to provide platforms for home-grown artists to perform, develop and thrive. In 2016, following four years of steady development, the organisation became a Community Interest Company, opening up a number of new and exciting opportunities for artists and audiences alike.   

Dan Webber, FFTS Director said: “We’re thrilled to be programming once again for this year’s Derby Folk Festival and hope you enjoy some of the best music and folk-inspired variety performers from Derbyshire and the surrounding area.”

Featuring performances by Merrymaker, Winter:Wilson, UP Uke DuoJiji LaVolpe, Bennami Swift, Robyn Johnson, Suzanne Fraser-Martin, Sophie SparhamWe are the GiantSue MacTreacle City Dance BandThe Rheingans SistersDerby Community FiddlersSteve Cresswell music, Alisa and Julie Russell, Susan WarrenJo May PercussionPatrick AshcroftJames HarbidgeJo Lewis Music, Dave Sudbury, Richard C. Bower, Trevor Wright, James Wallace and Against the Grain.

Two of the fringe acts that have been part of the Folk Festival in previous years are Merrymaker and Winter:Wilson. Merrymaker are performing at 1pm on Saturday 7 October, having been wonderfully received in the Clubrooms, with Village Folk, last year. Merrymaker are making music about what is happening right now and are influenced by songwriters who not only sang about things that affected them, they also sang about subjects that reflected culture and society at the time. Merrymaker comprises Dan Sealey (formerly of Ocean Colour Scene and Merrymouth), Adam Barry (Formerly of The Misers and Merrymouth) and Nikki Petherick. Together they combine skilful musicianship with thought provoking music layered with vocal harmonies.

Derby Folk Festival wouldn’t be the same without the wonderful duo, Kip and Dave, who are known as Winter:Wilson. They will be performing on Saturday 7 October at 2pm in the Old Bell Hotel ballroom. Winter Wilson’s latest tour showcases their latest album Ashes and Dust, the follow up to Cutting Free which made the Daily Telegraph’s ten recommended folk albums for Summer 2014. They have a fine repertoire of self-penned songs, telling stories of everyday life which often reflect the bigger picture of this life we lead.

Kip Winter (vocals, accordion, guitar, flute) is one of the finest singers on the circuit, expressing power and emotion in equal measure “from melting to belting”. Dave Wilson (vocals, guitar and banjo) is amongst the top tier of British songwriters, with his songs covered by some of folk’s “greats”. It’s in live performance that Winter: Wilson really excel, bringing a sense of intimacy to every stage, welcoming audiences into their world, mixing songs with stories of life on the road. Tight harmonies, killer songs and a lot of fun – that’s Winter:Wilson.

There is also a programme of Dance sides including outside dance entertainment across the Cathedral Quarter and St Peter’s Quarter. Folk 3D have brought together some fabulous dancers, showcasing different styles of traditional dancing, and livening up the streets. Dancing from White Rose Morris, Hadrian Clog, Goarsach Rapper and more with some fantastic musical performances from Frumptarn Guggenband.

The fringe events are all free, whether visitors have a festival ticket or not – so it’s a great opportunity for people to come along and enjoy some great music.

With the whole Derby Folk Festival programme taking place in and around the city, it is perfectly placed for those arriving by either bus or train.

Full weekend tickets are on sale at £88, and adult tickets are priced from £24-£40 for specific dates/performances. Concessions are available. Festival tickets can be purchased through the Derby LIVE Box Office on 01332 255800 or online at they can also be purchased at the Sales and Information Centre, on the Market Place, Derby, DE1 3AH.

Find out more at where you can download a copy of the festival flyer and keep up to date with the latest news on twitter and facebook.

A full list of confirmed acts can be found on the Derby LIVE website along with details about the artists and full programme on the Derby Folk Festival website.

Festival attenders can find the latest accommodation information at where a range of hotels are available for all budgets and group sizes.


Derby Folk Festival Fringe 2017 programme


Saturday 7 October 12 noon – 4pm, Old Bell Hotel Ballroom


12pm -12.25pm       Up Uke Duo

12.30pm - 1pm       Jiji LaVolpe

3pm - 3.25pm         Benammi Swift

3.30pm - 4pm         Robyn Johnson


Saturday 7 October, 4.15pm-7pm, Old Bell Hotel


1pm - 1.45pm         Merrymaker

2pm - 2.45pm         Winter Wilson

4.15pm - 4.45pm     Spoken Word and Storytelling Showcase 

5pm - 5.30pm         We are the Giant

5.40pm - 6.25pm     Marc Block

6.30pm - 7pm         Sue Macfarlane


Sunday 8 October, 2pm-6pm, Old Bell Hotel Ballroom


2pm - 2.25pm         Steve Cresswell

2.30pm - 2.55pm     Blackbirds and Thrushes

3pm - 3.25pm         Sue Warren

3.30pm - 3.55pm     Jo May

4pm - 4.25pm         Patrick Ashcroft

4.30pm - 4.55pm     James Harbidge

5pm - 5.30pm         Jo Lewis

5.35pm -6pm          Dave Sudbury 


Sunday 8 October, 3.45pm-6pm, Old Bell Hotel Tavern (Front) Bar


2.15pm - 2.45pm     The Rheingans Sisters

3pm - 3.30pm         Winter: Wilson

3.45pm - 4.15pm     Spoken Word and Comedy Showcase

4.30pm - 5pm         Derby Community Fiddlers

5.15pm - 6pm         Against the Grain


Back to news