Fringe benefits with Derby Folk Festival at Home

Photo montage of artists from Derby Folk Festival at Home with logo of ram's head above

Thu 24 Sep 2020

The countdown has started to The Derby Folk Festival 2020 At Home, which takes place online from 2 - 4 October. Complementing the fantastic line-up of four three-hour online concerts over the weekend is a varied Fringe programme, which this year will take the form of videos and posts shared through the festival’s Facebook page.

Previous years have seen the city centre come alive during the weekend of Derby Folk Festival with free music and dance events, and workshop sessions. While restrictions around live events during the pandemic mean these can’t go ahead in the usual way, there is plenty to discover from the comfort of your own home.

Highlights include music videos from a variety of artists including Stepling, Some Antics, Road Not Taken, Ninebarrow, The Quay of Sea (Lester Simpson & Nigel Corbett), and Threaded.  We’re also delighted to feature some “Sign Song” interpreted videos, performed by Threaded, which were part of the theatre show Soonchild, by Red Earth Theatre.

Look back over all of the years of the festival with a series of slideshows, featuring images taken by photographer Graham Whitmore, and help recreate the festival community spirit, by getting involved with a range of questions as part of the Festival Chat.

Dance teams, who usually bring the sight and sounds of traditional dance to the city centre streets, have contributed videos to be shown over the weekend, some filmed at past festivals. And while the John Birmingham Cup Song Competition can’t go ahead in its usual way, the folk festival has joined up with the FOLK3D team to run a special edition – not the usual competitive heat, but a chance for writers of unaccompanied songs to submit their entries. These will be shared on the Derby Folk Festival Facebook page over the weekend.

Derby Folk Festival at Home is also pleased to be working alongside two other Derby festivals, who have also come up with innovative ways to go ahead in these unusual times.

We have been working with Derby Poetry Festival, which has moved online, to curate and promote some of our region’s wonderful poets. There was an open call for Derby poets to get involved through the Derby Poetry Festival Facebook Page, and Derby Folk Festival at Home will be sharing the poems on our Facebook page on Friday 2 October.

The evening before the start of the Folk Festival at Home and fringe programme, Thursday 1 October, sees a Derby Poetry Festival Zoom event featuring acclaimed poet Daljit Nagra, in association with Derby Libraries.

On Saturday 3 October, we will be sharing Derby Poetry Festival’s Women of The Valley poetry, which features female artists, and then on Sunday 4 October our Facebook page will share poems from work with the team at Derby Libraries.

Derby Folk Festival at Home has also been part of the Derby Well project, created by the team behind Derby Festé, working with FOLK3D on a commissioned piece to go on display in the city centre during what would have been Festé weekend (25 to 27 September) and the folk festival weekend. The work is a well-dressing, using paper flowers, of the folk festival Ram’s Head logo.

Tickets are available for the online weekend concerts for Derby Folk Festival at Home, which feature acclaimed folk artists and can be viewed online at the time they go live and at any time during the following week. Tickets are priced at £12 per session, or just £36 to access all four three-hour sessions. The line-up includes Barry Coope, Fi Fraser and Andy Cutting; festival patron Lucy Ward; Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman; Kitty Macfarlane and many more.

Supporting the festival by buying a ticket will not only give you some fantastic music, filmed especially for you, to enjoy for a whole week, it will directly support the artists performing, and ensures that the festival is able to return to the city centre once again in 2021. 

The virtual performances have been produced by Derby Folk Festival and Derby LIVE, Derby City Council’s arts and events arm. Read the full concert programme, watch the trailer, and buy tickets online here, or book by phone from the Sales and Information Team on 01332 255800. For more information about Derby Folk Festival at home, visit