LIVE music is returning to Northumberland this autumn with one of the last festivals of the year providing a spectrum of folk music from around the globe.
Allen Valleys Folk Festival (AVFF) is one of the highlights in the North East music calendar, bringing together prominent and up-and-coming names from a genre that is attracting more and more fans.
With the event now in its fourth year, the acts are more diverse than ever but all of them have their roots firmly in folk.
Peter Aldcroft, chairman of the festival committee, said: “This year’s festival has broad appeal with a mix of genres from traditional folk to world music. ‘Psychegaelic’ ceilidh band Awry headline on Friday. Saturday headliners include Ezza, the soul-stirring Tuareg power trio, and Leeds-based klezmer band Tantz, whose pulsating style has been wooing festival goers throughout the UK.”
The event has also attracted Mercury Prize nominated Sam Lee, whose performances have packed out London’s iconic Albert Hall. Sam closes the festival on the Sunday.
Running from Friday, September 29th to Sunday, October 1st, acts will appear at various locations in Allendale town including the village hall and the picturesque St Cuthbert’s Church.
The festival line-up has been put together with the guidance of Rob Kitchen, the schools’ programme leader at The Sage Gateshead and a well-respected figure on the North East music scene.
Peter Aldcroft said: “Rob wanted to bring a strong female presence to the festival in what has often been labelled a male-dominated scene. Our female line-up includes singer-songwriter Maz O’Connor, Scottish folk quartet Fara, fiddle & harp duo Twelfth Day, and Northumbrian singer, whistle player and choir leader Kat Davidson.”
Maz O’Connor, who has been likened to Joni Mitchell, said: “I’m really looking forward to playing at the festival for the first time. It’s a beautiful part of the world and I’ve lots of happy memories of the area from when I was younger and would come over to the North East from Cumbria to play in Kathryn Tickell’s Folkestra.”
There will also be various impromptu fringe events happening around the town as well as the popular workshops which will include ukulele, needle felting, broom dancing, penny whistle and singing.
The festival was borne out of the North Pennines AONB Partnership’s Allen Valleys Landscape Partnership Scheme, through funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The scheme finishes next year and the community-led Allen Valleys Promotions Limited will take over its management.
Tickets for the festival are £65 for a weekend pass and £20 for afternoon or evening sessions. The family celidh ticket is only £5. For more information or to buy tickets visit www.avff.co.uk or call the box office on 01434 652477.