Fairport Convention headline the revamped folk festival in Banbury

The new organisers of The Banbury Folk Festival have amassed a line-up of acts including established musicians and up and coming acts.
Fairport ConventionFairport Convention
Fairport Convention

Taking place from Friday October 12 to Sunday October 14 the main venue will be General Foods Sports and Social Club, Spiceball Park Road.

Other venues are Banbury Cross PH, Butchers Row, Reindeer PH, Parsons Street, White Horse PH, North Bar and The Methodist Hall, Marlborough Road.

Headlining on Saturday night will be Fairport Convention. Their eponymous festival at Cropredy, pulls in audience members from all over the world.


As well as their back catalogue of self-penned songs, they also perform songs from a wide spectrum of songwriters.

Their 1969 album, Liege and Lief was voted the Most Influential Folk Album Of All Time by Radio 2 listeners, in 2006. The current line-up is Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg, Ric Sanders, Chris Leslie and Gerry Conway.

Kevin West, festival chairman said: “We are extremely proud to have secured, what is probably the best-known folk band in the world, for our inaugural festival.

“Following Derek and Mary Droscher’s decision to retire last year, we believe we have done their legacy proud with this line-up.”

In addition, TradArrr will be headlining on Friday Night. Consisting of PJ Wright, Festival Patron Marion Fleetwood, Gregg Cave, Guy Fletcher, Mark Stevens, Gemma Shirley and Brendan O’Neill, they have been making headlines at festivals all over the country, including Cropredy. They last performed at Banbury in 2015. They will be supported by one of Banbury’s favourite bands of the 90s, Clarion, who reformed the original line-up, for a one-off gig last year but, have agreed to do this for Banbury, where they still have a massive following.

The festival closes on Sunday with festival Patron, Gerry Colvin. One of the world’s truly great entertainers, Gerry last appeared in 2016 and immediately afterwards was approached to do Cropredy the following year. The Gerry Colvin Band is Trish Power, Lyndon Webb, Jerome Davis and Gerry himself. They have had a busy summer of festivals this year, receiving well deserved plaudits and we are very pleased to have them back.

Also appearing will be IOTA (Anna Ryder, Marion Fleetwood and Sally Barker) who, despite having only formed just over a year ago, have been getting rave reviews all over the country. They recently released their debut album, O Yeh Yeh! to critical acclaim.

Cathryn Craig and Brian Willoughy are also on, on Sunday. Brian was a member of 70s’ group The Strawbs. Between them, they have worked with The Righteous Brothers, Mary Hopkin and Nancy Griffith among others. Now they are front of stage, playing their own brand of acoustic guitar-based material.

Local acts include 25 Years Late, Phoebe Rose, Blue N Watson, Noah’s Cape, The Tindalls and a host of others.

This year the organisers are working in conjunction with Banbury Town Council’s Canal Day on Sunday, and will be providing a free concert in the garden at General Foods Sports and Social Club,to support the event.

Three-day tickets are £75. Two-day are £60 and single day tickets are from £22 - £44.

For those planning to camp, it’s £10 for the weekend at The Old Dairy Farm, Cropredy, known to Cropredy Festival goers as Field 8, with a free shuttle bus supplied to the main venue. To get tickets, telephone the Box Office on 07845 821041 or pick up a leaflet at any of the venues.

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