Hatfield music festival’s line-up completed

PUBLISHED: 21:06 03 March 2018 | UPDATED: 21:27 03 March 2018

Midnight Skyracer will play the Folk by the Oak Acorn Stage in Hatfield

Midnight Skyracer will play the Folk by the Oak Acorn Stage in Hatfield

Supplied by Folk by the Oak

The final acts playing an annual music festival in Hatfield have been announced.

Organisers have revealed the last four acts playing the Acorn Stage at this summer’s Folk by the Oak in the grounds of Hatfield House.

Promoters confirmed “girl power bluegrass” band Midnight Skyracer, BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominees The Drystones, the enthralling Harri Endersby and the up-and-coming talents of the London Youth Folk Ensemble will all play the festival on Sunday, July 15.

They join the already announced Acorn Stage headliners CC Smugglers, as well as Stick in the Wheel and Norwich-based folk/Americana trio Alden, Patterson & Dashwood on the bill.

Playing the main stage at FBTO 2018 this summer are the likes of Scottish songstress Amy Macdonald, who will close the festival, and the ‘Bard of Barking’ Billy Bragg.

The Drystones will play the Folk by the Oak Acorn Stage in HatfieldThe Drystones will play the Folk by the Oak Acorn Stage in Hatfield

Eliza Carthy and the Wayward Band, The Young’uns, Julie Fowlis, Sam Kelly and The Lost Boys, and duo Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita complete the Hatfield festival’s line-up.

Of the latest Acorn Stage additions, Midnight Skyracer is a new female five-piece bluegrass band featuring an all-star line-up of some of the UK’s top instrumentalists and singers.

Featuring the Carrivick Sisters and billed as Anglo-Irish girl power bluegrass, the band formed early in 2017 and has rapidly gained rave reviews on the summer festival scene with a mix of hard driving traditional and modern classics, lesser known songs and a few originals.

The group features Leanne Thorose, lead fiddler with Essence of Ireland, who has also performed with London-based bands such as the Ben Somers String Band and The Absentees, and Tabitha Agnew, who is usually found performing with her two brothers in the Northern Ireland-based band Cup O’Joe.

Twins Laura and Charlotte Carrivick regularly perform together as The Carrivick Sisters, but may be better known to Folk by the Oakers for their roles in the progressive bluegrass quartet Cardboard Fox that played the Acorn Stage last year.

Completing Midnight Skyracers is Eleanor Wilkie, who has played bass and fiddle in many UK bluegrass bands, and is currently fiddling with The Reckless Abandoners.

In August they recorded their debut album, Fire, released to critical acclaim this February.

A Folk by the Oak spokesperson said: “This is a band that promises great things and we’re excited to see what they bring to our Acorn Stage this year.”

Harri Endersby will play the Folk by the Oak Acorn Stage in HatfieldHarri Endersby will play the Folk by the Oak Acorn Stage in Hatfield

The Drystones have already achieved a remarkable number of festival appearances for such young performers and have been rewarded with a nominating for the 2018 BBC Radio 2 Folk Young Folk Award.

Hailing from Priddy in Somerset, the boys are masters of violin, guitar and whistle, and are renowned for the kind of spirited and energetic performances that Acorn Stage audiences have come to expect at Folk by the Oak.

FBTO’s website states: “The Drystones may be young but this amazing duo has talent beyond their years. We urge you not to miss this set.”

Since the release of her debut EP Ivy Crown, Harri Endersby has carved a unique place in the contemporary folk scene, with her love of Icelandic elecro-folk and the influence of more traditional music from her upbringing in the North East creating a musical experience that is as enthralling as it is unusual.

Harri’s debut album Homes/Lives begins with acoustic, stripped back tracks whilst gradually introducing electronic instrumentation and beats as the album progresses.

FBTO promoters says she is “perfect for an early afternoon set on the Acorn Stage”.

The festival will also do its bit to support the nation’s folk musicians of the future by once again showcasing the London Youth Folk Ensemble (LYFE) in the stage’s opening slot.

Set up by English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) in 2013, LYFE brings together committed young folk musicians with professional folk musicians to create and perform folk music from the British Isles and beyond.

London Youth Folk Ensemble will once again play the Folk by the Oak Acorn Stage in HatfieldLondon Youth Folk Ensemble will once again play the Folk by the Oak Acorn Stage in Hatfield

The Ensemble at Folk by the Oak this year will be led by folk musician Emily Askew with Ruairi Glasheen.

• Tickets for Folk by the Oak are available from www.folkbytheoak.com

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