Hatfield music festival’s final two main stage acts announced

PUBLISHED: 12:49 22 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:32 22 February 2018

Folk by the Oak at Hatfield House

Folk by the Oak at Hatfield House

Archant

The final two main stage acts have been announced for an annual Hatfield music festival.

Julie Fowlis and the pairing of Welsh harpist Catrin Finch and Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita will play Folk by the Oak in the grounds of Hatfield House this summer.

These two additions complete the main stage line-up for the music festival, with Scottish singer-songwriter Amy Macdonald and ‘the Bard of Barking’ Billy Bragg heading the bill.

The FBTO 2018 line-up also features Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band, The Young’uns and Sam Kelly & the Lost Boys.

Opening the main stage at Folk by the Oak this July will be Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita.

Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita and Welsh harpist Catrin Finch will play Folk by the Oak in Hatfield [Picture: Andy Morgan] Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita and Welsh harpist Catrin Finch will play Folk by the Oak in Hatfield [Picture: Andy Morgan]

They first played the festival back in 2014 with their debut release Clychau Dibon, which was hailed by the Folk by the Oak audience as a mesmerising experience.

With a reputation for delivering stunning live performances of world-class musicianship, the critically acclaimed duo return this year with their long-awaited second album – SOAR.

The album takes flight on the wings of the osprey, the magnificent bird of prey recently returned to Wales after centuries of absence.

A bird that makes its annual migration from the coast of Welsh harpist Catrin’s home country to the coasts of West Africa, home to Senegalese kora player Seckou, the osprey is the perfect muse for this multicultural, multi-award-winning partnership and SOAR promises to be every bit as mesmerising on the Folk by the Oak main stage this summer as their performance in 2014.

Julie Fowlis will play Folk by the Oak at Hatfield House [Picture: Craig Mackay] Julie Fowlis will play Folk by the Oak at Hatfield House [Picture: Craig Mackay]

Festival director Adam Slough said: “When we first heard Catrin and Seckou we quite simply fell in love with this sublime pairing and were thrilled when they agreed to join us on stage in 2014.

“We are equally excited about their return to our festival this summer, opening the Main Stage with what we know will be a remarkable, enthralling set that we can’t wait to share with our audience.”

Julie Fowlis, whose songs were once described by Mark Radcliffe as “like beautiful messages from another world”, is renowned for singing mostly in Scottish Gaelic, but with a remarkable ability to transcend language.

Her fifth studio album, Alterum, sees Julie exploring the idea of other worlds, incorporating various languages and traditions with captivating results.

Billy Bragg will appear at Folk by the Oak in the grounds of Hatfield House [Picture: Murdo McLeod] Billy Bragg will appear at Folk by the Oak in the grounds of Hatfield House [Picture: Murdo McLeod]

Adam Slough said: “We are also delighted to be welcoming back another standout artist, Julie Fowlis, who was one of our very first picks for the Main Stage at our first festival back in 2008.

“Julie’s flawless and bewitching vocals will be taking us on a magical journey that we will be honoured to share with our audience.”

Confirmed so far for the smaller Acorn Stage are CC Smugglers, Stick in the Wheel and Alden, Patterson & Dashwood, with more to be announced.

Tickets for the festival, which takes place in Hatfield on Sunday, July 15, are currently £37 for adults and £18 for children. Ages four and under are free.

The festival also offers a packed day of fun activities for all the family, all in a beautiful, accessible, compact and leafy site at Hatfield House.

• For more details, and to buy tickets, visit www.folkbytheoak.com

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