Summer music festival returns to Hatfield after last year's cancellation

Seasick Steve playing Folk by the Oak in Hatfield Park.

Seasick Steve playing Folk by the Oak in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

Following last summer's cancellation, music festival Folk by the Oak finally returned to Hatfield on Sunday.

The all-day celebration of folk, roots and acoustic music took over the Queen Elizabeth Oak Field at Hatfield House.

Regular festival-goes will have noticed a few differences in Hatfield Park this year.

Folk by the Oak poster in Hatfield Park reminding festival-goers about social distancing.

Folk by the Oak poster in Hatfield Park reminding festival-goers about social distancing. - Credit: John Andrews

There was a reduced capacity due to coronavirus safety measures, and revellers were spaced out more in the open-air setting.

The FBTO main stage – also used for the previous night's Hatfield Battle Proms concert – was much larger.

The Folk by the Oak 2021 main stage in Hatfield Park.

The Folk by the Oak 2021 main stage in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

The scheduled line-up, which had already changed a few times since last summer's cancelled festival, again due to coronavirus restrictions, also had a few last-minute alterations. 

The Young'uns were forced to cancel their planned appearance after band member David Eagle tested positive for COVID last week. 

Folk by the Oak patron Jim Moray on stage at this year's festival in Hatfield Park.

Folk by the Oak patron Jim Moray on stage at this year's festival in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

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Folk by the Oak patron Jim Moray replaced the award-winning trio on Sunday's bill.

On the eve of the festival, Sam Sweeney was also forced to pull out after being involved in a car crash the night before FBTO's long-awaited return. Jack Rutter took Sam's place.

Seasick Steve playing Folk by the Oak in Hatfield Park.

Seasick Steve playing Folk by the Oak in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

Despite the changes, bluesman Seasick Steve still closed the main stage in Hatfield.

After the festival's fireworks finale, FBTO tweeted: "Our final thank you for the night, to @SeasickSteve for closing our festival with such wit, charm and style.

"And thank you to our wonderful audience for making this such an exceptional day and welcoming all our artists so warmly. Safe travels home one and all!"

Kitty Macfarlane at Folk by the Oak 2021 at Hatfield House.

Kitty Macfarlane at Folk by the Oak 2021 at Hatfield House. - Credit: John Andrews

There were also performances on a scorching hot day from the likes of Somerset singer-songwriter and guitarist Kitty Macfarlane, acclaimed 'Barnsley Nightingale' Kate Rusby – her first live gig in front of an audience in 18 months – and folk-punk band Skinny Lister with a riotous, rip-roaring set.

Skinny Lister playing Folk by the Oak in Hatfield Park.

Skinny Lister playing Folk by the Oak in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

Folk by the Oak posted on Twitter: "Thank you @katerusby for a simply divine set. The perfect combination of Yorkshire wit and wondrous vocals.

"You have long been an inspiration to Folk by the Oak and we are so thrilled to finally be able to welcome you back."

Folk by the Oak favourite Kate Rusby on stage at the 2021 festival at Hatfield House.

Folk by the Oak favourite Kate Rusby on stage at the 2021 festival at Hatfield House. - Credit: John Andrews

After their set, Skinny Lister posted on their Instagram page a picture of themselves on stage with the Hatfield crowd behind them with the words: "BACK IN THE GAME! And it felt great! Thank you so much @folkbytheoak 🌳🤘"


The crowd at Folk by the Oak 2021 at Hatfield House.

The crowd at Folk by the Oak 2021 at Hatfield House. - Credit: John Andrews

The Folk by the Oak 2021 main stage in Hatfield Park.

The Folk by the Oak 2021 main stage in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

Seasick Steve playing Folk by the Oak in Hatfield Park.

Seasick Steve playing Folk by the Oak in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

Seasick Steve set at Folk by the Oak in Hatfield Park.

The drum kit for Seasick Steve at Folk by the Oak in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

Seasick Steve at Folk by the Oak in Hatfield Park.

Seasick Steve at Folk by the Oak in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

The London Youth Folk Ensemble at Folk by the Oak 2021 at Hatfield House.

The London Youth Folk Ensemble at Folk by the Oak 2021 at Hatfield House. - Credit: John Andrews

Folk by the Oak 2021 at Hatfield House.

Folk by the Oak 2021 at Hatfield House. - Credit: John Andrews

Katherine Priddy at Folk by the Oak 2021 in Hatfield Park.

Katherine Priddy at Folk by the Oak 2021 in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

Folk by the Oak 2021 in Hatfield Park.

Folk by the Oak 2021 in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

Folk by the Oak 2021 at Hatfield House

Folk by the Oak 2021 at Hatfield House - Credit: John Andrews

Willow volunteers at Folk by the Oak 2021 in Hatfield Park.

Willow volunteers at Folk by the Oak 2021 in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

Green Gifts at Folk by the Oak in Hatfield Park.

Green Gifts at Folk by the Oak in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

Folk by the Oak 2021 in Hatfield Park.

Folk by the Oak 2021 in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

Folk by the Oak 2021 in Hatfield Park.

Folk by the Oak 2021 in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

Folk by the Oak in Hatfield Park.

Folk by the Oak in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

Audience members enjoying Folk by the Oak in Hatfield Park.

Audience members enjoying Folk by the Oak in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

The crowd at Folk by the Oak 2021 in Hatfield Park.

The crowd at Folk by the Oak 2021 in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

Emergency services were on hand just in case at Folk by the Oak 2021 in Hatfield Park.

Emergency services were on hand just in case at Folk by the Oak 2021 in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

Clearing up the rubbish at Folk by the Oak 2021 in Hatfield Park.

Clearing up the rubbish at Folk by the Oak 2021 in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

Folk by the Oak poster in Hatfield Park reminding festival-goers about social distancing.

Folk by the Oak poster in Hatfield Park reminding festival-goers about social distancing. - Credit: John Andrews


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