Inspiration for Hatfield music festival announced for next summer's showcase

PUBLISHED: 13:46 15 December 2016 | UPDATED: 14:03 07 February 2017

Folk by the Oak fireworks at Hatfield House [Picture: Adrian Callaghan]

Folk by the Oak fireworks at Hatfield House [Picture: Adrian Callaghan]

AdrianCallaghanPhotography.com

An English singer-songwriter who was the inspiration for a Hatfield music festival will appear at next summer's showcase.

Kate Rusby will appear at Folk by the Oak 2017 in the grounds of Hatfield HouseKate Rusby will appear at Folk by the Oak 2017 in the grounds of Hatfield House

Organisers today (Thursday) confirmed Kate Rusby will return to Hatfield House for the 10th Folk by the Oak festival.

The all-day folk and acoustic festival will take place in the grounds of the Hertfordshire stately home on Sunday, July 16 – the day after Hatfield House Battle Proms.

Kate Rusby was the original inspiration for a folk gathering at Hatfield House.

Festival directors Caroline and Adam Slough imagined a sublime summer evening of music with Kate in stunning surroundings – an idea that sparked the birth of Folk by the Oak back in 2008.

FBTO creative director Caroline Slough said: “It was a happy day when we threw open the gates to our first Folk by the Oak festival back in 2008, fulfilling our dream to bring together the wonderful musicians who we have listened to for so long.

“It is heart-warming to think that this year we are putting together the makings of our 10th festival.

Folk by the Oak 2017Folk by the Oak 2017

“The high calibre of our artists never fails to inspire us and it is all credit to them and their talent that the festival scene is thriving.”

Having first graced the main stage in 2009, Kate returned in 2013, by which time the festival had grown to accommodate a second stage.

Festival director Adam Slough said: “As a one-day festival we felt it was important to bring together a collection of exceptional artists to give our audience a taste of the very best folk music around in a reasonably short space of time.

“In 2012 we added the Acorn Stage, which not only showcases incredible new talent, it also enables us to create a festival of wall to wall outstanding music.”

Kate Rusby, in her milestone 25th year of touring, joins FBTO’s latest project, Shake the Chains, on the 2017 line-up.

Shake the Chains is an exciting new touring commission from celebrated UK contemporary folk singer-songwriters with special guests, exploring the role songs have played in social change, resistance and protest.

The resulting songs will be toured throughout the UK in February, and then the band will re-group for a special performance at Folk by the Oak next summer.

The music festival takes its name from its magical setting – the Queen Elizabeth Oak Field at historic Hatfield House.

The rolling landscape surrounded by ancient trees creates the perfect setting for the festival and its unique firework finale.

Folk by the Oak ticket prices

• Adult:

£33 Early Bird price until midnight January 31, 2017.

£36.50 Advance price from February 1 until midnight March 31, 2017.

£39.50 Regular price from April 1 until midnight July 15, 2017.

£45 on day of festival (subject to availability).

• Child aged 5 to 15:

£18 at all times (children aged 4 and under are free, and do not require a ticket).

All under 16s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is over 18 years old.

• Family offer (2 adults and 2 children):

£94 Early Bird price until midnight January 31, 2017.

£101 Advance price from February 1 until midnight March 31, 2017.

£107 Regular price from April 1 until midnight July 15 2017.

(Not available on the day of the festival).

FBTO is the only folk festival in the UK to light up the sky with a spectacular firework accompaniment to the closing act.

Being a one-day event, Folk by the Oak is an opportunity to experience all the fun of a festival without the need to camp, particularly convenient for families with young children.

It has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, or as organiser Caroline Slough puts it, “a happy mixture of local village fete and the full-on festival experience”.

She added: “We even encourage people to bring their own picnics, although we do also provide all the usual culinary delights you would expect at a music festival.”

As well as two stages of music, there is a dedicated family area with storytellers, folk dancers, circus performers, wand makers, knot makers, artists, bush craft folk and archers to name but a few.

Folk by the Oak also supports Willow, with 50p from every ticket sold donated to the Welwyn Hatfield-based charity.

Co-founded by Bob and Megs Wilson in memory of their daughter Anna, Willow is the only national charity working with seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40 to fulfil uplifting and unforgettable ‘Special Days’.

So far over £53,000 has been raised through ticket contributions and the incredible generosity of the Folk by the Oak audience.

• Early bird tickets for Folk by the Oak are now on sale for at www.folkbytheoak.com

• For more on Kate Rusby, visit her website at www.katerusby.com

• For more on Shake the Chains and to book gig tickets, visit shakethechains.com

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