Sun-soaked Kimpton music festival is a big hit
Youth and world-class music were the highlights of a magical, sun-soaked Kimpton Folk Festival.
Talented young artists rubbed shoulders with some of the country’s most highly regarded folk artists last Saturday.
Five ticketed concerts in the village hall and the 13th century church were studded with BBC Folk Awards winners and nominees.
Names included the Urban Folk Quartet, The James Brothers, Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar, Will McNicol & Luke Selby, Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage, Jackie Oates & Mike Cosgrave, Jaywalkers, Blathnaid Lynn, Josie Duncan & Pablo Lafuente, The London Klezmer Quartet, Kelly Oliver, Luke Jackson, Said the Maiden, and While, Matthews & While.
A free stage on the village green, nestled among food and drink stalls, featured spots by some of the festival’s bigger names, as well as New Roots finalist Jem Bosatta and the children of Kimpton School, who opened the event at noon with a presentation of traditional song and dance.
Speaking on behalf of organising body Kimpton Folk Events, trustee June Rowlands said: “We work to grow participation in the folk arts in our community.
“We have been working with Kimpton School to run a folk arts education programme and it was so exciting to see the children performing so brilliantly on the big day.”
The youth theme continued all day, with talented local buskers Emma Risley, Lizzie Hennigan and Toby Wood among others, performing at dedicated ‘busk stops’ around the village.
And the education theme continued as well, with well-attended beginners’ workshops in spoons, poetry, harmony singing, ukulele and Indian dance.
This was the third Kimpton Folk Festival, and according to chairman Doug Jenner, its most ambitious and successful yet.
He said: “This year we offered a truly stellar line-up of artists from around the UK, but just as important, we were able to grow the level of community involvement.
“The extraordinary work of our trustees, committee members and volunteers has developed a sense of shared ownership of this event – as is evidenced in the comments of so many of the artists.”
Stevenage singer-songwriter and guitarist Kelly Oliver tweeted: “Had such a nice time playing at @KimptonFolk! One of my fave festivals!
“Also really lovely to play a short set with my talented friends Said The Maiden. Thanks to everyone who came to watch and to the whole festival team for looking after us.”
Ciaran Algar & Greg Russell praised the event, saying: “Doing so much for community and arts promotion. We loved this festival, thanks.”
Duo Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage said: “What a friendly, seamlessly organised and well-curated programme, with such lovely staff.”
Kimpton Folk Events trustee Alison Smith added: “It’s so rewarding to see people smiling and chatting about the bands they’ve seen, the workshops they’ve done or just seeing families enjoying a great day out.”