Kimpton's first folk festival is a stunning success

PUBLISHED: 18:36 11 July 2016 | UPDATED: 16:26 17 July 2016

Nancy Kerr & James Fagan headlining the first Kimpton Folk Festival. [Picture: Juliet Morton]

Nancy Kerr & James Fagan headlining the first Kimpton Folk Festival. [Picture: Juliet Morton]


The inaugural Kimpton Folk Festival drew widespread praise from music fans and performers.

The Hertfordshire village’s first ever one-day folk festival, staged on Saturday, July 9, attracted over 1,000 people to a diverse range of events across four venues.

Concerts on the festival’s Main Stage attracted sell-out audiences to gigs featuring some of the country’s best-loved folk artists, including the award-winning Nancy Kerr & James Fagan, The Jacquelyn Hynes trio and Wild Willy Barrett.

The picturesque village green was the site for niche food, coffees, craft ales, stalls and all-day entertainment, culminating in a summer ceilidh.

There was also a continuous concert in the 13th century church featuring several BBC Folk Award nominees.

A series of instrumental workshops in the village’s historic Dacre Rooms was well-attended, and storyteller Fiona Eadie’s teepee in the churchyard proved popular with children and adults, too.

The evening concert in the Memorial Hall provided a wonderful climax to the event, with Jaywalkers and the Jacquelyn Hynes Trio stunning the audience with their virtuosity.

The final act, headliners Nancy Kerr & James Fagan, received a roaring ovation from a rapt audience – and showed in the process why they are one of the most highly acclaimed acts on the international folk circuit.

Festival chairman Doug Jenner said: “We have had nothing but effusive praise about sheer professionalism of our new folk festival.

“I honestly don’t think it could have gone any better.

“Our committee left nothing to chance and the success of the event is down to them and our 60-strong army of volunteers.”

And plans are in the pipeline to hold another showcase.

Doug added: “We’re already talking about the next festival, and we’re now expecting even bigger numbers at our sessions in The Boot pub, which we hold every second and fourth Thursday.”

Artists appearing on the day also praised organisers.

Folk and bluegrass trio Jaywalkers performed both on the Main Stage and on the Green Stage.

Afterwards they tweeted: “What a smashing festival, and it was only their first year! If it happens again, you should all go.”

Guitarist and composer Will McNicol, who performed on the Main Stage with Luke Selby, was also complimentary about the event.

He tweeted: “Thank you for a marvellous festival with just the best audience. Long may you continue!”

Acclaimed folk star Nancy Kerr, who headlined the closing concert in Kimpton Memorial Hall with James Fagan, also congratulated organisers.

She said: “What an outstanding debut! Lovely, friendly village, great musicians everywhere.”

There were three concerts in all staged in the Memorial Hall throughout the day.

The first featured Ben Smith & Jimmy Brewer, Kelly Oliver, and John Dipper & Dave Malkin.

Afterwards Stevenage singer-songwriter Kelly tweeted: “Wonderful to play on the main stage at the first @KimptonFolk Festival”

Worry Dolls, Will McNichol & Luke Selby and Wild Willy’ Barrett’s Loose Connection then took to the stage.

Jaywalkers, Jacquelyn Hynes Trio and Nancy Kerr & James Fagan rounded off proceedings.

The Church Stage featured performances from the likes of Malcolm Hobbs, Batkin.Hill, The Foxglove Trio and George Papavgeris.

To find out more about the festival, visit

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