Workshops and Competitions

Ely Folk Festival 2018 Competitions

In conjunction with opening the box office for our 2018 festival, we are launching two competitions – our annual Band Competition and new for this year – our Youth Folk Challenge. Details on how to enter both are below. Closing dates for both competitions is 28 April 2018.

Young Folk Challenge

This is for solo or duo acts or groups all aged under 21 years as at the 13 July 2018. Entries from those residents in East Cambridgeshire district are especially welcome, but young folk music acts from anywhere within Cambridgeshire are welcome to apply. We will select up to four acts to play a 15 minute set on Friday night at Ely Folk Festival 2018. Winning entries will be provided with weekend tickets for themselves (and 2 adults in the case of winners aged under 18 if appropriate) and also automatically subscribed to our Saturday Club Tent competition where they can perform for a chance to open our Main stage on Sunday.

To enter, please submit the following to including YOUTH FOLK CHALLENGE in the subject line:

  • A sample of your work either as an mp3 (or if video mp4) or a link to a website such as Utube where you are featured
  • A 100 word biography
  • Details of the entrants’ names, dates of birth, & place of residence  in Cambridgeshire
  • A contact email address

Entries must be received by midnight on 28 April 2018 to be considered. Winning entries will be informed by end of May 2018.

Festival Band Competition 2018

The festival Band Competition has gone from strength to strength over the years and is now noted as a key opportunity for up and coming amateur folk & roots acts to gain recognition on the festival circuit and perform on stage with some of the top acts around. The winning entry from the Band Competition will be awarded the opening performance of the 2018 festival on the main concert stage on Friday 13th July.

Amateur solo, duo and group folk and roots acts are welcome to enter our Band Competition. To enter the Band Competition, please submit the following to including BAND COMPETITION in the subject line:

  • A sample of your work either as an mp3 (or if video mp4) or a link to a website such as Utube where you are featured (or email us at if you prefer to send a CD instead)
  • A 100 word biography
  • A contact email address

Entries must be received by midnight on 28th April 2018 to be considered. The winning entry will be informed by end of May 2018.

2018 Workshops: Lots of great workshops lined up for you to take part in including Scots Singer Iona Fyfe as she hosts a song workshop, focusing on songs from the North East and the Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection; teaching songs from various scots styles and repertoires  in group settings. Appropriate for all ages and experience. Also a slide guitar workshop with blues legend Johnny Dickinson. Very new for 2018 are our Easy ‘n Slow  afternoon sessions for playing popular tunes, mainly from the English tradition.  You can download the printable tunebook tunebook 2 and learn at least some of the tunes in advance.  All are in G, can be played on a wide range of instruments and we’ll be starting Easy ‘n Slow! Details of more workshops and their timings will be available soon.

2017 Photo Competition: The theme was It’s all about the music, and the winners were Stephen Beaver for capturing the exuberance and energy of Elvis Fontenot on stage in Marquee 1 and Clare Collins for her candid shot of one of our younger visitors entranced by the music. Well done to both. Look out later this year for details of how to enter our 2018 Photo Competition.

Booked so far for 2018

Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening
Steve Knightley
Sam Kelly & Friends
Jamie Smith’s Mabon
3 Daft Monkeys
Johnny Dickinson
Iona Fyfe
Anthony John Clarke
The Willows
The Black Feathers
John Kirkpatrick
The Relentless Ceilidh Band
Flossie Malavialle
Broom Bezzums
Tim Edey
Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith
Chris Fox
Blackjack Blues Band
Alden Patterson and Dashwood
Frog on a Bike
The Penland Phezants
The Barefoot Doctors
Cary Outis
Brother Pit
Lee Gillett

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