Workshops and Competitions

2018 Competitions

2018 Photo Competition: The theme is Fun in the Sun. To enter, simply upload a maximum of two photos you have taken at Ely Folk Festival 2018 that you think best illustrates the above theme to the Ely Folk Festival Facebook page by Tuesday 31st July marked with the tag ‘Ely Folk Fest 2018 Photo Comp’. A maximum of two photos per person can be entered for the competition. The competition is open to amateur photographers only. Two winning entries will be selected and winners will be notified by end September 2018. The judges’ decision is binding. Winners will each receive a pair of adult tickets to the 2019 Ely Folk Festival – the prize is non-exchangeable. Ely Folk Festival reserves the right to use the photos entered in the competition for festival publicity purposes. This year we are also running a Kids Photo or Picture Competition for festival guests aged 16 years and younger. If you’d like to enter, please get permission from your parents beforehand. To enter, take a photo of the part of the festival you liked best, or draw or paint a picture of the festival. Email your photo or picture to  by 31st July 2018 explaining why you thought it captured the best bit of the festival, along with your name and age. The winning entry selected by the festival committee will receive a book voucher for £25.

Thank you to all who entered our 2018 Band Competition and Youth Folk Challenge. We launched the Youth Folk Challenge to find talented young musicians in the Cambridgeshire area and give them a platform to perform at the festival. The very talented Melody Causton won the Band Competition and opened the festival on the main stage on Friday night. The following four acts were selected for the Youth Folk Challenge and performed on Friday evening: Josh Aitken a singer-songwriter with heavy roots of folk and rock; Emma Spray a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter who as already launched her first EP ‘Peace & Clarity’; Saul Bailey an English diatonic button accordion player of outstanding ability with roots in traditional music and morris dancing; Mythopoeic who are Katherine & Holly who write and arrange their own material, sing in harmony & play a variety of instruments

2018 Workshops

We’ve got lots of great workshops lined up for you to take part in, including:

  • Scots Singer Iona Fyfe will host a song workshop on Saturday afternoon focusing on songs from the North East and the Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection and teaching songs from various scots styles and repertoires.
  • A slide guitar workshop will be run by blues legend Johnny Dickinson on Saturday afternoon.
  • New for 2018 are our Easy ‘n Slow  sessions for playing popular tunes from the English tradition.  You can download the tunebook – tunebook 3 – and learn some of the tunes in advance – all are in G & can be played on a wide range of instruments. The sessions will be led by David Savage & will take place on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon.
  • John Blackwell of BOD Drums will run a beginners’ bodhran workshop on Sunday morning.
  • Back by popular demand is Fiona Davies with her East Anglian Step Dance workshop on Saturday morning.
  • Meet The Willows on Saturday morning for some informal chat and music.
  • Morris dance workshops on Sunday morning and afternoon with The Witchmen and Golden Star Morris
  • Yoga workshops on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
  • Meet Flossie Malavialle up close & personal on Sunday afternoon to enjoy her humour, stories and music at close quarters.





Booked for 2019

Nancy Kerr
Martin Carthy
Ferocious Dog
Cara Dillon
Melrose Quartet
Gerry Colvin Band
Two Coats Colder
Tide Lines
Rory McLeod
Les Barker
Melody Causton
Saul Bailey
Andy Wall
The Melrose Ceilidh Band

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