Workshops & Competitions

Ely Folk Festival Band Competition 2024

Would you like a chance to perform on our main festival stage and see your name on the festival listing alongside top folk and roots acts? Ely Folk Festival’s Band Competition is a great opportunity for unsigned amateur folk & roots acts to gain recognition and exposure on the festival circuit. Follow in the footsteps of Rusty Shackle winners of our festival band competition in 2015, who have since gone on to carve their mark in the music world and are back performing as a main act at the 2024 festival.  The winning entry from the 2024 Band Competition will be awarded the opening slot of the evening concert on Peregrine stage on Friday 12 July 2024.

Don’t think you have to be a band to enter our Band Competition! We’re looking for talented amateur folk & roots musicians who are solos, duos, trios as well as bands. If you would like to be in with a chance to win your spot on the main stage of a top UK folk & roots festival, submit your entry to inserting BAND COMPETITION in the subject line and including:

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

Entries must be received by midnight on 15 April 2024 to be considered. The winning entry will be informed by early May 2024.


Workshops & Meets

Our Nightingale stage is the place to be if you want to hone your musical skills or try something new at the 2024 festival. We have a songwriting circle hosted by Jess Morgan, tunes workshops with David Savage, John Kirkpatrick on Playing for Dancing, a Brooks Williams guitar workshop, whistle and bodhran workshops, tunes and song sessions and even a ukelele for children workshop led by Nick Parker Music. Plus there will be stepdance and Morris workshops and plenty of singarounds and sessions throughout the festival including Friday afternoon. We also have informal ‘meet the artist’ sessions lined up with Jez Lowe and Rory McLeod – just the place to find out what tickles their musical tastebuds.

In the meantime, if you’re a tunesmith, here is a downloadable tunebook with 60 tunes which will be used at David Savage’s tune workshop : There is also an abc file which can be played in any abc player……. The tunes  were written in EasyABC which is a free download for Linux and Windows. The tunebook contains Waltzes, Jigs, Polkas & Reels, Marches, Hornpipes and Rants, Schottiches and Slow Airs.  All are in the key of G and all within the compass of melodeons, fiddles, harmonicas, recorders, whistles, etc. The tunes are basic versions without ornamentations or frills and with simple guitar chords.



Music Line Up

Friday Evening

Saturday Afternoon

Saturday Evening

Sunday Afternoon

Sunday Evening