Black Swan filled with music for fantastic three days of folk

Union Jill, one of the acts at the Black Swan
5 Jun 2014 @ 10.39 am
| News
Union Jill, starring at the folk weekend
Union Jill, starring at the folk weekend

There’s a fantastic line-up of live acts at York’s acoustic music jamboree, the 12th annual City of York Folk Weekend, which runs from Friday, June 6 to Sunday, June 8


Every corner of the Black Swan Inn on Peasholme Green will reverberate to music. There’s a marquee stage with full PA in the car park, plus three rooms of music-making indoors.

With concerts, sessions, singarounds, workshops, themed events, children’s shows and more, there should be something to suit all tastes.

More than 50 singers and bands are giving us their time and talent, alongside dozens of informal participants.

All the billed performers come from York or neighbouring parts and the weekend is designed to unite, showcase and celebrate the city’s flourishing local folk, roots and acoustic scene.

The main concerts take place under canvas on Saturday and Sunday, with favourites such as Duncan McFarlane, King Courgette, Graham Hodge and The Foresters appearing on Saturday between 1pm and 10.30pm.

Blackbeard’s Tea Party, Union Jill, Rakish and Holly Taymar on Sunday between 1pm and 10pm.

There will be a dash of world music from Caramba, Chechelele and the thrilling Japanese drummers of Kaminari Taiko.

American roots music is represented by Phil Cerny, Union Central and The Jaybirds.

Other singer-songwriters appearing include Sarah Dean, Paula Ryan, Dan Webster, David Ward Maclean and Tommy Coyle, the latter returning to his home town from a developing musical career in London.

There will be folk rock from Gerry McNeice and Root 64, traditional folk from The A-Rhythmics and The Fine Companions, and the Celtic gypsy stylings of Leather’O.

Dance interludes on Saturday come from local sides Acorn Morris and Ebor Morris.

Four concerts over three days in the upstairs function room, home of the weekly folk club, showcase acts ranging from local ukulele fans The Grand Old Uke of York through to the Americana of Boss Caine.

Along the way will be acapella vocals from The Lennanshees and Two Black Sheep & A Stallion, English instrumental folk with Paul Young & Abi Sutton, humour with Phil Pipe, and original songwriting from the likes of John Storey, David Swann, Stan Graham and Steve Kendra.

Participation is just as important as concert performance at a folk festival and there will be multiple opportunities for anyone to have a go at singing or playing. These include all-day musicians’ sessions in the dining room, “open mic” club events, singarounds and “free & easy” jams.

Constituting a Festival Fringe, off-site events include the regular Friday night open session at the Victoria Vaults, Nunnery Lane, the Sunday night Old Time Music session at The Golden Ball, Bishophill, and the Sunday night Acoustic Singaround at the Victoria Hotel on Heslington Road.

Innovations for 2014 include a Friday night Ceilidh Under Canvas with Fiddlers Wreck, the first time the Folk Weekend has incorporated a social dance event.

On Sunday lunchtime there is a Family Singing Workshop for parents and younger children.

Other specials include a Jake Thackray Hour, a Storytelling Session – for both children and adults – and a poetry event, while Simon Alexander will be offering a short workshop on Song Accompaniment for Guitarists.

All events are entirely free of charge, though we will be rattling collection tins to help us meet the unavoidable costs of staging such a festival.