We love people bringing their instruments to Cambridge Folk Festival. The Festival has always been a place where some of the best music is taking place in the campsite, the Sessions Café or the Guinness Bar as well as the main stages. At the festival we encourage festival goers to continue the music after the acts on the main stage have packed up for the night. So bring your instrument, be it a bodhran, guitar, fiddle or triangle and enjoy the session.
There will be at least two Irish sessions on each day of the Folk Festival this year. Put together by Debbie Patterson Jones and Louise Lemon, they will be located in the Guinness Tent, and the late night slots will take place in the Sessions Café. There
will also be a session on the Coldham's Common campsite on Friday.
The English sessions will bring grass roots traditional English folk music and song sessions to the Festival, and a flavour of the traditional folk club atmosphere to the cafés, bars and gathering areas.
On Saturday and Sunday members of the Bury Folk Collective including Paddy Butcher, David Rumble and Max Beaird will be singing songs in The Flower Garden and at a late night singers session in the café. To conclude, the Sound Tradition will bring their wonderful a capella harmony to the late afternoon Flower Garden session on Sunday.
Each year our music workshops which range from fiddle, to bodhran and pipe workshops and these often involve musicians performing at the festival. 2018 music workshop line up:
SONGWRITING WORKSHOP | 10AM, FRIDAY | CLUB TENT
Join Eliza Carthy for an insight into the wonderful world of songwriting from one of the leading voices in folk.
ANYTHING GOES WORKSHOP | 10AM, SATURDAY | CLUB TENT
All instrumentalists and vocalists are welcome to this fun and relaxed workshop with The Shee. They will develop tunes and songs from UK and abroad and work towards a collective performance at the end of the session.
SINGING WORKSHOP | 10AM, SUNDAY | CLUB TENT
Twice Grammy-nominated musician Beth Nielsen-Chapman is bringing her huge skill to the Festival this year. As well as performing on Sunday she will be leading the singing workshop.
BODHRAN AND WHISTLE WORKSHOP | THE FLOWER GARDEN | FRIDAY
Hobgoblin have presented “a come and try” workshop over the past couple of years, the first being a whistle and the second in bodhran. Both were super popular so we have decided to combine the two into one big session. Virginia and Georgia will be leading you through the basics, talking about each instrument and giving you the opportunity to try before maybe purchasing your own to take home with you.
NORTHUMBRIAN PIPES WORKSHOPS | 11.30AM, FRIDAY & SATURDAY | THE FLOWER GARDEN
The Northumbrian smallpipes are one of the country’s most beautiful and sophisticated folk instruments. These workshops give everyone the chance to hear what they can do, to meet makers and get started with the pipes.
There will be a variety of crafty workshops for festivalgoers to take part in if they are feeling creative while at the festival.
WILLOW WORKSHOPS | DAILY | CHERRY HINTON & COLDHAM'S COMMON
Michelle Cain is the artist who weaves the wonderful statues in the main arena. She’ll be running workshops at Cherry Hinton that will introduce you to working with willow. Meanwhile, at Coldham’s Common, Thomas Hare will be creating a sculpture, to which everyone is invited to contribute.
DRAWING WORKSHOPS | DAILY | CHERRY HINTON DUCK POND
John Holder, veteran illustrator, musician and friend of the Festival, and Jim Butler, leader of the illustration course at Cambridge School of Art, will be running informal sessions where everyone is welcome to benefit from their lifetime’s experience of art teaching. Participants should bring their own materials.
JUGGLING WORKSHOPS | 10AM, FRIDAY, SATURDAY & SUNDAY | STAGE 2
Make sure you leave the Festival with more than just happy memories by taking the chance to learn a new skill! All the equipment you need is provided for our friendly juggling workshops, which are suitable for young and old alike.