Experience the music of the people at Hull Folk and Maritime Festival


Hull Folk and Maritime Festival is back for its fifth year and is set to be bigger and better than ever.

We spoke to Mark Pollard, Festival Director, to find out more about this fantastic event.

“This year, the festival is on for longer, kicking off on Thursday 20 July with a ticketed concert with local Johnny Cash tribute act Keep it Cash, and coming to an end on Sunday 23 July,” Mark explains.

“We’ve also got Chris Wood playing upstairs at Furley and Co on the Thursday. He is one of the best folk singer-songwriters in the UK.”

The Friday evening will see Hull-based favourites the Hillbilly Troupe take to the main stage at Minerva, warming up for Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra.

“If the sun is out, it will be a fantastic night,” Mark enthuses.

On Saturday, a whole host of free gigs and celebrations will fill Hull Marina and the surrounding area.

“Music-wise, we have four stages, with nine acts on the main stage alone,” he continues. “Dan Walsh, who is probably the county’s finest banjo player, will be performing just after Kim Lowings and The Greenwood. And an old friend of the festival, Rory McLeod, is on the lineup too.”

Headlining the GMB Comrades mainstage is London six-piece, Fitty Gomash.

“Everyone will be dancing. Their stuff is real high energy.”

Since its birth, the event has attracted more and more folk fans each year, with an estimated 10,000 people attending in 2016.

“We’re expecting a lot of people to come down this year. Especially with the recent renovations around Humber Street,” says Mark.

As well as the music, there will be an exciting array of workshops and activities on offer. You will be able to enjoy folk art, learn how to write your own story and song, and take part in photography classes.

On top of all that, more than ten historic vessels will moor up at the picturesque Marina and open their doors to the public to explore.

“Some of these boats will have stages on them too,” Mark explains. “Around one hundred Morris dancers will be making their way around the city centre, eventually ending up on the site.”

The weekend also coincides with the Minerva’s Real Ale Festival, so delicious, traditional alcohol and beverages will be on offer throughout the four days.

“For me, I like that folk music tells stories of people’s lives. It’s folklore. I think a lot of people also enjoy the history associated with it. There’s definitely a trend to get back to something a bit more natural and simplistic,” Mark explains.

“Also, a lot of folkies are left-leaning politically, so there’s that too. It’s the music of the people and documents ordinary lives.”

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the Hull Folk and Maritime Festival website.

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