The Lichfield Festival of Folk hailed as a great success

Lichfield Arts’ ‘L2F – Lichfield Festival of Folk’ was once again held in the historic environs of Lichfield – and what a festival it proved to be!

After completing a full Fringe Programme in the preceding week, including shanty and folk nights, a film evening and a quiz, the focus was on the Festival proper from 24th October and started with a superb concert from the likes of Emily Sanders, Belzebub, and from Kimber’s Men, we were treated to a night of shanties and songs of the sea. Their superlative harmonies provided the perfect way to start the Festival especially as they were ably supported in one song from The Lichfield Lighthouse Company and great singing from the audience.

Photos by Dave Jones

Saturday morning saw the inaugral Lichfield Arts and Heritage Procession where 120 members of morris sides and local arts and heritage groups made their way through the city centre to the cathedral close. Many dressed in costume they provided fun – and musical – entertainment to Saturday morning shoppers. The various morris sides then began to disperse to sites around the city centre where they received a warm welcome from onlookers. During the day there was also a popular craft market and heritage displays in the Guildroom.

Photos by Rob Ings

During the day we were treated to sublime performances from Wildfire Folk, Chase Mist, Vicky Swan and Jonny Dyer and Magpie Lane, all in the wonderful setting of Lichfield Guildhall. While the evening in the Guildhall was given over to a ceilidh in support of the Alzheimer’s Society, the main focus of the Festival changed to the marvellous atmosphere of the cathedral for a performance from the outstanding Oysterband. The cathedral buzzed with excitement as the band started their performance with an acappella procession through the nave. The creative lighting picked out the glorious architecture which proved to be an awe-inspiring frame for this amazing concert.

Photos by Rob Morris

Sunday saw a return to the Guildhall where a packed afternoon from the likes of Lichfield Lighthouse Company, Tom Patterson and Dave Morton, Mitres Well, Hattie Briggs, Folklaw, as well as the wit and wisdom of Fake Thackray, all provided a great menu of entertainment. The Festival was closed in the evening in the very best of ways with an incredible concert from the iconic Home Service. John Tam’s wit and incisive musicianship brought this hugely successful Festival to a memorable end.

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