Festivals: Manchester Folk Festival 2019 Lineup Announced

Manchester Folk Festival will return in 2019, presenting an imaginative programme of folk and acoustic from a list of outstanding projects and musicians. The likes of Kate Rusby, The Breath, Grace Petrie, Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys and a rare staging of The Unthanks’ latest project: ‘The Unthanks Sing Emily Brontë’, have been announced for October’s event in our wonderful hometown

Now in its third year, Manchester Folk Festival is back and bigger than ever with 13 gigs across the city centre, opening on the Wednesday night with the BBC 2 Folk Awards, at Bridgewater Hall for its 20th year. The festival is also excited to announce a new commission written by Sean Cooney (The Young’uns) and Debs Newbold (Through The Seasons) to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre. Set two centuries apart, parallel narratives explore the themes of freedom of speech, protest and democracy through the stories and songs of two working class women

Manchester Folk Festival takes place from 16 – 20 October 2019, across multiple Manchester venues; HOME, Gorilla, Manchester Central & The Ritz

Headliners include Kate Rusby, a true pillar stone in folk, joined on stage by the cream of British folk musicians who form her select band, performing beloved classics from Kate’s back catalogue stretching over her two decades of music-making, together with a selection of fresh new songs from her new album. In a brand new Manchester Folk Festival venue, Rusby plays at Manchester Central, only a short distance from the festival hub and venue, HOME at Tony Wilson Place

The festival will also welcome Manchester-based band The Breath to the stage with their unique take on alt-folk journeys from hushed storytelling to uplifting anthems. Off the back of their new album Let The Cards Fall, released in 2018, Stuart McCallum and singer Ríoghnach (pron. Ray-nuh) Connolly join the festival line up at the end of their extensive European tour

TFFT faves The Unthanks join the line-up on Saturday for a rare performance of their new Emily Brontë project. Commissioned by the Brontë Society to mark Emily Brontë’s 200th Birthday, Yorkshire-born Unthanks pianist and composer Adrian McNally has turned a selection of her poems into song, performed with bandmates Rachel & Becky Unthank

Grace Petrie returns to the Manchester Folk Festival stage, this time with her politically charged solo music. In a time where political folk is more important than ever, Petrie exploded on to the national protest scene in 2010 with the emotive anthem Farewell To Welfare. Grace has captured perfectly the spirit of the new wave of dissent in austerity Britain, and has been winning over audiences ever since

Festival producer David Agnew states: ‘We couldn’t be more thrilled to announce our line up this year, showcasing the breadth and nuance of folk. Supporting and celebrating the 50/50 gender balance initiative from PRS Foundation’s Keychange, the programme highlights diverse women in folk, writing and performing in the UK today’

Manchester Folk Festival includes:

Rising Up: Peterloo 2019 – Thursday 17 October
The Servants’ Ball – Thursday 17 October
Rowan Rheingans – Thursday 17 October
Ferocious Dog – Thursday 17 October
Grace Petrie – Thursday 17 October
Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys – Friday 18 October
The Breath – Friday 18 October
Kathyn Roberts & Sean Lakeman – Friday 18 October
Kathryn Williams – Saturday 19 October
The Demon Barbers XL – Saturday 19 October
Belinda O’Hooley – Saturday 19 October
Kate Rusby – Saturday 19 October
The Unthanks – Saturday 19 October

With more to be announced.
Book tickets via www.manchesterfolkfestival.org.uk

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