Manchester Folk Festival T-Shirts available now!

The Manchester Folk Festival 2021 t-shirt, which includes this year’s line-up listed on the back, is available now from Mudchutney!

Hoodies are available too (if you don’t fancy freezing in Manchester in October) and there’s a range of colours to choose from.

They are printed to order so get your order in now. HERE.

Workshops & Sessions at Manchester Folk Festival

We’re pleased to announce we have added some workshops and sessions for Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th October:


HOME 10:30am – 12:30pm 
Join Creative Voice Specialist Beth Allen for an unaccompanied singing workshop and learn songs to sing in the pub.
Tickets £4.90, booking required. Book HERE.

HOME 10:00am – 12:00pm 
Mikey Kenny leads a tunes workshop to build players’ confidence in session playing. All abilities welcome. Join in the session which follows. Tickets £4.90, booking required. Book HERE.

Join us for an informal tunes session. Free, no booking required.


HOME 10:30am – 12:30pm
Bryony Griffith leads a tunes workshop to build  players’ confidence in session playing. All abilities 
welcome. Join in the session which follows. Tickets £4.90, booking required. Book HERE.

Join us for an informal tunes session. 
Free, no booking required.

THE PEVERIL OF THE PEAK 12:30pm – 5:00pm
The Gaslamp Singaround host a festival special to close this year’s event. All welcome.
Free, no booking required.

COVID-19 Safety at Manchester Folk Festival

We recognise that people are at different stages on their journey back to watching live events. Our venues have adopted different approaches which are a mix of mask wearing, vaccine passports, increased ventilation and cleaning. We hope you’ll be reassured that all are considerate and careful of your safety.

As entry policies may change over the coming weeks, rather than list each one here, we have provided links to each venue’s policy to make sure you have the most up-to-date information.


International Anthony Burgess Foundation


O2 Ritz

Festival Brochure Now Available

Our printed 2021 festival brochure is now available to pick up from HOME and various other outlets around Manchester.

If you are on HOME’s mailing list then you should receive one on the post very soon, but if you would like to view it online you can download it HERE or by clicking the link above.

Final Wave of Artists Announced for Manchester Folk Festival 2021

Today we announce the final wave of artists joining the line-up for this year’s festival.

On Thursday evening Luke Concannon plays his first UK show in over 3 years in HOME’s Theatre 2. Credited with being one of Ed Sheeran’s main inspirations, Luke performs ‘direct-from-the-heart’ songs with unrivalled passion and commitment.

Luke Concannon

Also on Thursday 21st October, West Yorkshire’s multi-instrumentalist and singer, Jack Rutter, plays a 60 minute intimate show at Anthony Burgess Foundation at 7.30pm.

Friday 22nd October sees The Last Inklings join the line-up as support for Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening. Earlier this week the band announced their debut album ‘The Impossible Wild’ which comes out on 1st October and is available for pre-sales here.

Below is the video from their second single from the album, ‘Sleeping Giant’.

Also on Friday, we are thrilled to welcome Harbottle & Jonas Trio for another intimate show in Anthony Burgess Foundation (one of 4 show here during the festival, the others being; Sam Carter, Lady Nade and Jack Rutter).

Harbottle & Jonas Trio

The Devon duo of Dave Harbottle and Freya Jonas have evolved a compelling live signature sound blending concertina, harmonium, banjo, stomp box, acoustic guitar and cittern with their powerful close vocal harmonies. Touring their latest album, ‘The Beacon’, Cornish fiddle player Annie Baylis joins them to form the trio, weaving in her instrument and a third heavenly vocal.

Saturday afternoon (23rd October) sees BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winning The Trials of Cato perform in Theatre 2 at HOME. Originally formed as a duo, the multi-talented instrumentalist and singer Polly Bolton has now joined their ranks. The Trials of Cato’s hotly anticipated second album is scheduled for release later this year. Entitled Gog Magog, the album is named both after the mythical giant of Arthurian legend and the Cambridgeshire hilltop, where the new album was birthed over lock down.

The Trials of Cato

Opening for O’Hooley & Tidow on Saturday 23rd October we are pleased to announce two boundary-pushing artists; Lunatraktors – Margate’s ‘broken folk’ duo who rework traditional music with influences from post-punk, trip-hop and queer cabaret and John Kelly a musician and Disability and Human Rights Campaigner, whose songwriting contains all the compassion & conviction of Woody Guthrie and the fiery passion of Billy Bragg.

See the full line-up for this year’s Manchester Folk Festival here.

New On Sale – Talisk

After they wowed us at MFF2019 we are excited to announce that Talisk return to Manchester on 15th May 2022.

Tickets for the show which takes place at Manchester’s The Deaf Institute cost £18.50 inclusive of fees and levy and available here.

Photo Credit – Paul Jennings

About Talisk:

One of Scotland’s most popular folk-based groups to emerge in the last decade, chart-toppers Talisk have toured the world stacking up major awards for their explosively energetic yet artfully woven sound, including Folk Band of the Year at the BBC Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award, and the Belhaven Bursary for Innovation.

Mohsen Amini (BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards’ Musician of the Year 2018), Hayley Keenan and Graeme Armstrong fuse concertina, fiddle and guitar to produce a ground-breaking, multi-layered and instantly enthralling
signature sound that has captivated audiences around the globe.

Appearances at leading festivals – including closing out Saturday night’s main stage at the 2019 Cambridge Folk Festival, Denmark’s Tønder Festival, the Rainforest World Music Festival in Malaysian Borneo, WOMADs UK, Chile and Las Palmas, Edmonton Folk Festival, Milwaukee Irish Festival, three back-to-back years at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, and five successive outings at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections – have amassed a die-hard following, whilst folk and world music media have also lauded high praise upon the genre-bending trio.

Their hotly anticipated second album, Beyond, quickly rose to No.1 in the iTunes world music charts upon its late 2018 release, meeting a five-star ‘Top of the World’ review in leading world music magazine Songlines, who brilliantly summarised the band: “incredibly infectious and endearing… fresh, invigorating, accomplished.

Talisk Showcasing at English Folk Expo 2019

Praise for Talisk:
“Extraordinary” / Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2
“Doubling the power of three” / The Scotsman
“the technical ability of each member is clear in their energetic, dynamic sound” / Songlines
“an exciting sound that, in this case literally, drags an audience out of its seats.” / The Herald
“…completely blown away by the sheer dexterity and musicianship” / The Living Tradition

New on Sale! Stick In The Wheel

A Scruff of the Neck and Manchester Folk Festival presentation in association with Earth Agency

Friday 29th October @ 8pm

Tickets: £14 plus booking fee

Buy Tickets

Night & Day Café
26 Oldham St
M1 1JN
0161 236 1822

More Artists Announced for Manchester Folk Festival

Today we are thrilled to add 12 more artists to the Manchester Folk Festival line up for 21st – 23rd October 2021.

Tour to support the release of his 2020 album, Home Waters, Sam Carter plays at a new venue for this year’s festival – The International Anthony Burgess Foundation.

Supporting Spiers & Boden, Anglo-Scottish duo Janice Burns & Jon Doran tell vivid stories about the nature of life through tight vocal harmonies, mandolin and bouzouki.

Ellie Gowers appears as support for John Bramwell & The Full Harmonic Convergence on 21st Oct at 02 Ritz

Ellie Gowers (pictured above) and India Electric Company will open for John Bramwell & The Full Harmonic Convergence on the first night of this year’s festival – 21st October.

On Friday night, The Magpies bring their unique blend of transatlantic folk to support Jesca Hoop at RNCM.

Celebrated Yorkshire cellist Sarah Smout, will support Sam Lee, also at RNCM, on the afternoon of Saturday 23rd Oct before Pennsylvania duo Native Harrow perform songs from their latest album ‘Closeness’ in support of The Futureheads on Saturday night.

Native Harrow are Pennsylvania duo Devin Tuel and Stephen Harms

Over at HOME on Saturday night contemporary folk singer-songwriter and finger-picking guitarist, Flo Perlin opens for The English Fiddle Ensemble.

We’re also excited to host 4 fantastic Hungarian bands as part of English Folk Expo’s international partnership: MUZSIKÁS, Dalinda, Ötödik évszak and Pengetős Trio.

To find out more and for tickets click here.

Declan O’Rourke’s Arrivals Tour – 6th Nov 2021

We are thrilled to announce our show with “One of Ireland’s finest songwriters and performers” – RnR. Declan O’Rourke brings his Arrivals Tour to Manchester on Saturday 6th November 2021.

Playing at The Stoller Hall, tickets cost £18 plus booking fee and go on sale at 10am on Friday 23rd April –

About Arrivals:

“O’Rourke has become something of a songwriter’s songwriter, whose supporters have numbered John Prine, James Taylor….if he’s been a best-kept secret up to now ARRIVALS should finally blow his cover’” 8/10 Uncut magazine

“a masterful lyricist and staggering guitarist.” 4**** MOJO

“the quintessential songwriter’s songwriter” – Irish Times 4****

“It’s an album that confirms his status as one of Ireland’s finest songwriters and performers”RnR 5*

Award-wining Irish singer songwriter Declan O’Rourke returns after 2 years with his new Paul Weller-produced Arrivals, the most emotionally raw and affecting album of his career.

Recorded over six days at Black Barn studios in Surrey, with Weller producing (“he was there every moment, before, during and long after, discussing ideas about this and that, even down to the artwork. It was hugely impressive…”), Arrivals sees Declan O’Rourke present his art in a different yet wholly distinctive manner. The sound is stripped back to Declan’s soulful and resonant voice, the virtuosic acoustic guitar playing for which he’s renowned and only the occasional sparse arrangement of strings and late-night drums bringing colour and light to the LP’s 10 songs. Weller, a fan of Declan’s songwriting for some years, also adds his multi-instrumental abilities to the recordings, including a beautiful piano accompaniment to the closing track.

“Proffering reassurance in the face of inevitable sorrow” is what New York Times music writer Jon Pareles has said about Declan O’Rourke. Not many people would have thought that such praise would have so significant a purpose during a prolonged time of global turmoil, but – as his many admirers know only too well – O’Rourke has been spreading hope, love and emotional clarity for over 15 years.

From 2004’s debut Since Kyabram to his forthcoming album, Arrivals (his seventh studio record, and his debut for eastwest records), the Galway-based artist’s skills as a songwriter have been noticed and applauded by perfectionists such as John Prine and James Taylor. His songs have been covered by fellow artists, most notably his classic 2004 song “Galileo” which has been recorded by Eddi Reader and Josh Groban amongst others. His last album Chronicles Of The Great Irish Famine, documented rare first-hand accounts from that devastating period of Irish history and garnered numerous awards.

“Over time, I have found that being an artist is a process of stripping away layers of yourself in order to get to the core, to get to something that is pure and honest,” says O’Rourke.

He has reached that with his latest batch of songs, yet he has also reached back to what inspired him, and entranced his listeners, when he first performed his songs in small venues. “I recently played Arrivals to a cousin of mine; she used to come and see me all the time in the early days when I’d play – just me and the guitar – at open mic nights. This album, she said, led her to feel that in many ways people were going to hear me for the first time. That made a lot of sense to me.”

Arrivals deftly balances the personal and the political. The personal – it is assuredly his most emotive and intimate work to date – comes from O’Rourke’s admission that he has always been guided by family.

“It’s at the heart of everything for me,” he acknowledges. “I know situations for some people are different, but for myself, family is the well, the source. When all is said and done, your family and those around you are the most important things in the world.”

Emerging at a time when the world is in a phase of serious flux, Arrivals is also his most political and humanitarian. “We all feel very strongly about various aspects of what is happening in the world right now, and I don’t know if I ever managed to speak my mind well about them before. I am fascinated by the past, either in a nostalgic way or through seeing how history has unfolded and what has been revealed. These times are so engaging, compelling, however, that I’ve been pulled into the present. It just happened and I’m glad I let it through.”

Alongside a vision of seeing the personal and political run in parallel and occasionally intersect on Arrivals, is the way in which textural layers have been stripped away.

“I was probably a bit more impetuous early on in my career,” O’Rourke explains. “You want to make something mature and evolved, so you naturally think you need to add things to make the end result sophisticated. The opposite is true, however. The more noise you add, the more you struggle to hear the space around you. That level of quietude has taken me a while to get in my recordings, but I think with Arrivals I have.”

“I would like to think my writing is just a reflection of where I am at any given time,” he reasons, “but I guess it’s possible you get better at engaging with yourself and figuring out what you really want to say. I’ve always enjoyed the company of older people and been attracted to the wisdom and philosophies that are the gifts of age. I’m also used to hearing people, particularly artists, say that as they get older, they care less about what other people think, and that you just say whatever you want. I’m only 44 now, but I’m really gravitating towards that mindset.”

Arrivals is out now.

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