13th - 15th Oct 2022

MFF 2022 Passes On Sale Now HERE

First Artists Announced for The Official Folk Albums 2021 Chart of the Year Show

This morning it was revealed that Katherine Priddy and Spiers & Boden will play live at the show – the very first end-of-year folk chart that marks a tremendous 12 months in the world of folk and acoustic music.

The event is streamed live from Cecil Sharp House in London on Tuesday 1st February from 7pm – the usual time for the monthly folk chart show.

Presented by Folk on Foot’s Matthew Bannister with special co-host Lady Nade, the show features exclusive live performances, videos and chat from some of this year’s movers and shakers alongside a gripping run-down of the top 40 best-selling and most streamed folk albums of the year.

Katherine Priddy who’s debut album The Eternal Rocks Beneath hit the No.2 slot in the chart in June, delights with her haunting vocals, rich harmonies, distinctive finger picking guitar style and original songs.

Katherine Priddy

Fiddler-vocalist Jon Boden and accordionist John Spiers released Fallow Ground in September, their first release as a duo in 13 years. Reaching No.3 in September, their songs are joyous instrumentals with rambunctious melodies.

More artists will be announced over the coming days.

The Official Folk Album Chart of 2021 is streamed live on Folk on Foot’s YouTube Channel at 7pm on Tuesday 1st February. Click HERE to visit Folk On Foot’s website for more details.

Back in October 2020 Manchester Folk Festival launched The Official Folk Albums Chart with a very special live streamed event from HOME in Manchester. You can re-watch this event below.

New On Sale! McGoldrick, McCusker & Doyle

Folk music’s legendary triumvirate of musical magpies Mike McGoldrick, John Doyle and John McCusker head to the newly refurbished Stretford Public Hall on Thursday 24th February to bring you their own blend of top -class folk songs, tunes and charming bonhomie.

With their vast repertoire, this will be an evening to remember. Described as the masters of flute, fiddle, song and guitar they have worked with the biggest and brightest and bring you a night of beautifully crafted music. Having shared stages and recording studios with everyone from Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler to Paul Weller, Joan Baez and Linda Thompson, Mike, John & John are a rare musical treat you’ll savour for a very long time.

Tickets for the show cost £22 including fees and are on sale now – available HERE.

The beautiful ballroom performance space at Stretford Public Hall.


Manchester Folk Festival 2022 Pass On Sale Now

Our Manchester Folk Festival 2022 Passes are now on sale!

The pass allows entry to all Manchester Folk Festival gigs* from
Thurs 13th – Sat 15th October 2022 plus entry into the MFF Festival Club each night.

We can’t tell you who will be performing yet (we’re working on that right now) but we’re certain you’ll want to make a weekend of it – and a pass is the best way to do that.

There are a limited number or passes available and once they are gone they are gone!

At just £84.80 (inc fees) the cost is equivalent to attending 4 – 6 (of the approx. 17) headline gigs at the festival and you’ll receive a keepsake MFF Lanyard with the pass.


Feedback from one of our 2021 pass holders:

“It was EXCELLENT having a festival pass as it meant we could move from one venue to another without requiring another ticket, plus see the club acts at the end of the day. We came from Somerset for this festival and the pass enabled us to get the most out of it.”

Venues and headline artists will be announced in early 2022, with the full line-up announced in March 2022.

*Subject to capacity.
Please note:
It is not possible to see full sets from all artists in the festival as some gigs happen concurrently.
Some venues will be standing and some will be seated. Where venues are seated, a section of seats will be reserved for pass holders to sit in. As venues are not yet confirmed, there may be changes to entry policies, but we will keep in touch with pass holders via email to inform of any changes.

On Sale 5th Nov – The Unthanks

The Unthanks return to Manchester as part of their 2022 Tour on Saturday 21st May. Tickets to the show at RNCM go on sale this Friday at 10am and will be available via The Unthanks website.

The Unthanks

The Unthanks return to live touring after two years off the road, with the rich and colourful sound of their eleven-piece ensemble, showcasing forthcoming new album, Sorrows Away,alongside favourites such as Magpie, The King Of Rome and Mount The Air.

Since the release of the technicolour BBC Folk Album of the Year, Mount The Air in 2015, The Unthanks have both scaled up to symphonic levels with Charles Hazelwood and the BBCProms, and stripped down to the unaccompanied singing they grew up with for Diversions Vol 5.

They’ve written six scarecrow soundtracks for Mackenzie Crook’s beautiful adaptation of Worzel Gummidge, while finding time to interpret the work of female writers including Emily Bronte, Molly Drake and Maxine Peake. But projects and diversions aside, Sorrows Away is the long-anticipated follow-up to Mount The Air, and as the title suggests, promises to be a
blues-buster and a step into the light for a band known more for melancholy and well, sorrow!

At the nucleus of a constantly evolving unit is the traditional upbringing of Tyneside sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank and the arrangements and writing of composer, pianist, producer and Yorkshireman, Adrian McNally.

Descriptions of The Unthanks range variously from “music that asks you to consider everything you know and un-think it”, to “a take on tradition that
flips so effortlessly between jazz, classical, ambient and post-rock, it makes any attempt to put a label on them a waste of time”.

Using the traditional music of the North East of England as a starting point, the influence of Miles Davis, Steve Reich, Sufjan Stevens, Robert Wyatt, Antony & The Johnsons, King Crimson and Tom Waits can be heard in the band’s 14 records to date, earning them a Mercury Music Prize nomination and international acclaim along the way.

Folk music can commonly and affectionately be defined as low culture, but The Unthanks aspire to prove that the beauty and truth present in the oral history of the people, is anything but common. Their approach to storytelling makes easy bedfellows of tradition and adventure,
direct social commentary and sophisticated harmony, heart-breaking empathy and glacial minimalism, earning them an army of writer and performer admirers including Mackenzie Crook, Maxine Peake, Nick Hornby, Martin Freeman, Elvis Costello, Robert Wyatt, Rosanne
Cash, Dawn French, Adrian Edmondson, Stephen Mangan, Colin Firth, Martin Hayes and members of Portishead and Radiohead.

New On Sale – Lady Nade!

After her stunning gig as part of Manchester Folk Festival last month, we are thrilled to announce that Lady Nade returns to Manchester on Friday 21st January 2022 at Manchester’s Gullivers in the heart of the Northern Quarter.

Tickets cost £13.10 including booking fee and are on sale now – available HERE.

Lady Nade Willing Tour 2022

Lady Nade is soaring into 2022 with her Official Americana and Folk Charting third album ‘Willing’ which features AMAUK nominated Best Song ‘Ain’t One Thing’.

New Year, New Tour…. Lady Nade’s 2021 album ‘Willing’  continues to be a huge success reaching the hearts of so many, gaining airplay on BBC Radio 2 Mark Radcliffe Folk Show, BBC Radio 6 Cerys Matthews, Ralph McLean, Northern Ireland & BBC Radio Ulster , BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Wiltshire and Bristol as well as several online publications including; Folk Radio, Americana UK, Black Ballad UK, Maverick, RNR The Guardian and Holler.

This Bristolian folk Americana songwriter fills your heart with words and melodies that nourish the mind, body and soul. Share a room with her, and she’ll give you her story. All of it. The joys and sorrows. You will love her for it, and she will love you back. She started writing poems and songs as a form of healing from grief, learning  that loss and grief isn’t something one can recover from alone and with her music and recipes she creates a communal experience that everyone can enter into on their own terms, performing in venues across her native city of Bristol, her work developed into a calling to connect with her fans on a deeper level and help lead them through life’s complicated tapestry with the healing power of music. She pours creativity into every song, often lavishing them with a recipe to match

Despite the global pandemic the past 18 months have been full of high-notes including; a chart topping album release, extensive live touring, ( Inc opening 30  shows for BBC award winning Folk Duo Spiers and Boden) performing at many online festivals in the UK and USA, Thriving Roots, ILMC, Folk On Foot and Folk Alliance. As well as being selected to be one of the 12 artists to represent England at Global Music Match and hailed “A Global Match success story”.

Her performances are like a reunion. Share a room with her, and she’ll give you her story. All of it. The joys and sorrows. You will love her for it, and she will love you back.

Review: Manchester Folk Festival 2021 – Northern Soul

Luke Concannon (featured image)

Thanks to Kevin Bourke at Northern Soul for this great review of this year’s festival. Read the article below – or HERE on the Northern Soul website.

Review by Kevin Bourke:

Somehow, there are people still around who believe that ‘all folk music sounds the same’ or that it’s solely made by, and for, blokes with beards.

Manchester Folk Festival is just the sort of event that these naysayers need to shake them out of their lazy misapprehensions. The annual ‘urban folk festival’ is based in and around HOME and the Oxford Road corridor. Within just a few hours of its opening night, this bold event had ranged from the hilarious and committed songs of Luke Concannon to the dramatically remodelled traditional Hungarian folk songs of Dalinda. It also veered from India Electric Co.’s blend of traditional instruments and subtle electronic influences to the return of the brilliantly entertaining and much-loved fiddle, melodeon and vocal duo Spiers & Boden after their years in the folk big band Bellowhead.

Spiers & Boden 4 - photo credit Elly Lucas

Everyone knows just how terrible a time the last couple of years have been for live music. But this festival, and the public-facing aspect of the accompanying English Folk Expo and its ambition to “put English folk, roots and acoustic music on the world stage” for hundreds of delegates from around the world, was a rousing reminder of just how joyful, emotional and meaningful live music can be for sensibly cautious audiences and performers.

MFF Lady Nade-Photo by Arthur Walin

Even the most adroitly programmed festival has inevitable clashes, and I was sad to have to miss, for example, the new duo of Hannah James and Toby Kuhn as well as the brilliant folk song collector and passionate conservationist, Sam Lee. But I was excited to witness the impressive latest incarnations of both The Magpies and The Trials Of Cato, with Polly Bolton having moved from the former to the latter. The Gigspanner Big Band (now including not only fiddle player Peter Knight, percussionist Sacha Trochet and guitarist Roger Flack but also both Hannah Martin and Phillip Henry of Edgelarks and the nearly ubiquitous John Spiers) proved utterly thrilling on a Saturday afternoon in the main theatre at HOME.

Bristol’s Lady Nade, a formidable force online during lockdown, won hearts and minds in the intimate surroundings of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, so she’ll probably need a bigger venue next time around. Another relative newcomer, albeit rather more in the classic singer-songwriter mould, Ellie Gowers did well not to be intimidated by the cavernous surrounding of The Ritz up the road, which bodes well for her future.

Meanwhile, O’Hooley and Tidow have been around for a while, at least relatively speaking, so it was less surprising that Belinda and Heidi seemed so relaxed in the new glare of their post-Gentleman Jack fame. Not long ago, Manchester Folk Festival’s artistic director David Agnew told me that, for him, the festival represented “strong broad-ranging music that tells social stories that mean something” and it’s hard to imagine a better example of what he’s talking about than these two.

So, here’s to next year’s event. I, for one, can’t wait.

By Kevin Bourke

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


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 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.

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