Finest Folk By The Oak

Some of the finest folk and acoustic roots acts in the country will be performing this weekend for one uplifting afternoon of music.

Folk by the Oak returns to the grounds of Hatfield House on Sunday headlined by the award-winning Show of Hands with Miranda Sykes.

Devon’s duo of singer-songwriter Steve Knightley and multi-instrumentalist Phil Beer have forged one of the most successful ever partnerships in acoustic roots music. They return for the second year running on the back of a sold-out concert at the Royal Albert Hall. They take to the stage in the Queen Elizabeth Oak Field at around 8.30pm.

There are plenty of treats for folk fans before then. The main stage acts begin at 2pm with Australian songwriter Emily Barker and her band, The Red Clay Halo. If you’ve seen BBC One series Wallander, you’ll be familiar with their BAFTA-winning theme tune, Nostalgia. Developing something of a reputation for sound-tracking dark crime thrillers, the achingly beautiful Pause is also the theme tune to BBC Two’s The Shadow Line.

Next up from 3pm are folk favourites Nancy Kerr and James Fagan. English fiddler and singer Kerr first came to prominence in her groundbreaking duo with Eliza Carthy before meeting Australian singer and multi-instrumentalist Fagan in 1995.


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Now one of the most established and respected duos on the folk scene, Nancy and James have won three BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, including the best duo gong twice.

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Chris Wood will play from 4pm, followed by Scottish instrumentalists Breabach.

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Angelic Irish vocalist Cara Dillon – another multiple BBC Folk Awards winner – is due to perform from 6.15pm.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain complete the main stage line-up from 7.25pm with their versions of mega hits. Tracks as diverse as Teenage Kicks by The Undertones, Nirvana grunge classic Smells Like Teen Spirit, Crazy by Gnarls Barkley, Wheatus’ Teenage Dirtbag, and Life on Mars by David Bowie have all been covered by the orchestra in their inimitable style.

Tickets cost �34 in advance, rising to �38 on the day for adults. Children aged five to 15 pay �16 and it’s free for four and unders.

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