What’s thought to be a unique collaboration between a racecourse and a folk festival reaches its third anniversary in Beverley next month.
The three-day event starts a day earlier than in previous years with a pre-festival concert on Thursday June 18 featuring the world’s top tribute band, the Bootleg Beatles.
The festival then continues from Friday to Sunday (June 19-12) with a line-up of around 80 acts, including headliners Seth Lakeman, Ralph McTell, Barbara Dickson, Peatbog Faeries and Hayseed Dixie.
“The move to the Racecourse has given the festival a tremendous boost,” says the event’s Acting Chairman Geoff Sargieson. “We’d outgrown our previous site at Beverley Leisure Centre and the Racecourse offered more space, better facilities and a hugely attractive setting.”
“We were already the largest event of its kind in the region but following the move we’ve seen further increases in attendance and the indications are that this will continue in 2015.” he added.
Sally Iggulden, Chief Executive of Beverley Racecourse, explained: “We were looking for another large-scale event to bring to the racecourse and the Folk Festival ticked all the boxes”
“We have the benefit of space and facilities but our schedule of race meetings means we’re operational for only 19 days a year.”
“The Folk Festival has fulfilled our expectations and we’re delighted with the event. It fits our ethos and culture and the presence of the festival gives something back to the town. It’s a partnership.” added Sally.
As an example of the cooperation between the racecourse and the festival, Barbara Dickson, one of the headliners at next month’s festival, was invited to present the trophy at a race named in her honour at the May Day race meeting. The winning horse in the Barbara Dickson Beverley Folk Festival Handicap was Stanghow, owned by Mel Brittain.
The development of the Beverley Folk Festival in recent years has been acknowledged nationally with four successive nominations for the UK Festivals’ Family Friendly Award. The event was also joint winner of the REYTA Remarkable Tourism Event/Experience Award for 2014.
The growth of the festival has brought new challenges to the event, however. “We rely to a huge extent on volunteers,” explained Geoff Sargieson, “We need them for the information desk and box office, stewarding in the various venues and for campsite and traffic control. The requirement is that they put in 12 hours of work over the weekend in exchange for a free weekend ticket and camping facilities.”
Potential volunteers should email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01377 217569 for further information.