Web site updated 22 April


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Cumberland Dialect Competition is to be held at Ireby school on Saturday 24 May.

Provisional Running Order is now on the Programme page.

at St James' Church will feature The Jeremiahs from Dublin. Check them out on the Watch Video page.

Cumbria County Council
Neighbourhood Forum

“A gem of a weekend of music and friendliness in a stunning location" www.theguardian.com

Click on an artist image to go to their web site or go to the "Watch" page to see live performances.

Eddi Reader  is a Scottish singer-songwriter, known both for her work with Fairground Attraction and for an enduring solo career. She is the recipient of three BRIT Awards and has topped both the album and singles charts. In 2003 she showcased the works of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns. The Robert Burns project saw Reader awarded an MBE for outstanding contributions to the arts in the New Year's honours list of 2006. Eddi and her brilliant band make a welcome return to Ireby following her barnstorming performance in 2009.

The Willows (Eng.)   are a folk roots family band from Cambridge. Fronted by the breathtaking voice of Jade Ward; supported by rich vocal harmonies and sensitive acoustic musicianship the band draw inspiration from the Americana and British folk traditions in equal quantity. Their debut album, "Beneath Our Humble Soil" was released in February 2013.
Husband and wife Cliff and Jade Ward. Sister Prue Ward, housemate Steve Maclachlan and an unexpected find in the free-ads, Ben Savage began singing and writing songs together in the spring of 2010. Within a few months The Willows were plying their trade in numerous folk and acoustic clubs across the UK, supporting the likes of LAU, Uiscedwr, Rory McLeod, Peatbog Faeries and Lucy Ward.

"Absolutely gorgeous sound, a lovely album" Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2

"The Willows are a breath of fresh air to the folk music community" Maverick magazine


Eliza Gilkyson (USA) is a politically minded, poetically gifted singer-songwriter who has become one of the most respected musicians in Folk and Americana music circles. The daughter of songwriter Terry Gilkyson, whose songs were recorded by artists as diverse as Johnny Cash, the White Stripes, and Dean Martin, Eliza was headed for a career in music at an early age. She has toured with Richard Thompson, Patty Griffin and Mary Chapin Carpenter. She has been inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame alongside legends Willie Nelson and Nanci Griffith and has received a Grammy nomination for her 2006 CD "Paradise Hotel".
"Masterfully structured, startlingly intimate songs in a beautifully lived in voice"
Boston Globe 

The stories he tells are fun, inviting and light hearted - even the serious ones! Ian believes that storytelling has a unique ability to connect people, not only to each other but to the past, the future and to the world around us. At the festival Ian will be telling his stories and hosting a range of guest performances.

Martyn Joseph (Wales)
He is a performer like no other. He has been called "The Welsh Springsteen", but he stands in his own right, built on a reputation for giving what thousands have described as the best live music experience of their lives.
Martyn's ability to transcend preconceptions about how one man and a guitar can sound is testament to his talent and stage presence. In fact, you'd be forgiven for thinking that there's more than one musician on stage.
"Springsteen-indebted Americana, suspended folk chords glistening beneath troubadour tales, his lyrical eloquence still inspired almost 30 years on from his debut" - MOJO.

Flats And Sharps (Eng.)
are a young four-piece bluegrass band from Penzance, Cornwall. They may be one of newest names on the British Bluegrass/Folk scene but over the past 18 months they have been stamping their mark and thrilling audiences with their harmonies and stunning instrumentation.  They have opened Ralph Lauren's First European Store in Covent Garden, London and have  played at The Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Youth Proms.
"Their attitude towards their audience is exemplary and they seduce with charm and great Bluegrass music. Parents, lock up your daughters....certainly a band to watch". Didmarton Bluegrass Festival April 2013.


The Bills (Canada)   is a global acoustic roots music powerhouse band from Canada's West Coast, and they have a way of turning everyone on to the limitless possibilities of their instruments and voices. Strings, bellows, keys, skin and bows - these are the vehicles for the Bills' irresistible joyride. The Bills' live shows are legendary for their exuberance, power, virtuosity and sheer entertainment. Their recorded work carries all the same traits: they've been recognized through two JUNO nominations two Western Canadian Music Awards and countless positive media and fan reviews.
2006 was the last time the Bills performed in Ireby, we are thrilled to see them return.
"Their sound is panoramic, mischievous, fiercely unpretentious - and musically splendid" - Boston Globe.

Chris James and Martin Fletcher (Eng.)
Chris has played music for the last 30 years as a solo acoustic guitarist, playing slide and finger picking blues and original songs. He has played at many of the major national Blues Festivals and has won through to the Final of the New Brunswick Battle of the Blues 2 years running in 2011 at the 100 Club in London and in 2012 at The Garage Highbury. Chris was also nominated in the Acoustic category of the British Blues Awards 2012. Martin Fletcher from Newcastle and Tyneside started playing blues harmonica in 1971 and has been involved in the Tyneside blues scene for many years. More recently, he and other veteran bluesmen from Northumberland and Newcastle formed the Dukes of Ellington and in 2011 he set up the Morpeth Blues ’n’ Roots Club at La Bodega Tapas Bar in Newgate Street. The Duo reached the finals of the New Brunswick Blues competition in 2013.

Weikie (Eng.) Taking a break from European touring band 'Her Name is Calla' to concentrate on his solo efforts, multi-instrumentalist Adam 'Weikie' Weikert blends dexterous traditional musicianship with modern singer-song writing. His live shows mainly consist of a powerful acoustic set, laden with foot stomping traditionals and heart tugging originals. Switching back and forth between Banjo, Piano and Guitar the pace never slows as a comprehensive and choice overview of the many facets of folk and its modern connotations warms the audience and opens many a mind to the window of the singer songwriter. In 2012 Weikie released his debut album 'Raise Our Sunken Ship' followed in 2013 by his single "Vixen".
"A modern Mozart"...Weikie's genius is how he "mashes folk music with his background in electronica" Rock Bands of LA.
"One to watch" Folk Radio.

Marc Block (Eng.)
Marc's debut album The Hawthorn Spring received great reviews and wide radio play. Marc's folk 'n' roll Trio is a regular on the Nottingham music scene and with festival appearances this summer the trio is set to gain many new fans further afield. Performing a mixture of Marc's own songs, trad folk and up-tempo covers, their lush vocal harmonies are complemented by the interplay of Milli Galgut's fiddle and viola with Marc's harmonica, guitar and Bodhran, underpinned by Chris Pitcher's electric upright bass. "one of the most exciting singers I've heard in a long time". Mike Harding .

Funky folk tunes, saucy songs and an infectious stage energy. Blackbeard's Tea Party mix fiddles & squeezeboxes, guitar noise & synth bass, and a feast of international hand percussion to bring you an unforgettable folk-rock extravaganza. Grounded in English traditions - but never afraid to explore more exotic musical avenues - they create a sound that is equal parts tasty, dramatic and danceable.




(Eng.) Late night Dance

The WIll Pound Band (Eng)
Four brilliant musicians in their own right come together to perform a mix of English, Irish & Northumbrian tunes with jazz, bluegrass, blues, rock and Arabic. Will Pound, featured artist on the Christmas no.1 single for Hillsborough, He Ain't Heavy, and nominated as Best Musician at the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, is one of the world's top harmonica players. He's taken the instrument to new places and new music with a style that is completely his own. Will plays both diatonic and chromatic harmonicas and creates sounds not usually heard on this little instrument.
Will Pound: Chromatic & Diatonic Harmonicas - John Parker: Double Bass (Nizlopi, Paper Aeroplanes)
Chris Sarjeant: Guitar/Vocals (Jackie Oates Trio) - Henry Webster: Fiddle/Violin (Henry Webster Band and London Fiddle Convention Winner)
"Will Pound is a master of the mouth harp" UNCUT Magazine

Amanda Shires (USA)   is someone you simply can't ignore and she's back in the UK in 2014 to support her extraordinary new album 'Down Fell The Doves'. She has toured here with Rod Picott in the past but Amanda, voted Texas 'Artist of the Year' in 2011, now headlines tours in her own right and, boy, does she put on a show.
"Languid and elegant .... marvellous song writing"
Daily Telegraph


"Some voices just do the job, don't they? For me, Eddi Reader is up there with, for instance, Bonnie Raitt and k.d. lang, all singers who combine amazing technical control with emotional authority to make their heart-lifting music sound as natural as breathing." Chris Ingham, Mojo.

MAIN STAGE Saturday 
Elaine Davidson Trio  (Eng.)
Considered by many to be one of Cumbria's finest singer/songwriters Wigton based Elaine, reflects in her songs minuscule and panoramic observations of life. Evocative songs such as, Galloway the Fair or Foxes of Cumberland gently draw the listener into her world of words and music . With Danny Hart (Fiddle)
Laurence Blackadder  (Bass)


Steve Folk & Jane South (Eng)  individually they are class acts in their own right but here they come together as a new contemporary folk duo; their debut album was recorded on a 45ft Narrowboat using only solar power, making the album extremely environmentally friendly! The music/album itself reflects the ideology of boat life, sustainability, nature and all things related, with a contemporary folk and Americana feel.


Jessica Lawson (Eng.) Making a welcome return to Ireby having performed in the 12th century chancel in 2012; Jessica sings, plays autoharp and acoustic guitar. Her original songs reflect a background in folk music and a love of Americana as she sings stories about the sea, love, loss, war, and a few ‘fallen’ women. Jessica has performed a number of high profile shows, supporting Eddi Reader, Barbara Dixon and Steeleye Span. When at Ireby she will be accompanied by Phil Simpson.
"Jessica Lawson, with the right breaks, is a star in the making" Live review - Fatea Magazine


Louise Jordan (Eng.)  is a young singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist rapidly making an impact on the UK acoustic music scene. She has a purity of voice which melts the toughest of hearts and a delivery which unsettles the most discerning critic. Her songs ask questions. They are bold in their honesty and striking in their intensity. They are haunting in their simplicity and yet they traverse a broad emotional arc.
Louise has completed three UK tours with performances alongside Ralph McTell, Barbara Dickson, Eliza Carthy, Phil Beer, Cara Dillon, Kris Drever and Richard Digance.
“a stirring, lilting grace” The Telegraph  “a masterclass in songwriting” R2 Magazine

Stark (Eng.) ...they fuse blues, rock, country and folk, to create their distinctive and exciting sound and have become known as one of Brighton's finest live acts. Jamie Francis, on guitar and lead vocals, is influenced by American blues artists such as Kelly Joe Phelps and Dan Tyminski. With a background in samba and progressive rock, Evan Carson (on drums and vocals) brings a modern slant to proceedings; he has toured Europe with a number of musical productions and bands. Bassist Josh 'Rusty' Franklin was brought up in a musical family on a diet of Stevie Wonder, Motown and funk and soul artists, Rusty now applies his years of experience to Stark, filling out the bottom end with unique melodic flair.
"An impressive young Americana-influenced trio with a gift for Seth Lakeman-sized choruses bursting with tight, driving melodicism and folk harmonies" - Time Out Magazine, London


James Findlay (Eng.) Following on from winning the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards in 2010, James was signed by leading Folk Music label Fellside and released his album, Sport & Play (FECD238), to a set of shining reviews. English Dance & Song noted his "great voice", and ability to "handle a repertoire that would normally be associated with an experienced performer with no difficulty". R2 magazine commented that "Findlay is a singer of rare strength and conviction". All this helped to establish James Findlay as one of the leading young performers securing a place in the MOJO Top Ten Folk Albums of 2012. Since the release of the album he has been consolidating his position on the Folk club and festival circuit. His new album, Another Day Another Story (FECD252) builds on the previous one with an excellent choice of mostly traditional songs which strongly link to his West Country roots.


The Hut People (Eng) Champions of the standing ovation, The Hut People are rapidly gaining more and more of reputation as one of the hottest & most entertaining world/folk acts touring today. Taking the audience on a voyage across the globe with their material, they perform a high-octane unique blend of home-grown tunes mixed with British, Nordic and European folk music, perfectly formed & embellished with the driving accordion and a mind-boggling array of exotic percussion.
Accordionist Sam Pirt also performs with 422 (previous Radio 2 Folk awards winners) and is a very experienced musician who is well established within the folk circuit. Sam has in the past performed alongside Kathryn Tickell, The Dubliners, Sharon Shannon, Jez Lowe, Brian Finnegan, Brian McNeill and many others. He is also the founder of Ethno England.
Percussionist Gary Hammond has for the past 12 years recorded and toured with The Beautiful South. He has also worked with Nina Simone and has frequently been a part of many other groups and collaborations within the World, Jazz & Pop genres.

GLOBE HALL and Ireby School - children's workshop


Annemarie Quinn is a singer songwriter hailing from Keswick. Taking up the guitar and violin from an early age, she has developed her song writing techniques to become a prolific composer of beautiful music that reflects the lakes, mountains and countryside that she loves. Annemarie combines her passion for the rural landscape with broad musical influences ranging from the folk styles of Kate Rusby and Mumford and Sons to the memorable melodies of Bob Marley. In doing so, she has honed a style that is uplifting and heart-warming. In 2013 Annemarie graduated with a BA Hons in Music.





The Jeremiahs (Ireland)
Combining original and traditional songs and tunes the Jeremiahs are creating quite a stir and are rapidly becoming hugely popular on the Dublin Folk scene. Since coming together in 2012 they have created a truly original sound with a repertoire consisting of old and new songs from Ireland, Scotland and England.
Joe Gibney, vocals/whistle, Joe, with his instantly recognisable timbre, offers a diverse repertoire of songs, from rousing sea shanties to emotional traditional songs of hardship love and loss.
Brian Corry, tin whistle /flute/fiddle, comes from Feakle Co. Clare. Brian puts feeling and drive into his music which can be heard through his tremendous whistle playing with suttle hints of his jazzy soulful style. James Ryan, guitar/bouzouki, has spent most of his life as a professional musician. Finbar English: fiddle and multi instrumentalist, Finbar ia an accomplished and talented musician, versed in a range of music genres. Winners of the 2013 Ballyshannon Folk Festival Showcase"

John Byrne
"His hilariously funny songs tell the truth about real life in this country, with a caustic wit that recalls the greatest of early 1960s' kitchen-sink novel writers. Simply brilliant".
Chris Salewicz - Music Biographer


Greg Hastings ( Australia)
Greg has traversed over 400,000 kilometres of the vast Australian continent amassing a unique knowledge of the land and it's people including some of the most respected elders of the Aboriginal people; Greg learned to play the didgeridoo from them on his first tour of the Kimberley Aboriginal communities in 1988. Greg's contemporary Adult Australian show incorporates didgeridoo, songs and stories of humour, environmental awareness and the essence of this land; from the rain forests of North Queensland to the Snowy Mountains from the Nullarbor Plain to the Kimberley.

Ian Douglas (Eng.)
Originally a street theatre performer, fire breather and stilt walker, Ian has been telling stories at festivals, schools, libraries and on street corners both nationally and internationally for over 15 years.


A Bit On The Side
Playing anything from quirky folk to perky pop via sweet sounding, melodic ballads; A Bit On The Side are an exciting new band that combine ukuleles with beautiful harmonies and nifty bass-lines. Catch their unique sound at open mic's across the South Lakes.