Hartlepool Folk Festival is biggest and best yet

Hundreds of music fans descended on Hartlepool at the weekend for an annual celebration of all things folk.

Now in its third year, the Hartlepool Folk Festival kicked off on Friday and featured a fun packed weekend of events held across the town for the whole family to enjoy.

Jim Causley Trio played in the Baltic Rooms at the National Museum of the Royal Navy as part of Hartlepool Folk Festival.

Jim Causley Trio played in the Baltic Rooms at the National Museum of the Royal Navy as part of Hartlepool Folk Festival.

The bulk of the weekend’s activities were held at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, home to the Historic Quay and HMS Trincomalee, while main stage concerts also took place at the nearby Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre.

Over the course of the weekend, visitors were able to enjoy workshops, talks, dance displays and sessions.

Joan Crump, one of the event’s organisers, hailed this year’s event as the biggest one yet, attracting around 900 people over the three days.

She said: “This year’s festival has been our biggest one yet, with 900 plus people coming along.

Boggarts Breakfast Morris dancers performed MIddleton Grange Shopping Centre  on Saturday as part of Hartlepool Folk Festival.

Boggarts Breakfast Morris dancers performed MIddleton Grange Shopping Centre on Saturday as part of Hartlepool Folk Festival.

“The biggest highlight was the Barrack-Room Ballads, a show held on Sunday night at Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre, which featured some of the work of Rudyard Kipling and was narrated by Hardeep Singh Kohli, the TV personality and chef.

“It was a special production based around English folk music.”

The stand-out show brought together Kipling’s work and the music of Peter Bellamy and featured artists Jon Boden, Martin Carthy, Eliza Carthy, the Wilsons and Damien Barber, who give fresh interpretations of Bellamy’s well-loved songs.

Ahead of the event, organisers said the festival was a great way of attracting people from outside of Hartlepool to visit the town.

Rivington Morris dancers performed at Jacksons Wharf as Hartlepool Folk Festival was held at various locations around the town.

Rivington Morris dancers performed at Jacksons Wharf as Hartlepool Folk Festival was held at various locations around the town.

They said their research has shown that 80% of audience comes from outside Hartlepool and by attracting such visitors it is benefiting the town by encouraging people to spend money in local venues which boosts the town’s economy.

Another highlight of the event included the show ‘Fruits of the Sea’, performed by storyteller laureate Taffy Thomas, which was held in the Captain’s Cabin at the museum.

Thomas is the UK’s first storytelling laureate who is well known in folk circles and travels around the country performing.

The show was created for the festival and featured a chef making a dish to go along with the story.

One of the Boggarts Breakfast Morris dancers in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre on Saturday.

One of the Boggarts Breakfast Morris dancers in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre on Saturday.

Following the success of this year’s event, organisers say they are already looking forward to holding the fourth annual festival next year.

Joan said on its success: “This year we have been so lucky with the weather, it has been great and we have had such a positive response from visitors.

“People love the fact that the festival is on the Historic Quay. The atmosphere and vibe has been great and some of the shows that we host here you can’t see anywhere else.”