Find out what to enjoy and where at this weekend’s Hartlepool Folk Festival

Pirate musicians performing at last year's Hartlepool Folk Festival. Picture by Andrew Dorrian.
Pirate musicians performing at last year's Hartlepool Folk Festival. Picture by Andrew Dorrian.

Hartlepool will be a hotbed of folk activity and performances this weekend with the return of a festival that gets bigger every year.

The fourth Hartlepool Folk Festival starts tomorrow and continues until Sunday featuring some of the brightest names in folk music.

People can also get involved in a variety of workshops, family fun and enjoy street music.

The main venue this year is the National Museum of the Royal Navy with its 18th Century-themed historic quay providing the perfect backdrop.

Performances and workshops take place at the navy museum throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday including on board HMS Trincomalee.

Then on the evenings, the focus shifts to the Headland.

The festival’s centrepiece this year is The Bishoprick Garland, a new show based on Hartlepool-born historian and soldier Sir Cuthbert Sharp’s collection of music, dance, story and song from across County Durham.

It will be performed at the Borough Hall tomorrow at 7.30pm.

BBC Folk Awards Best Band 2018, Lankum, headline the festival and perform at the Borough Hall on Saturday night at 9.30pm.

Local pubs will host music sessions, Morris dancing and small-scale shows, and a performance by the spectacular and eerie Mr Fox troupe, who dance with burning torches, in front of the Borough Hall on Saturday night.

Other acts performing as part of this year’s festival include Kathryn Tickell, False Lights, Elephant Sessions, Melrose Quartet, Blazin’ Fiddles, the Wilsons and Roy Bailey.

And five Morris dancing teams will entertain shoppers at Middleton Grange shopping centre at 3pm on Saturday.

Centre manager Mark Rycraft said: “Their routines are breathtaking and have had shoppers stopping in their tracks to see their display.

“The Hartlepool Folk Festival is a brilliant celebration of a fantastic genre of music, embracing all types of artistic styles.”

Roger Kennington, a member of the Hexham Morris Men, added: “Our performance last year at Middleton Grange went down really well.

“We had a terrific response from shoppers who gave some amazing feedback, telling us how much they enjoyed watching us.”

For festival tickets and information call (01429) 299330 or visit www.hartlepoolfolkfest.co.uk