Funding windfall for Hartlepool folk festival

FESTIVAL: From left, Lana Williams, owner of the Fisherman's Arms, with folk festival director Joan Crump and Amanda White from Cleveland College of Art and Design.
FESTIVAL: From left, Lana Williams, owner of the Fisherman's Arms, with folk festival director Joan Crump and Amanda White from Cleveland College of Art and Design.

THE first Hartlepool Folk Festival has won a £15,000 cash grant windfall.

The eclectic musical event, which takes place between October 16 and 18 in venues all around the town’s historical Headland, was given the boost from Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts.

FESTIVAL: Joan Crump, Director of the Headland Folk Festival (center) with Amanda White from Cleveland College of Art and Design (right) and Lana Williams owner of the Fisherman Arms (left) outside the Borough Hall Picture: DAVID WOOD

FESTIVAL: Joan Crump, Director of the Headland Folk Festival (center) with Amanda White from Cleveland College of Art and Design (right) and Lana Williams owner of the Fisherman Arms (left) outside the Borough Hall Picture: DAVID WOOD

The funding will support areas of the festival such as workshops, education work in local schools, and the artistic programme.

The festival will bring together some of the most established names in folk, including Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick, Vin Garbutt, Chris Wood, Dick Gaughan, and Alistair Anderson.

Teesside’s favourite harmony singers, The Wilsons, fresh from their performances in Sting’s The Last Ship in New York and Gateshead, and their own 40th Anniversary concert at The Sage, will give several performances in their role as the festival’s Patrons.

There are also a host of up-and-coming names, such as Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker and Talisk, both winners at the BBC Folk Awards 2015.

We can’t wait to welcome folk fans from all over the country to Hartlepool in October.

Festival director Joan Crump

Special events that celebrate the area and the wider region, such as Sea:Coal, a project in which nationally-acclaimed songwriters will take inspiration from the new Durham Coastal Path from Hartlepool to Seaham, will also be a feature.

There will be a concert commemorating the end of the Miners’ Strike, and other events appropriate to Hartlepool, including Alistair Anderson’s A Lindisfarne Gospel, with Northumbrian pipes, harp and cello, being performed in St Hilda’s Church, due to its ancient connections to Lindisfarne.

Programmed events will take place in the Borough Hall, St Mary’s Church, St Hilda’s Church, the Duke of Cleveland, and various Headland pubs.

There will be plenty of free sessions and singarounds in the pubs, plus guest spots from local folk clubs and Hartlepool’s renowned PinDrop nights.

FESTIVAL: Joan Crump, Director of the Headland Folk Festival (center) with Amanda White from Cleveland College of Art and Design (right) and Lana Williams owner of the Fisherman Arms (left) outside the Borough Hall Picture: DAVID WOOD

FESTIVAL: Joan Crump, Director of the Headland Folk Festival (center) with Amanda White from Cleveland College of Art and Design (right) and Lana Williams owner of the Fisherman Arms (left) outside the Borough Hall Picture: DAVID WOOD

A food festival and market in the Town Square will feature buskers and morris dancers, and will make the festival ideal for day visitors.

There will be workshops, talks, and screenings, including a programme of events especially for families and younger visitors.

“There’s already a real buzz about the festival,” says festival director Joan Crump. “The enthusiasm from the council and our funders has been amazing.

“We can’t wait to welcome folk fans from all over the country to the area in October.”

Early Bird tickets (until July 1) are available at £70. Full price tickets from 2 July will be £80.

They can be purchased online at www.hartlepoolfolkfest.co.uk.

Hartlepool residents can purchase tickets from the Tourist Information Centre (TIC) at Church Square for a special discounted rate of £65. Proof of address is required.

Alternatively, phone (01429) 890000.

The TIC is open Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 4.30pm and Saturday from 10am to 4pm.