Hartlepool Folk Festival postponed - but organisers look forward to 2021

A festival celebrating North East culture and featuring the most prestigious names in British folk music has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Monday, 22nd June 2020, 4:45 pm

The sixth annual Hartlepool Folk Festival had been due to take place on October 16-18 at the National Museum of the Royal Navy and Borough Hall on the Headland with concerts, performances and workshops from a host of artists.

But due to the ongoing uncertainty around the pandemic, organisers have decided to postpone the festival until October 15-17 next year.

It is due to a combination of factors including funding and uncertainty around the confidence of audience goers.

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Boggart's Breakfast made a welcome return to Hartlepool Folk Festival at the National Museum of the Royal Navy last year

Festival Director Joanie Crump said in an announcement online: “Arts funding has been affected dramatically by the pandemic, so the usual funders who help us to bring you such memorable events are not currently accepting project applications.

“Secondly, we really don't know how much confidence ticket buyers will have in attending large-scale indoor events for the rest of the year, which means going ahead would be a huge financial risk.

“Finally, and most importantly, we are aware that many of our audience members fall into the vulnerable category, and we don't want them to have to make difficult decisions about whether they should risk attending.

“Your safety is paramount, and none of us on the team would ever forgive ourselves if we put you in danger.”

Morris dancers at the Hartlepool Folk Festival at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, on Saturday.Saturday.

So far, all artists have confirmed their booking for next year including those coming from abroad.

Joanne added: “Our audiences have proved themselves incredibly loyal and dedicated in the 5 years we have been running the festival, and I can't thank you enough for that.

“It's what gives us the motivation year after year to try and make the festival the very best event that it can be.

“We will miss you terribly in October, and can't wait till we can see you to raise a glass and a song.”

John Connolly performing in the Captain's Cabin on board HMS Trincomalee at the Hartlepool Folk Festival at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, on Saturday.

Festival organisers have set up a crowdfunding website after supporters asked how they could help.

So far it has raised £1,400. Anyone who would like to give can do so at the page Support Hartlepool Folk Festival at www.crowdfunder.co.uk

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