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Wow! What a line-up for Cambridge folk festival

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Fisherman’s Friends, The Proclaimers, Imelda May, klezmer band Oi Va Voi and five times Grammy winner, singer-songwriter, Angélique Kidjo are among the headliners announced for this year’s Cambridge Folk Festival in July.

This year’s stars also include Celtic favourites, The Sharon Shannon Trio, Kate Rusby, Eliza Carthy, Brebach and the Daoirí Farrell Trio.

Fisherman's Friends at Cambridge Folk Festival

Fisherman’s Friends at Cambridge Folk Festival

Orcadian eight-piece The Chair play a turbo-charged mash-up of folk, blues, rock, dub, and klezmer.

The Ayoub Sisters at Cambridge Folk Festival

The Ayoub Sisters at Cambridge Folk Festival

The festival prides itself as a showcase for music from around the world across the genres.

Imelda May at Cambridge Folk Festival

Imelda May at Cambridge Folk Festival

The concept of “folk” is really any style of music played anywhere that pleases people – and especially if it makes them want to dance.

This year the line-up includes the Ayoub Sisters (born in Glasgow to Egyptian parents) who trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Royal College of Music and play violin and cello.

There will also be singer-songwriter Jinda Biant, who was first inspired by playing Indian classical before he picked up a guitar and discovered the blues, the bottle neck slide and the Mississippi stomp.

Imelda May at Cambridge Folk Festival

Eliza Carthy at Cambridge Folk Festival

International names for this year include the United States musician (and actor) Kiefer Sutherland and Le Vent du Nord from Quebec, who are celebrating their 20th anniversary.

Catrin Finch and Cimarron

Catrin Finch and Cimarron

They are a driving force behind the progressive folk music in Quebec as well as championing traditional music.

The Ibibio Sound Machine combine English and Nigerian traditions.

Among the cherished acts to return are the klezmer band Oi Va Voi. From London, they play fast and furious fiddles, mixing dance grooves with folk music of their Eastern European Jewish heritage.

They are one of those bands, like the traditional Irish bands, that it’s very hard to keep still to.

Catrin Finch and Cimarrón, will combine Welsh harp virtuoso (Finch) with Colombian joropo dance band Cimarrón.

Swedish duo Symbio, offer an interplay of hurdy gurdy and accordion which has been described as musical storytelling where virtuoso folk and electronic dance music meets. 

The annual festival, held in Cherry Hinton Park, Cambridge, began in 1965.

The Proclaimers

The Proclaimers coming to Cambridge Folk Festival

It was organised by a folk fan and firefighter, Ken Woollard. He arranged the first event from the phone box outside fire station.

On noon of the first day of the first festival, four people had turned up. It was later taken over by Cambridge City Council and for at least the past 40 years has sold some 10,000 tickets every year.

The Chair - will be in Cambridge for the folk festival

The Chair – will be in Cambridge for the folk festival

It is one of the longest running and biggest festivals of acoustic music in the world.

It has three stages, all under canvas and a “sitting room style” small tent for new talent.

Every year there are undiscovered gems, who delight their audiences. There are also bands with witty names, such as this year, The Longest Johns, a sea shanty band.

Jinda Biant one of the stars at Cambridge Folk Festival

Jinda Biant one of the stars at Cambridge Folk Festival

This is a family festival with events for children.

Running on the last weekend of July from Thursday, July 27 to Sunday, July 30, tickets are now on sale. Full festival ticket: £205, Thursday: £31, Friday: £83, Saturday: £83, Sunday: £83 from Tickets | Cambridge Live

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