Folk’s shining lights grace Spen festival

Cleckheaton Folk Festival
Cleckheaton Folk Festival

Winning acts from the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards have been secured by organisers of the Cleckheaton Folk Festival.

David and Janice Minich managed to bag the broadcaster’s Best Folk Act The Young ‘Uns.

And following the awards ceremony in Cardiff last month, Best Duo Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker have signed up to the annual showcase. It takes place from July 3-5 at Spenborough Town Hall and smaller venues.

Mrs Minich, of Pyenot Hall Lane, said: “Josienne has got the most haunting, beautiful voice and he’s an excellent guitar player. We are absolutely delighted. Next year, they will be in very, very great demand.”

In 2014, the festival had the Tour de France to contend with, and Mrs Minich thinks that “people that were not able to get through last year will have access this time.”

Aside from the big names in the main hall, including legend Martin Carthy, Artisan and Belshazzar’s Feast, fringe events will be dotted in venues across the town centre.

Mrs Minich said: “With the Cleckheaton Literature Festival just having had a successful first year, we’ve got a poetry session on the Saturday morning called Poems and Pints .”

Well-known nautical songwriter Tom Lewis will also deliver a talk about the life and times of Canadian artist Stan Rogers.

These will take place across the afternoon at the Commercial pub in Bradford Road on the Saturday.

Once again on the Saturday morning the parade will file through the town centre – when participants will marvel in this year’s nautical theme.

On the same day there will be Ceilidh dancing for free at the town hall, which parents are encouraged to take their children to.

Other main acts who will be playing are Copper Kettle, Damien Barber and Mike Wilson, Dogsbody Ceilidh Band, The Fringe Sisters.

The festival’s Springsaver offer is still available until the end of May. This means full weekend tickets can be purchased for £67 (or concessions £62). Single concert tickets can also be bought for as little as £17 before the end of the month.

Visit www.cleckheatonfolkfestival.org for tickets, more line-up information and updated times.