Cambridge Folk Festival lineup keeps getting better

The Cambridge Folk Festival, renowned for its rich history of showcasing Americana and country music, returns from 25th to 28th July 2024 with a diverse line-up of artists set to perform across four covered stages throughout the festival weekend.

Among the highlights, Robert Plant will present Saving Grace featuring Suzi Dian. With a career spanning several decades, Plant has transitioned from legendary rock frontman with Led Zeppelin to a Grammy-winning bluegrass artist alongside Alison Krauss. Plant, who holds a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Americana Music Association UK, will perform with Saving Grace, a collective that includes Suzi Dian, Oli Jefferson, Tony Kelsey, and Matt Worley.

Brighton-based singer-songwriter Bess Atwell, whose new album Light Sleeper has garnered rave reviews, will be performing on Sunday. Produced by Aaron Dessner of The National, Atwell is one of the festival’s most anticipated acts.

Flamy Grant, a North Carolina native known for her powerful vocals, songwriting, and comedy drag performances, will also feature. Having topped the Billboard charts and won multiple awards, including the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Competition in 2023, Grant’s performance is highly anticipated.

Dean Owens & The Sinners, praised by Irvine Welsh as “the pulse of all our lives,” will perform as part of the Showcase Scotland Expo partnership. The Edinburgh-based band, known for their engaging live shows, have won multiple Americana UK awards.

South Carolina’s Taylor McCall, who recently toured with Robert Plant, will bring his deep-rooted music and lyrics to the Cambridge stage. McCall’s performances reflect the legacy of his grandfather, who gifted him his first guitar.

Leyla McCalla, born to Haitian emigrants in New York City, draws on her heritage and diverse influences. McCalla, who excels in cello, tenor banjo, and guitar, will showcase her multilingual songwriting and distinctive sound.

Darlingside, who made a memorable debut at the festival with their technical prowess and harmonious vocals, will return. The Boston-based quartet is known for their on-stage banter and captivating performances.

Larkin Poe, the Grammy-nominated duo of Rebecca and Megan Lovell, will present their unique blend of Roots Blues Rock. Their self-produced work has been critically acclaimed for its gritty and soulful style.

Aoife O’Donovan, co-founder of I’m With Her and Crooked Still, will perform songs from her latest album, All My Friends. O’Donovan’s music reflects the evolving landscape of women’s rights in America.

Local artist Annie Dressner, known for her rich storytelling and evocative melodies, will bring her contemporary sound to the festival. Her music has been likened to artists like Phoebe Bridgers and First Aid Kit.

Fourteen-time Grammy winner Jerry Douglas, celebrated for his mastery of the Dobro and lap steel guitar, will also grace the stage. Douglas, a co-director of Transatlantic Sessions, is known for his innovative contributions to music.

Legendary guitarist Tommy Emmanuel CGP, renowned for his ‘finger style’ playing, will make a rare UK festival appearance. Emmanuel’s technical precision and improvisations are a must-see.

Closing the festival on Sunday evening, Blue Rose Code’s Ross Wilson will lead a Caledonian Soul Cavalcade. Wilson, known for his blend of alt-folk, jazz, and blues, will perform with a five-piece band and horn section, alongside special guests Karine Polwart, Justin Currie, Steve Knightley, and Danny Thompson.

Christian Raphael Prize winner Katherine Priddy, noted for her haunting vocals and distinctive guitar style, will also feature. Her second album, The Pendulum Swing, has received widespread acclaim.

Rolling Stone’s “future of music,” Lizzie No, will perform songs from her album Halfsies, which explores personal and political themes through a blend of Americana and indie folk.

Irish duo Lemoncello, recognised for their enchanting harmonies and dramatic soundscapes, will also take the stage. Their finger-picked guitar and cello playing have earned them a growing fanbase.

Allison De Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves, winners of Instrumental Group of the Year and Traditional Album of the Year at the 2023 Canadian Folk Music Awards, will perform both individually and with Transatlantic Sessions.

Manchester singer-songwriter Robbie Cavanagh, recipient of the Bob Harris Emerging Artist Award, will bring his heartfelt music to the festival.

Nora Brown and Stephanie Coleman will showcase their rich musical partnership, featuring traditional southern Appalachian banjo and guitar playing alongside masterful old-time fiddling.

Beyond the music, the festival offers a range of activities including children’s events, workshops, a silent disco, storytelling, and an array of food trucks and bars. Recognised as “Outstanding” by the Greener Festival Awards, the Cambridge Folk Festival promises a weekend of exceptional entertainment and community spirit.


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