The winners of this year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards were announced at a spectacular event held at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
Now in their 17th year, this major event in the specialist music calendar saw accolades presented for Folk Singer of the Year, Best Duo, Best Album, Musician of the Year and many more, as well as Lifetime Achievement Awards for songwriter Joan Armatrading and traditional folk legend Norma Waterson.
Also on the night some of the most exciting acts in the folk music scene took to the stage for magical performances to celebrate the vibrant folk music scene in the UK and beyond.
The evening kicked off with an electrifying performance by the John McCusker Band, and throughout the evening the audience were treated to performances by Grammy Award and BRIT Award nominee Joan Armatrading; British singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer and film score composer, Mark Knopfler; Mercury Award nominated Sam Lee, Dublin folk band Lynched; a special tribute to Sandy Denny by Rufus Wainwright and many more. The evening culminated in a rousing performance by acclaimed Northumbrian group The Unthanks.
Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright performed a special tribute to Sandy Denny (d. 1978) who was inducted into the Folk Awards Hall of Fame. For the rendition of Sandy’s classic ‘Who Knows Where The Time Goes’, Rufus was backed by musicians including some who were members of Fairport Convention alongside Sandy in the 1960s and 1970s.
Awards were presented by a host of famous folk fans, including actors Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, Sherlock, The Office) and Matt Berry (The IT Crowd, House of Fools), musicians Richard Hawley and Graham Coxon from Blur, War Horse author Michael Morpurgo and 1960s star Sandie Shaw.
The night also saw the presentation of the annual BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, which has been finding and championing young folk talent for 18 years. The four nominees in this category also performed live during a special interval programme presented by Radio 2’s Simon Mayo and top folk musician Kathryn Tickell.
Bob Shennan, Controller BBC Radio 2, 6Music and Asian Network and Director BBC Music, said:
“What better way to celebrate the thriving folk music scene than a wonderful night in the impressive surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall. It was a fitting way to recognise the huge wealth of talent and I’d like to congratulate the winners of these prestigious accolades. Here’s to next year!”
The awards will be available to watch on the BBC iPlayer the following day (April 28), and will be broadcast on the BBC Red Button from Saturday 30 April until Thursday 5 May.
The full list of winners:
FOLK SINGER OF THE YEAR
Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman
Mount The Air – The Unthanks
MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
BEST ORIGINAL TRACK
Mackerel by The Rheingans Sisters
BEST TRADITIONAL TRACK
Lovely Molly by Sam Lee
BBC RADIO 2 YOUNG FOLK AWARD
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
GOOD TRADITION AWARD
HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE