Friends of Folk gigs enter their 10th year

Julie Felix

Julie Felix

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When Friends of Folk was launched it was originally intended to promote just one concert with folk legend Maddy Prior.

This took place in April 2005 in the foyer bar at Preston’s Guild Hall.

The 2014 line-up of artists is now fully booked and four of the five gigs before the summer break will take place at New Longton.

The New Longton nights are:

Friday, February 7: Brian McNeill

Friday, March 7: Nelsons Wake

Friday, May 2: Joe Broughton’s 
Urban Folk Quartet

Friday, June 6: Nick Hennessey

Tickets are available to buy on-line at www.fofshop.com and details can be found at www.friendsoffolk.org.uk.

Organiser Jim Minall said: “The 2005 gig went so well that many more were soon to follow and that one-off has turned into over 200 events in the years that followed.

“The concerts have taken place in many different venues and attracted varying sizes of audience – from 900 in Preston Guild Hall to 50 in a village hall.

“Most have been very successful, but a few were spectacular failures!

“Still the intention never was to make money and from the outset Friends of Folk was a not-for-profit organisation.

“It’s only aim was to bring the best in folk, folk-rock, acoustic and other good music to its supporters.”

Past line-ups have included Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention, Feast of Fiddles, Pentangle, Ralph McTell, Julie Felix (right), Dave Swarbrick, Kathryn Tickell, Ken Nicol, and Peter Knight. Jim added: “There is a very selfish side to the venture in that I get to pick the artists and meet face to face many of the people I have just previously admired from my seat in the audience. New Longton Village Hall is proving to be an excellent venue with a friendly atmosphere and has been a hit with the artists. At a recent gig Julie Felix said how much she had enjoyed playing at the venue.

“The last three concerts of 2013 were successful with two selling out and a third almost reaching the 180 capacity.”