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Press and Media Release – 23 March 2022
‘Popular North Norfolk Festival ‘Thaws Out’ with a ‘Warm Up’ Concert’
Having been put ‘on ice’ for the last two years due to the Covid pandemic, Cromer’s popular ‘Folk on the Pier’ festival is now set fair for the second weekend of May. Since its last outing in 2019, festival producer Scott Butler has managed to keep the majority of both artists and bookings for the 2020 production intact through the 2020 and 2021 ‘no shows’, and is delighted to be back on track and full steam ahead with the final preparations for what in real terms is the 22nd event, since it started in 1999.
Apart from having to re-arrange two acts in the 2020 line-up, the real change concerns the fringe events whereby a new team will now be running this element of the festival. ‘Folk off the Pier’ is the new ‘not for profit’ organisation that since its inception has also been on hold for the last three years. Mr Butler explains ‘I am delighted that we have a new voluntary body running the fringe events. I have looked after both sides of the festival for the last twenty-one productions and during that time increasingly felt that being involved financially with the free fringe events was actually in many ways rather counter-productive, especially when there were more chances of attracting funding and sponsorship for a ‘not for profit’ organisation distinctly separate from the commercial end of things on the pier. Although I will still of course co-ordinate with the fringe festival, it will in future free up more of my time up to spend on producing the main theatre event each year.’
Renowned as ‘the Best Gig on the North Sea’, ‘Folk on the Pier ‘attracts a plethora of well-known and up-and-coming folk, folk-rock and acoustic artists from across the UK. The line-up is once again a ‘who’s who’ of award winners. Among the headliners are BAFTA Nominated TV Entertainer of the Year and The British Academy Gold Award of Composers recipient Richard Digance, and Wizz Jones who picked up a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. The ever-evolving folk-rock band TRADarrr will play music from their latest album ‘Strange News’ and as always festival Patron Ashley Hutchings MBE who has been the recipient of numerous awards will present one of his latest special projects ‘Dylancentric’ for the festival.
But it is not all about award winners – other acts include festival favourites the Gerry Colvin Band, Feast of Fiddles, the Spikedrivers, this time collaborating with Fran McGillivray and Mike Burke in a performance of their concept show ‘Saints and Sinners’, Kevin Dempsey, Alan Reid, and the Urban Folk Quartet; plus newcomers to the theatre - Linda Watkins, Martin Harley, and the Redhills. Also making their first appearance at the festival are local acts Christina Alden and Alex Patterson, the Shackleton Trio and Klezmerized! Closing the festival on Sunday evening is the band without whom there would probably not be a ‘Folk on The Pier’ - Fairport Convention. Little did they know when they invented British folk-rock that it would become the inspiration for what has become a very popular and enduring music festival.
There is a ‘Folk on the Pier’ warm up event at the Belfry Centre in Overstrand on Friday 22nd April featuring festival favourite, singer-songwriter Anthony John Clarke with local act Anto Morra in support. Tickets for this concert available at Buy Folk on the Pier merchandise