With the 13th Gate To Southwell Festival on the horizon, over five thousand visitors are expected in the Nottinghamshire town from June 6th to 9th. The family festival kicks off with a special Thursday Americana night starring Los Pacaminos (featuring Paul Young) supported by Louisiana’s Truckstop Honeymoon, young Californians Blue Summit and Joshua Cook, plus a special new Midlands’ artists showcase on the Frontier Stage.

GTSF-1

More than 50 artists will be performing on five stages over four days.  Friday June 7th welcomes Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, Leicester protest singer Grace Petrie, punk veterans Otway & Barrett and Hotel Palindrone from Austria.  Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys headline Saturday night (8th) with great international support from Canadians Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys, Welsh stars Calan, former BBC Folk Singer of the Year Nancy Kerr and acclaimed ceilidh band Blackbeard’s Tea Party. With top quality artists will appearing across the weekend, the festival will reach a climax on Sunday 9th with a special European concert (led by Korrontzi and BOC from Spain) followed by a Celtic finale with Scottish stars Skipinnish, the excellent Edinburgh singer-songwriter Blue Rose Code and Irish favourites Ranagri.

There’ll be dance sides from all over the UK – the traditional procession through Southwell takes place on Saturday 8th – plus children’s entertainment, workshops, storytelling, ceilidhs, poetry, comedy, craft fairs and food stalls.  The subsidized Festival Shuttle Bus will link the town to the festival site near Southwell Racecourse.

Ahead of the festival, residents and local businesses will be participating in the annual Decorate The Gates competition in Southwell over the May Bank Holiday weekend (25th to 27th). To enter decorated gates register via the website www.gtsf.uk  (under ’Get Involved’) before midnight on Wednesday 22nd May.  The winners will receive a full family weekend ticket to the Gate To Southwell Festival worth £350 and a cup donated by Kirkland & Lane. 

Artists News In Detail

Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel and Los Pacaminos featuring Paul Young are among the headline names at this summer’s Gate To Southwell Festival in Nottinghamshire (June 6th to 9th).  Joining an eclectic international line-up that already includes Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys, Skipinnish, Nancy Kerr, Blue Rose Code, Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys and many more brilliant folk roots and acoustic music artists, Paul Young - one of the UK’s best-loved vocalists (“Wherever I Lay My Hat’, ‘Love Of The Common People’, ‘Every Time You Go Away’) - has been the charismatic front-man of the highly-entertaining Tex-Mex show band Los Pacaminos since 1993.  Steve Harley, famous for worldwide hits such as ‘Judy Teen’, ‘Mr Soft’, ‘Sebastian’ and ‘Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)’, has been producing great albums for over 40 years. Both play Southwell for the first time.

GTSF-2

This year’s festival kicks off with a wildly western theme on Thursday June 6th.  A host of top Americana acts will get the party started at Southwell Racecourse.  Topping the bill will be Los Pacaminos and supporting them, tall in the saddle, there’ll be the award-winning young Californian bluegrass band Blue Summit, featuring acclaimed female vocalist AJ Lee and guitarist Sullivan Tuttle, plus last year’s festival favourites, Truckstop Honeymoon from New Orleans.  Also returning will be rootsy rock & roll Californian Joshua Cook.  Building on this theme, Gate To Southwell will also be marking the 50th anniversary of the famous Woodstock Festival of Summer 1969; a specially created 'house' band plus guests will perform iconic songs from the ground-breaking “peace love and music” festival.  Plus there’s Sunjay’s Tribute To Buddy Holly and a special Continental celebration featuring diverse European acts such as Mallorca’s brilliant BOC, Spanish Basque folk dance band Korrontzi, Austria’s acclaimed Hotel Palindrome, the beautiful Dutch harmonies of SYA (Suddenly Years Align) and French-born favourite Flossie Malavialle. 

The increasingly-popular festival at Southwell Racecourse welcomes back Leicester’s “woke folk” activist Grace Petrie, Brighton’s young folk stars Hickory Signals, Jim Causley (“the finest singer of his generation,” according to Mojo) and the multi-instrumental virtuosity of Ranagri.  Plus “Princess of Cajun” accordionist Sarah Savoy, the fantastic folk rock dance band Blackbeard’s Tea Party, famous punk veterans Otway & Barrett, Nottingham’s own gypsy jazz hot clubbers Maniere Des Bohemiens, world fusion crowd favourites The Activators, the highly-acclaimed Bird In The Belly folk collective, the rich harmonies of Norwich’s Alden Patterson & Dashwood and the vibrant young Welsh band Calan. And there’s more: Irish bluegrass from Jigjam, 3 Daft Monkeys (acclaimed as one of the highlights of Glastonbury 2016 by Mark Radcliffe), BBC award-winners Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar, Yorkshire singer-songwriter Katie Spencer, Liverpudlian troubadour Rosenblume, Canadian folk-meets-bluegrass from Jessica Pearson & The East Wind, Nottingham’s rising star Ruth Notman, Kim Edgar (singer-songwriter from Scotland’s multinational folk band Cara) and the sweet-voiced addictive songs of pop rockers Morrissey & Marshall. 

New additions to the line-up include rising Danish indie-folk star Ida Wenoe, Scottish singer-songwriter Kim Edgar from Cara and The Burns Unit (described as “a heady cocktail of Carole King and Regine Spektor” by Spiral Earth), the Indian-influenced global sound of Mishra (featuring Kate Griffin, Ford Collier and jazz-folk bouzouki/bass player Joss Mann-Hazell), Southwell favourites and regulars such as Pete Morton, Keith Donnelly and Winter Wilson, Eabhal bringing traditional South Uist folk from the Outer Hebrides, The Hunch led by Michael Doonan (formerly of 70s folk-rockers Hedgehog Pie) plus three finalists from the New Roots competition: Sam Brothers, Lizzy Hardingham and Clarke Camilleri. 

Over the four days, Southwell will present a perfectly eclectic mix of more than 50 roots, World, acoustic and folk acts across four stages plus ceilidhs, dance sides, comedy, street theatre, poetry and, of course, top class children’s entertainment.   The great improviser and stunt juggler Dan The Hat returns again to build on last year’s success with the Ring of Fire, the London Bus Jump and Boxing Glove Alley.  And master storyteller, Mark Fraser of Walk The Lines, will also be back with original and classic stories.  Throw into this festival pot regular features such as Jan’s Van, music workshops, Toddle Bops and, of course, Keith Donnelly – with his highly interactive stories and imagination-stretching songs for children – and Gate To Southwell 2019 promises to be another winning mix of music mirth and mayhem, hopefully without the mud.

With more artists still being lined up for this “incredible festival” (according to Cara Dillon), tickets are on sale now from www.gtsf.uk