2020 Festival

Thursday 28th – Sunday 31st May 2020
The Kentish Horse, Markbeech, Edenbridge Kent

The 2020 Folk Ale will feature the usual amazing mix of concerts, workshops, dancing, sessions and singarounds, featuring headline guests from the world of folk and roots music, and the fantastic talents of all our Friends of the Folk Ale.

The Kentish Horse will once more be hosting the event, with camping in the adjoining field.

Confirmed Guests for 2020 so far:

John Kirkpatrick
John is one of the leading interpreters of English folk music, with an enviable reputation as an instrumental virtuoso (melodeon, Anglo concertina and button accordion). As fRoots magazine put it, “the recorded John cannot compare with the sheer exhilaration and magic of seeing the man Shirley Collins has called “English music’s mighty heart of oak” perform live.” So don’t miss Saturday night at the Folk Ale!

Sam Kelly and Jamie Francis
Sam and Jamie met at university in Brighton in 2010 where they discovered a common interest in roots music. The duo, Sam on guitar and Jamie on banjo, perform inventive interpretations of tunes and songs in between (occasionally) funny anecdotes and stories of the misadventures of two young touring musicians. 

Sara Byers. Mary Wilson, Sue Graves and long-time “Friend of Folk Ale” John Sandall on fiddle perform folk-inspired traditional, original and contemporary songs featuring entrancing harmonies. They are currently promoting their fifth cd Northern Lights. 

Led by singer-songwriter Greg McDonald, Glymjack offer a high energy, harmony-rich mix of hard-hitting originals, English folk songs and fiddle tunes. It’s a welcome return to Folk Ale for Greg, who stepped into the breach in 2012 when Phil Beer was stranded in the Scilly Isles by the weather! 

The Lowly Strung
This Maidstone-based five-piece Americana/bluegrass band have been building a sizeable and passionate following across Kent for their vibrant and exciting blend of country and bluegrass music. The band includes some familiar Folk Ale faces – Toby Starks (lead acoustic guitar, lead vocals), James Starks (mandolin, vocals), Jonny Starks (fiddle, vocals), Malcolm Peet (Dobro) and Jon Fuller (double bass).

Our Sunday afternoon entertainment continues to live up to its tradition of bringing “something different” to Folk Ale – Classical showpieces, Neapolitan songs and opera arias, Russian folk songs,  Gypsy fiddle music, Argentinian and Russian Tangos, Hot Club Swing and evocative original compositions by tenor Igor Outkine on accordion and Sarah Harrison on virtuouso violin and domra

Mike Nicholson will be the guest at our Sunday evening Festival Folk Club spot, and Foot Down will kick the whole event off with a high-octane ceilidh at the Village Hall. 

Organisation Team

The AGM of the Pig’s Ear Folk Ale held on 25th June 2019 appointed the following team of volunteers to organise next year’s festival.

  • Festival Co-Ordinator: James Kerry
  • Programme Director: John Cullen
  • Treasurer: Stephen Kerry
  • Volunteer Co-Ordinator: Lyndsey Rule
  • Membership Secretary: Sue Rule

One critical vacancy in the team is for someone to orchestrate our publicity. We do have a number of people who help out with publicising the festival, but we would have more impact  if there was someone to co-ordinate their efforts. If you have any  background in marketing, and you could spare a few hours to help develop our marketing strategy, please contact the Festival Co-Ordinator, James Kerry: james@jameskerrymusic.com tel: 07402 670883.

Role Description – Folk Ale Publicity Officer