Hopes Rising for Warwick’s Folk Festival
While organisers of the Warwick Folk Festival are planning for the event to go ahead this summer, the emphasis is still on playing it safe. Ann Evans has the details.
All being well, the Warwick Folk Festival is all set to take place from 15 – 18 July. Last year, like everything else, the festival fell victim to the pandemic. Now, with the Government’s target of seeing the country fully out of restrictions by the 21 June, Warwick’s biggest festival is preparing to welcome folk fans to the 4-day event which will take place in its new site in the shadow of Warwick Castle.
However, playing it safe is the watchword from festival bosses as organisers plan the return of live music in the open air – an event which usually brings in people from all over the UK. And while a return to the normality of festival life is welcomed, organisers of Warwick’s 40-year-old festival understand that many music fans will be wary of taking things too fast.
Festival Director Dick Dixon says striking a balance between family fun and safety could hold the key. “We feel that even if the restrictions have all been wiped away, many people will still want to feel safe and take things carefully until we’re all certain the situation has improved. With that in mind we’re going to keep a lot of the safety measures we’ve got used to over the last year or so in place. We’ll have reduced numbers on each day and plenty of space in and around all the gigs. There will also be hand sanitisers and we’ll be working to ensure that those who want to keep socially-distanced are able to do so.”
The festival is also hoping to bring in an app allowing people to get their drinks from the bar without having to venture into the beer tent. With many regulars expected to snap up the chance of a long-awaited weekend in the open air, organisers have added an extra field to the site – already larger than the previous home at Warwick School – to allow campers to spread out as much as they feel necessary. Reduced numbers inside the main venue will also help ensure more space and the festival is planning to feature a giant screen to allow hundreds to sit in the open air to enjoy the music.
Festival chairman John Plumb said: “We’re as keen as ever to bring music back to the town and to inject a real boost into the local economy. But it has to be done in a way that people are comfortable with and so the emphasis will be on keeping things as safe as possible.”
The festival’s line-up offers top class performers including Show of Hands, Seth Lakeman, Spiers & Boden, and Nancy Kerr alongside a full weekend programme of music, craft shopping a wide range of festival food and much more.
For the latest news as well as the full programme and ticketing details visit www.warwickfolkfestival.co.uk