The covid-19 crisis has lead to postponement of the 2020 programme described on this page, but the festivals listed below have asked the band to play in 2021 instead.
Putting Folk Camps firmly on the folk festival map, the Folk Camps Party Band is an exciting multi-ability multi-age ceilidh band drawn from all parts of the Folk Camps spectrum that attends several festivals a year to show off the essence of Folk Camps.
The first festival performance was at Chippenham May 2018 and they went down a storm! people danced, listened happily, and talked to us about Folk Camps, as you can see from the video above.
The festival public experience first-hand the fun that can be shared across generations and abilities in making distinctive music together that is both musically satisfying and good to dance to.
The band participants, as well as having fun, have a first rate educational experience which helps to develop the skills needed to make great potential folk camp musicians for the future.
The specially arranged repertoire is drawn from the English folk tradition as well as other traditions which have been absorbed into the English standard repertoire.
The band is the brainchild of Jenny Newman who also leads the project.
The band concept, particularly its multi-generational character, has received an overwhelmingly positive response from festival organisers leading to bookings from major folk festivals from May 2018 until well into 2021 with more in the pipeline.
“Just about the most exciting ceilidh band to arrive on the folk festival circuit this year! We need MORE!”
Fee Lock Caller
The Story So Far
This PDF file describes the impact of the Party Band in 2019, and some of what’s coming in 2020.
Upcoming Bookings for 2020
For the 2020 season there are even bigger events coming up where the Party Band will play at the headline/largest events of 3 festivals. And where possible, we are also arranging workshops so that more people experience what a Folk Camps music workshop is like. Also other smaller events are being arranged.
Saturday night headline ceilidh which usually attracts a crowd of between 700 and 1000 people.
Friday night headline ceilidh and also run two workshops.
“I booked The Folk Camps Party Band for Towersey festival this year – primarily for the opening ceilidh on the Friday evening. However, they happily immersed themselves in the festival and ran various other events/workshops with great enthusiasm and a level of professionalism rarely seen these days.
I immediately asked them to come back in 2020, and I’m more than happy to recommend this talented bunch of people to any other festival across the UK. As an organisation, Folk Camps could not look for better ambassadors.”
Simon Care Towersey Festival Organiser and Renowned Musician
Saturday night headline ceilidh and also run workshops.
With caller Sheena Mason, April 4th
With caller Gordon Potts, May 9th
Other gigs are being discussed.
Band Selection and Recruitment
The band includes a wide range of young (and not so young) Folk Campers producing a balanced band of around seventeen players (up to five of which will be professional musicians). From time to time, as places become available, the opportunity to join the band will be advertised to all Folk Campers. Despite the considerable commitment required from participants there was no shortage of good candidates in response to the appeal for young recruits for 2019.
See this recruitment letter (PDF) and this video for the recruitment into the band for 2020:
Gigs of 2019
Chippenham Folk Festival 2019
A repeat of 2018’s incredible debut! The band performed at the Lunchtime Ceilidh in the Market Square on Saturday 25th May. More details of the festival here.
Gate to Southwell Festival 2019
An innovative roots and acoustic music event in the charming market town of Southwell in Nottinghamshire between 6th and 9th June. The Band performed on Saturday 8th as well as running children’s workshops. More details of the festival here.
Knees Up Cecil Sharp Ceilidh
This prestigious circuit ceilidh was a new departure for the Party Band. It was on 21st June.
Towersey Festival 2019
The Party Band played for the Opening Ceilidh on Friday 23rd August at this renowned festival. The Band also ran large Folk Camps style workshops on Saturday and Sunday lunchtimes during the festival in the large marquee – much bigger than a Folk Camps marquee or workshop!
Bromyard Folk Festival 2019
The Party Band performed for the Opening Ceilidh on Thursday 5th September. Bromyard started in 1968 and is now a major event in the shadow of the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire. See the festival website.
Gigs of 2018
Chippenham Folk Festival 2018
The Party Band performed for the first time at the Lunchtime Ceilidh on Sunday 27th May. The ceilidh was open to the public so this was a marvellous opportunity to show off what Folk Camps is about to a wide audience.
Towcester Midsummer Music 2018
The Party Band performed for the Friday Night Ceilidh in Towcester Town Hall as part of the Midsummer Music festival. They were invited to return in 2019.
Folk Camps 50th Birthday Celebration 2018
The Party Band played at the Folk Camps August bank holiday camp at Fowlmere where we celebrated 50 years of Folk Camps.