First Artists Announced for Manchester Folk Festival 2022

17 March 2022

Today we announce the first wave of artists for our fifth Manchester Folk Festival – 13th to 15th October 2022

The festival returns once again to its hub at HOME with shows at 02 Ritz and new for 2022, The Blues Kitchen, with further venues to be announced in April.

Artists announced today include Grace PetrieLady MaiseryLongest JohnsThe Magpie ArcThea GilmoreWill Varley and heading up an Irish partnership for 2022, Daoirí Farrell Trio and Moxie.

After a successful launch in 2021, The Festival Club also returns. Taking place at HOME from 11pm – 1am each night (Thurs, Fri, Sat), the Festival Club presents three of the best emerging folk artists nightly.


Thursday 13th October sees our 5th Manchester Folk Festival open in HOME’s Theatre 1 with a very special double bill from The Magpie Arc and Lady Maisery. The Magpie Arc brings together five very established folk musicians; Nancy Kerr, Findlay Napier, Tom Wright, Alex Hunter and Martin Simpson, to mix their song-writing styles and musicianship in a full-on electric band. A further three well-established folk musicians make up the multi award-winning Lady Maisery. Hazel Askew, Hannah James and Rowan Rheingans weave together a rich palette of sounds with their unique approach to harmony singing, intelligent and thoughtful arrangements of both traditional repertoire and original compositions.

The Magpie Arc and Lady Maisery perform in HOME Theatre 1 on Thurs 13th Oct

Over at The Blues Kitchen on Thursday night, Grace Petrie returns to Manchester Folk Festival  fresh off 2022 major tours with Hannah Gadsby and The Guilty Feminist. Grace’s show will include songs from her UK Top 40 2021 album ‘Connectivity’.

Following on from the success of 2021, we once again be running our Festival Club in the first-floor restaurant of HOME. Starting on the Thursday night and running from 11pm – 1am each night of the festival, the bustling club atmosphere is the perfect way to finish off your night at Manchester Folk Festival whilst being treated to three of England’s up and coming folk artists.


After releasing two successful, but very different albums in 2021, ‘Afterlight’ and ‘The Emancipation of Eva Grey’, Thea Gilmore headlines HOME Theatre 1 on Friday 14th Oct supported by the first of our Irish partnership artists Clare Sands, whilst Theatre 2 sees the second of our Irish partnership artists Moxie bring their signature sound which has been described as “a swirling, almost cinematic sweep through the global electronic and acoustic landscape” by The Irish News.

Thea Gilmore performs in HOME Theatre 1 on Fri 14th Oct 


Gigs on Saturday include our continued partnership with Ireland with a headline show from BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner Daoirí Farrell Trio. Sea shanty superstars The Longest Johns take to the stage at HOME’s Theatre 1 on Saturday night whist The Drystones promise ‘big bad beats for badass barn dancing’ in Theatre 2 before Hannah Moule and the Moulettes push what can be done with a traditional chamber ensemble, playing steel string Guitars, Cellos, Viola, Piano, Violin, Harp, Nyckelharpa (Swedish keyed fiddle) Percussion and singing close harmony vocals.

Over at the 02 Ritz Will Varley makes a welcome return to Manchester Folk Festival playing songs from his 2021 album ‘The Hole Around My Head’.

Will Varley performs at O2 Ritz on Saturday 15th Oct

34 further artists will be announced next month.

Why not make a day or weekend of it by taking advantage of 15% off tickets when buying for 4 or more concerts via HOME’s box office?

A very limited number Manchester Folk Festival passes are also still available to purchase. The pass give you access to all Manchester Folk Festival gigs happening between 13th & 15th Oct (T&Cs apply).

Manchester Folk Festival is produced by English Folk Expo in partnership with So It Is and HOME, and is funded by Arts Council England and Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Tom Besford, Chief Exec of English Folk Expo:
Manchester is one of the best places in the world to enjoy live music and I’m proud that the folk festival is able to highlight the very best of our city and the wider English folk, roots and acoustic music scene. At Manchester Folk Festival it’s possible to see the very best in everything this broad genre has to offer, from well-established acts to incredible new artists, whether it’s indie/alt/acoustic, internationally inspired or finger-in-your-ear trad, there’s something for everyone in the programme this year.”


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