First Artists Announced for Manchester Folk Festival 2023

15 March 2023

Today we announce the first wave of artists for this year’s Manchester Folk Festival – 19th to 21st October 2023.


Now in our 7th year, the festival takes a leap to Northern Quarter/ Ancoats to take advantage of the very best in live music venues including Band on the Wall, The Stoller Hall, Hallé St Peters, Night & Day, SOUP and New Century Hall.

The festival offers an exclusive opportunity to plan and enjoy your own festival line-up, with limited festival wristbands allowing you to select from more than 20 artists performing each evening.

Artists announced today include; Oysterband, Noble Jacks, Maddy Prior & Forgotten Lands, Hack-Poets Guild, John Smith, Will Pound & Jenn Butterworth, Merry Hell, Simeon Hammond Dallas, Blackbeard’s Tea Party, Suntou Susso, Granny’s Attic, Ranagri and Bonfire Radicals.

Band on the Wall will see a full packed 3 days of activity including emerging talent in their bar stage and the nightly The Festival Club which runs from 11pm – 1am (Thurs, Fri, Sat). Band on the Wall celebrates its re opening anniversary this month following a £3.5m refurbishment.

Further artists, including details of international showcasing artists, will be announced in April. Individual concert tickets will also go on sale in May.

Our festival is known for offering a varied programme of folk, roots and acoustic music and this year is no different. This year’s line-up includes:

Hack-Poets Guild (Marry Waterson, Lisa Knapp and Nathaniel Mann) present their album ‘Blackletter Garland’, inspired by historic broadside ballads – daily song sheets sold for pence from the 16th to 20th centuries – vividly bringing the stories to life for a new generation and offering a rare insight into Britain’s history.

Described as ‘a star in the making’ a buzz surrounds singer-songwriter Simeon Hammond Dallas (pictured below), who fuses folk, country, blues, and soul to create her own sound.

Two of the finest instrumentalists in traditional music, Will Pound & Jenn Butterworth (pictured below) first came together after a chance meeting at a folk session in 2018 led to their music travelling around the world as a viral TikTok sensation. At Manchester Folk Festival they play songs from their debut album as a duo ‘Volume 1’ which was released last month (Feb 2023)

Maddy Prior & Forgotten Lands is both a unique performance and an opportunity to learn, experience & explore traditional folk song with some of the very best vocal teachers in the business.

If you’re looking for high energy, there’s a lot to choose from; Merry Hell offer joyful, uplifting folk-rock, folk legends Oysterband need no introduction and Blackbeard’s Tea Party are well-known for giving sea shanties a bombastic rock edge and turning folk instrumentals into late-night floor-fillers (complete with the necessary costume changes to match).

Manchester Folk Festival wristbands are available to purchase HERE. The wristband allows access to all Manchester Folk Festival gigs happening between 19th & 21st Oct (T&Cs apply).


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