John Tams and Lucy Ward bang the drum for online Derby Folk Festival – here’s how to get tickets

This year’s Derby Folk Festival will be shown online due to the continued restrictions on staging events caused by Covid-19.
John Tams, right, and Barry Coope are among those who will be creating special concerts for Derby Folk Festival at Home.John Tams, right, and Barry Coope are among those who will be creating special concerts for Derby Folk Festival at Home.
John Tams, right, and Barry Coope are among those who will be creating special concerts for Derby Folk Festival at Home.

Tickets will be released today (Tuesday, July 7) at 10am for Derby Folk Festival at Home which will run from October 2 to 4, 2020, the same dates as the live festival was planned to take place.

Concerts created especially for the festival by artists who were booked to appear in person include John Tams and Barry Coope, Lucy Ward, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman, Winter Wilson, Kitty Macfarlane, and a host of other performers.

John Tams, long-standing patron of Derby Folk Festival, said: “We all pressed “Pause”… It seemed an otherworldly hand had taken control. Locked-down in the unknown, and even now as the bolts are drawn, we’re still in the unknown. A new order beckons so let’s embrace the new and at long last press “Play” again! Derby Folk Festival at Home will appear on your screens with as much of a “live” festival feel as we can all muster. Pour a glass or two, plump your cushions, settle in … and don’t forget to sing!”

The concerts will be streamed in a curated series of four festival sessions, running for three hours each, with one on the Friday, two on Saturday and one on Sunday. Alongside the concerts, there will be lots of other content, such as interviews and more to keep you entertained, as well as free Festival Fringe events taking place on the Derby Folk Festival Facebook page.

Festival patron Lucy Ward said: “Never in modern times have we needed community and music as much as we do right now! Great music speaks straight to the soul, it can lift spirits, bringing hope and spreading happiness to all. For these reasons I am so pleased and excited that Derby Folk Festival is moving online this year, bringing the best of folk and acoustic music direct to people's homes. This online edition of the festival is an innovative response to the times, and is a testament to the hard work of the organisers and their commitment to showing that even during these unprecedented times, folk remains the music of people with the power to bring communities together.”

Festival highlights confirmed so far include:

John Tams and Barry Coope: Songs and stories to have you holding your sides from laughing one minute, and wiping away tears the next.

Lucy Ward: Award-winning Lucy, goes from strength to strength as a writer and performer.

Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman: Celebrating their 25th anniversary of making music together.

Kitty Macfarlane: A songwriter and guitarist nominated for the Horizon Award in the 2019 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards amongst many other plaudits.

Winter Wilson: Having become part of Derby’s “festival family” Kip and Dave are back again this year.

Anyone who bought a ticket for Derby Folk Festival when it was first announced will be contacted direct by Derby LIVE to be offered a full refund, or a partial refund and tickets for the online festival. The organisation’s Sales and Information Centre at Riverside Chambers, Full Street, Derby currently remains closed.

Tickets for the online festival can be bought online at

More information about all the acts, and information about new additions as they are announced, can be found at

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