Get ready for Buxton’s ‘big’ weekend

Blackbeard's Tea Party will be perfoming at the Buxton Big Session Festival.
Blackbeard's Tea Party will be perfoming at the Buxton Big Session Festival.

Last year’s sell-out Big Session Festival is returning to Buxton this weekend with toe-tapping folk music, 30 draft ales and two guided walks.

This year the festival will run for four days starting today (Friday). A festival spokesman said: “The Big Session line-up 2017 will once again feature the cream of English folk music with the Oysterband and special guests Eliza Carthy & Saul Rose, Blackbeard’s Tea Party, The Hut People, supported by Ray Copper and Nancy Kerr & the Sweet Visitor Band.

“Staged within the glorious setting of the Pavilion Gardens at the exquisite Edwardian Buxton Opera House, its contemporary sister venue Pavilion Arts Centre and the Big Festival tent, the event has attracted visitors from all over the UK and overseas.”

The 2016 event attracted ticket-buyers from 308 different post-code districts in Britain, establishing a new destination festival audience in the town. More than 3,000 tickets were sold for individual events including overseas buyers from Denmark and Dubai.

There is free entry at the Big Session beer festival at the Pavilion Garden’s Marquee, with around 30 draft beers to sample and for those who prefer a different tipple gin, wine and Pimms will also be available and live music will keep the punters entertained.

On Sunday, The Hut People have organised a musical workshop for festival-goers.

Two free walks are also planned; the Sunday Stroll will meet outside the Opera House at 10.30am and venture through Grin Low woods and up to Soloman’s Temple where the Commoners Choir will sing in the open.

On May Day, a walk along Cowlow Lane will be led by Oysterband’s John Jones. Meet at the Buxton train station to catch the 9.27am to Dove Holes. Following arrival at the station the walk will depart at 9.45am.

To entertain those travelling to the festival from Manchester Piccadilly on Saturday, the dedicated ‘Folk Train’ will leave at 11.49am.

• For tickets, call Buxton Opera House on 01298 72190 or visit buxtonnoperahouse.org.uk.