Fionnuala Lennon and Trish Reed from the Ely Folk Festival team look ahead to this year's event and outlines what ticket-holders can expect.

These are difficult times for live music generally and festivals in particular, but we are delighted that the festival is thriving and are looking forward to bringing the best in folk and roots music to Ely for many years to come.

This is a testament to the growing popularity of the festival, particularly with families, the strength of the line-up and the wide range of activities available.

With just over a month to go before Ely Folk Festival 2024, which takes place from July 12-14, ticket sales have already outstripped last year.

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Festival goers will be able to enjoy headline sets from Brit Award winner and Fairground Attraction singer Eddi Reader MBE, as well as Peatbog Faeries (twice Live Band of the Year at the Scottish Traditional Music Awards).

Also performing will be Breabach, winners of no less than six Scottish Traditional Music Awards, and acclaimed folk duo O’Hooley & Tidow, who are known to a wider audience for providing the theme song and music for BBC1 series Gentleman Jack.

Double British Country Music Association Group of the Year winners Morganway will bring powerful Fleetwood Mac-esque music, and exciting young folk-rockers Rusty Shackle will close the main stage on Sunday night.

READ MORE: Ely Folk Festival promotional gig at Portland Arms in Cambridge

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On the dance front, veteran outfit KEGS and vibrant ceilidh band Stumpy Oak will keep everyone’s feet moving.

Festival patrons Boo Hewerdine and Brooks Williams are curating a one-off concert at the festival.

Known to many through his work with Eddi Reader, which includes writing the hit single Patience of Angels, Boo is one of the country’s most feted songwriters. 

Brooks, meanwhile, has worked and recorded with numerous folk luminaries on both sides of the Atlantic to much acclaim.

(Image: Ely Folk Festival)

The concert will see the pair invite some of their favourite performers to take the stage alongside them.

There is also plenty of local talent on display, with sets from the Barefoot Doctors, who include former Status Quo drummer Jeff Rich and Chris Newman on guitar and play supercharged blues, rock and funk.

There's also rising folk duo Christina Alden and Alex Patterson, and The Shackleton Trio, who will both make appearances separately as well as performing together as Kitewing.

READ MORE: 36th Ely Folk Festival brought ‘same warmth and charm as always

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Add in Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage, Guise, The Wilswood Buoys and many more and you have a line-up that truly has something for everyone.

Winner of the festival band competition the Thomas Bradley Project will be opening proceedings on Friday and hoping to follow in the footsteps of previous winners including Iona Fyfe, the Scots Trad Awards Musician of the Year in 2021.

As well as the music, attendees will be able to take part in ceilidhs, instrumental and dance workshops, ‘meet and greet’ sessions with some of the festival’s leading artists and jam sessions.

There’s also a packed programme for children with storytelling, magic, art and music workshops and much more. Last but by no means least there will be a dog bingo competition on the Saturday.

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Add in a wide range of craft stalls, mouth-watering food including vegetarian and vegan delights from festival legend Leon Lewis, a real ale bar with 25+ real ales, and a gin and cocktail bar and you have all the ingredients for a perfect weekend.

All of this takes place on the festival’s beautiful tree-lined site adjacent to Ben’s Yard on the beautiful Stuntney Estate.

There is a free shuttle bus to the festival from Ely and free car parking for attendees.

Visit for tickets and more information.

(Image: Ely Folk Festival)