Bristol Folk festival 2012 review feature
Bristol Folk Festival is back once more! And, if last year's version was the new and improved, 2012 was the super deluxe. Now, using every inch of the Colston Hall's golden megadome extension, punters were free to wander in and experience roots music's incredible ability to unite and captivate. Those who did buy in to the full experience will be talking about this one for quite some time.
Around 50 diverse music acts made up the bill on three levels of the venue with a multitude of “fringe” events included ceilidhs, mummers, workshops, poetry, a melee of Morris dancers and free market. The new Isambard’s Kingdom stage programmed by Mark Venus proved a popular showcase for local and emerging artists including Bristol’s Holika whilst Hall 2 was once again renamed the Fred Wedlock stage for the duration of the festival in honour of the late, much-loved Bristol folk singer and comedian.
With a four-stage undercover festival one problem the organisers didn’t have was the weather! It was flooding that put paid to the original Bristol Folk Festival in 1979 when the River Avon burst its banks at the Hanham Mills site near Bristol and caused organiser (music promoter and contract dairyman!) Reg Mann a nightmare which saw him lose £10,000.
Named one of The Guardian’s Top 10 quirky festivals of 2012 and one of Songlines Magazine’s world’s best festivals the Bristol Folk Festival is rapidly going from strength to strength. The long held dream of bringing the festival back to Bristol was realised by in 2011 by local music promoters Jan Ayers and Steve Parkhouse – a complete leap of faith at a time when several other festivals were folding or taking a year out.
This year the festival was co-organised by Jan Ayers and the Bristol Music Trust. Said Jan: “It’s been amazing. All of us at Bristol Folk Festival would like to thank everyone who made our second year such a great success including our performers, traders, ticket buyers, venue staff and the many volunteers without whom this Festival would not survive.
“The event is quickly acquiring a high profile on the UK festival calendar and with thousands of visitors coming to the city just for the Folk Festival, Bristol can be proud once again to have delivered a top class event.”
The festival team is keen to hear what people made of the 2012 event and suggestions for the future - forms can be completed here www.bristolfolkfestival.com/suggestions_form_17.htmlwww.bristolfolkfestival.com