Derby Folk Festival 2020 at Home goes global

Published: 8 October 2020

Council House at night

Derby Folk Festival at Home has been watched by viewers all over the world

Derby Folk Festival at Home has been watched by viewers all over the world since it went live on Friday 2nd October. From the USA and Canada, to Ireland, Denmark and Australia, Derby’s homegrown festival has had truly global reach this year.

When the pandemic meant that the live festival could not go ahead in the normal way at city centre venues, the team at Derby Folk Festival and Derby LIVE, Derby City Council’s arts and events arm, worked with acclaimed artists to create four specially-recorded three-hour concerts, which were premièred online from Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th October.

Some were recorded under socially distanced conditions at the Guildhall Theatre Clubrooms in Derby, while others were recorded by performers at home. As well as being viewed all over the world, they have been seen the length and breadth of Britain, from the Western Isles of Scotland to Cornwall, from Edinburgh to Kent, and everywhere in between.

There is still time to catch the concerts, with On Demand tickets for all four sessions available until 9am on Friday 9th October. Tickets are priced at £12 per session, or just £36 to access all four three-hour sessions, and everything can be viewed at any time up until Sunday 11th October.

The fringe events which accompany the festival took the form of videos and posts on Derby Folk Festival’s Facebook page. Around 200 artists including musicians, dancers and poets were featured across more than 75 posts, creating 11 hours of free footage. The posts had a combined reach of over 50,000 over the weekend, with an engaged audience of 3,873 on Facebook across the three festival days.

Derby Folk Festival traditionally ends with an impromptu performance of Rolling Home by a group of the festival team and friends as the last act finishes, and the audience leaves. This year the last Facebook video was a specially-filmed performance of the song, with social distancing, in the arches beneath the Guildhall Theatre.

Councillor Robin Wood, Derby City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism said:

The power of music to unite people, even when we can’t get together in person, is always impressive and even more so with Derby Folk Festival at Home being so warmly received all over the world. Well done to everybody involved in keeping the spirit of the festival alive this year; we can only hope that it will come Rolling Home to Derby in 2021.

Feedback from audiences included:

“The festival footage is the best I’ve seen from any festival this year”

“Thank you, everyone! It was more than worth getting up at 6am British Columbia time to watch the early sessions.”

“Fantastic Friday. Super Saturday. Spectacular Sunday. Thank you to everyone involved. Really hope we can be together next year!”

“…the best festival of these dreadful times – amazing job – well done – such variety!!!”

“Huge thanks to everyone involved in putting the online festival together, it’s been really uplifting.”

“This is so very beautiful and such a special memory of the team and friends that are the beating heart of Derby Folk Festival” – Lucy Ward, Festival Patron, referring to the singing of Rolling Home at the end of the festival.

“Absolutely brilliant. Well done to everyone involved”

“Enjoyed it from Ireland, looking forward to next year now”

On demand tickets for all four weekend concerts can be bought online at any time from the Derby Live website or by phone from the Sales and Information Team on 01332 255800, between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday. For more information about Derby Folk Festival at home, visit

The full concert programme is:
Session 1: originally streamed Friday 2nd October at 7pm
The Last Inklings
Rare Occasion
Lucy Ward

Session 2: originally streamed Saturday 3rd October at 2pm
Old Sea Legs
The Jellyman’s Daughter
Kitty Macfarlane

Session 3: originally streamed Saturday 3rd October at 7pm
Bryony Griffith & Will Hampson
Harri Endersby
Barry Coope, Fi Fraser & Andy Cutting

Session 4: originally streamed Sunday 4th October at 2pm
Chivalrous Crickets
Winter Wilson
Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman


Share this article…
FB   LI   TW   WA   EM