2024 marks 10 years of Downend Folk & Roots (formerly Downend Folk Club) and we wanted to do something really special to mark the occasion. So here it is! This is by far the most ambitious thing we’ve ever done so we hope you’ll like it!
We are thrilled to reveal details of our 10th Anniversary Celebration, which will take place over the weekend of 19-21 July this year. We’ve assembled a lineup of the very best folk, roots and acoustic music artists, including many who have played a big role in our story over the last decade.
The weekend will kick-off with a ceilidh and ploughman’s supper on Friday 19 July. We’ll be joined by THE MOLECATCHERS for the event, which is presented in partnership with our friends at CHRIST CHURCH DOWNEND, our regular venue.
The day will start with a performance from KATIE GRACE HARRIS, in a gig which will simultaneously be the second in our Live at Lunchtime series; concerts which are designed to be accessible to families, providing a relaxed atmosphere and shorter sets. Under-18s will go free for this part of the day, which is also individually ticketed, and there will be activity sheets for younger children as well as a breakout room where you can still listen to the concert. Some noise from children is expected and encouraged!
We then move on to our Saturday afternoon concert. Our patron since the beginning, JIM MORAY, will headline the gig, and he will be joined by the brilliant JANICE BURNS & JON DORAN, who went down a storm when they performed for us in November 2022. And we couldn’t really have a 10th Anniversary Celebration without ROAD NOT TAKEN, the four-piece that was formed out of Downend Folk & Roots, and we’ve managed to tempt them out of their current hiatus to open the Saturday afternoon concert.
We continue the celebrations on Saturday evening. LADY MAISERY headlined our November 2016 concert, and returned triumphantly in December 2018 with their Christmas show Awake Arise. Both concerts are among the favourites with our regulars, so inviting them back to headline our 10th Anniversary Celebration was a no-brainer… it’s been far too long! The trio will be joined on the bill by Downend Folk & Roots newcomers BRYONY GRIFFITH & ALICE JONES, and we just know you’re going to love them, while local favourites GAVIN OSBORN & THE COMMENT SECTION will open the evening. Gavin has played both support and headline slots over the years.
This might look a bit like a mini-festival (and in some ways, it is!), but we’re doing something a bit different on the Sunday, again in partnership with CHRIST CHURCH DOWNEND. The whole day is free admission, and will begin with a short service in the church, before we head out for some "community action" together. Watch this space for details, but we thought it was in keeping with the ethos of Downend Folk & Roots to do something to serve the village that is our home. We’ll then head back to the church for a soup, bread and cake lunch (all complimentary), before enjoying a closing concert, which will feature the fantastic Bristol-based folk choir HEARTWOOD CHORUS and a very special guest headliner, who will be revealed soon. You won’t want to miss it… and it’s FREE! There will also be a Celtic service at 6.30pm in the church.
All events will take place at our CHRIST CHURCH DOWNEND home, and seats are unreserved for everything. You can buy a WEEKEND TICKET for £55 per person, or you can just get a SATURDAY TICKET for £45 per person (the ceilidh is not included). As mentioned, Sunday is free and you don’t have to book, but it will help us we have an idea of numbers, so if you can, let us know that you’re coming. You can also buy tickets individually for the ceilidh, Live at Lunchtime and both Saturday afternoon and evening concerts, if you can’t make it for the whole weekend.
There will be food options on the Saturday (details TBC) while our bar will be operating throughout Friday and Saturday, offering the usual range of hot drinks, soft drinks, wine, cider and locally-brewed real ales from HOP UNION BREWERY, as well as sweet treats from our friends at THE GREAT CAKE COMPANY.
We do hope that you’ll join us to celebrate this landmark in our history. Please see the ticketing page for details of timings (which are subject to change but won’t change much).