A decade after promising to go to a folk festival, I am finally embarking on my first experience. In my living room.
I am listening to Folk on Foot Front Room Festival 2. Folk on Foot is a podcast series hosted by Matthew Bannister in which he combines his passions of folk music, walking and storytelling by interviewing folk artists in the landscape that inspired them and playing and singing on location. He is hosting a series of online festivals to raise funds for musicians who are experiencing financial hardship due to the lockdown. I’ve donated the typical cost of a day festival ticket, £25, to the Help Musicians charity for today’s Folk on Foot festival.
I remember listening to The Cambridge Folk Festival when I lived a stone’s throw from its site, Cherry Hinton Hall, for two summers. My housemates and I couldn’t see much of the festival but we felt the incredible atmosphere in the village. We vowed to return to visit one year to fully enjoy and learn about this genre of music of which we knew very little.
I owe my recent reunion with folk music to my discovery of Johnny Flynn. His performance of his song The Water with Laura Marling totally captivated me and I’ve spent the last few weeks listening to more and more songs. It made me laugh when I noticed that his song was – somewhat interestingly – released 10 years ago during my time in Cambridge.
I’ve sadly lost touch with my Cambridge housemates. I’m glad that I’ve at least reconnected with the music that we shared during those special summers.