The return of Folk East was a real high point of our year so far.
Folk East is a 7-stage (usually) folk festival hosted in the parkland of Glemham Hall Estate in Suffolk. In the 9 years it has been running it has grown into one of the most highly-rated folk festivals in the UK. As well as a diverse and wonderful musical line-up; Folk East is home to a huge array of makers, artists, performers, workshops and creatives. It’s a haven of collaboration, creativity and quirkiness and we love going every year – and also that we meet so many of our regulars there too!
Last year sadly the usual Folk East set-up was impossible due to the pandemic. Instead, the organisers put on Virtually Folk East which was wonderful but nothing beats the tangibility and magic of an in-person festival. So we were delighted to be able to attend this year!
The site & set-up was slightly re-imagined to allow for more social distancing and reduce transmission risk, but it felt as magical as ever. Indoor stages were off the menu – and we really missed the Soapbox stage – and its beautiful pathway through the woods. But the advantage was that, with just two outdoor stages instead of the usual four, it was much easier to make sure we didn’t miss anything.
Every year I take home a new favourite band – and this year was no exception: Elephant Sessions totally blew me away on Friday night with their energy & talent. I’d like to offer an apology to Glemham Hall for the little bald patch where I danced the grass away!
The new layout of the site felt a bit more like a village with a lovely sense of community – I really loved it and will be interested to hear if John & Becky are planning on keeping things this way.
There was one thing massively missing from this year’s festival though – our good friend Mat Bayfield. He was an important part of the festival and familiar to all who went. His music, MCing and energy were very much missed – and I’m sure that backstage felt this even more than us on the other side. We miss you Mat.