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Folk: Jez, Wizz and Flossie

By West Briton  |  Posted: August 07, 2014

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CORNWALL Folk Festival returns to its annual home at Wadebridge during the summer Bank Holiday – drawing fans from across the world.

Over the years it has acquired an International reputation as being one of the finest, compacted folk festivals in the UK and attracts musicians and folk-lovers from far beyond the Tamar.

Run entirely by volunteers as a "community funded" event, it was started back in 1972 by a small, dedicated group of local Wadebridge and Padstow musicians and has grown with the support of Hobgoblin Music for the past eight years into an international event in the folk calendar.

Such is its appeal, the festival sold its very first "early bird" season tickets this year to a couple from Arizona in the USA.

A star-studded cast will be performing alongside many young, home-grown Cornish musicians with most of the events held indoors around Wadebridge – giving an advantage over all those other festivals which suffer rain, mud soaked fields.

Cornwall is not cut off by the railways now or ravaged by the floods and with golden beaches, surfing and rugged coastlines all nearby, along with the River Camel Cycle Trail running through Wadebridge – it's becoming quite a well-rounded attraction. The festival campsite at Little Bodieve Holiday Park even has a swimming pool, hot showers, bar, shop and full facilities.

Each year the festival brings in an international star – in 2012 it was a djembe drumming star from Senegal, Amadou Diagne, and 2013 saw Silvia Nicolatto come over from Minas Gerais, a region in Brazil to which 3,000 Cornish miners and their families emigrated between 1850 and1950 and where the Cornish songs have filtered into Brazilian music. With the help of the Brazilian Ministry of Culture and Cornwall County Council, the fusion of these joint cultures was one of the highlights of last year's festival.

This year sees British blues legend Wizz Jones (who played with Ralph McTell in the 1970s and saw Bruce Springsteen open one of his own 2012 concerts with the Jones song, When I Leave Berlin) returning along with French singer and guitarist Flossie Malavialle who is sure to thrill her audience.

It also marks the return of the hugely popular Jez Lowe, along with The Roving Crows and the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards winners, Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin.

The festival hosts some of the finest young acts in the UK, performing alongside local musicians in the Fringe Tent as well as at other venues around the town.

Tori Reed from New Zealand and Plusan, a Breton Band from Langueux, represent the international performers.

See the festival website www.cornwallfolkfestival.com for more information.

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