Blair Dunlop, Bella Hardy, Steve Bonham and The Long Road to perform in Festival of the Artisan showing worldwide

Award-winning Derbyshire born folk musicians Bella Hardy and Blair Dunlop will be performing in a festival to be streamed worldwide.

Saturday, 20th March 2021, 5:30 am
Blair Dunlop by Elly Lucas
Blair Dunlop by Elly Lucas

The Festival of the Artisan on March 26 and 27, 2021, will celebrate the best artists on the acoustic scene.

Bella Hardy, who was born in Edale, won the 2014 folk singer of the year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

Chesterfield-born Blair Dunlop, the son of Fairport Convention founder Ashley Hutchings and folk singer Judy Dunlop, won the Horizon Award at the 2013 BBC Radio 2 Awards.

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Leading the festival line-up is Steve Bonham and The Long Road, a country-blues band whose members were born in Derbyshire.

Artists will include the founder of the legendary R Cajun Chris Hall and the Lil’ Roosters and highly regarded English folk singer Elaine Davidson.

They will also be joined by three emerging acts who will perform live on the Saturday afternoon, as the festival aims to support new talent by offering a publicised global platform for their performance.

There will also be two specially commissioned songs for the festival; a Festival Anthem will give everybody the opportunity at home to be part of the music-making of the festival and an Extraordinary Stories song written by Steve Bonham, which aims to uncover one particular extraordinary story.

Bella Hardy. Photo by Eric van Nieuwland.

Festival director Steve Bonham said: “Festival of the Artisan is a true celebration of the extraordinary stories of ordinary folk. Music has an enchanting capacity to encapsulate the very best of life’s adventures and ‘Artisan Music’ draws on this in every way. It is authentic, gritty, real, down to earth, captures the spirit of adventure, and is both timeless and contemporary and we are passionate and dedicated about sharing this.

"A huge thanks to Arts Council England, as this is only made possible thanks to public funding from the National Lottery.”

Streamed live from the Venture Theatre in Ashby de La Zouch, viewers will be able to watch the performers on the festival website or social media channels.

Viewers will be asked to make a “pay-what-you-feel” contribution, with a suggested donation of £5.

Steve Bonham and The Long Road.