Broadcaster Mark Radcliffe has teamed up with Knutsford Town Council to host a series of gigs in the first wave of announcements for Knutsford Music Festival’s return in 2018.
The BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music DJ, who lives in the town, will transform Knutsford Little Theatre into a folk club for three nights from Friday 22nd June to Sunday 24th June.
The event will be called ‘Mark Radcliffe Presents Folk at the Theatre’ and will form part of Knutsford Town Council’s wider celebration of music throughout the town centre.
It will draw on Mark’s experiences and contacts running the Radio 2 Folk Show.
Friday’s headliner is Pilgrim’s Way who tell stories of highwaymen, robbers and brigands through traditional English folk song and 1980s disco!
The BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominees, from Stockport, feature the talents of Jon Loomes who remarkably played 22 different instruments on the band’s 2016 album, Red Diesel.
Mark was also keen to book the act as a nod to Knutsford’s Highwayman Higgins connections.
On Saturday Mike McGoldrick and friends will take to the stage.
Mike has mastered numerous instruments – including Irish flute, tin whistle, low whistle, uillean pipes, tenor guitar and bodhrán – and he was in his first band ‘Toss the Feathers’ when he was still at school.
He also performs regularly with the BBC Four Transatlantic Sessions and with Dire Straits frontman, Mark Knopfler.
Then, on Sunday, acclaimed folk duo Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar will be closing the show.
Greg and Ciaran met by chance through a mutual friend but have now been playing together for nearly seven years.
They have won two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards including the Young Folk Award and Horizon Award and they are both still in their early 20s.
Mark Radcliffe commented: “I’m thrilled to be part of Knutsford Music Festival as it’s the town I live in and wanted to make a contribution.
“I can promise people three evenings of truly exceptional music in a folk and roots style and look forward to counting on their support at our cherished Little Theatre.”
Each performer will also have a support act. Lucas Marks, a singer-songwriter from Knutsford, will share the stage with Pilgrim’s Way and Amelia Coburn, who was nominated for a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award last year, will support Mike McGoldrick.
Mark himself will be stepping onto the stage on the Sunday.
The former BBC Radio 1 breakfast show presenter will join his former Family Mahone bandmates, Dave Russell and Chris Lee, for a stripped back folk show.
Sarah Morgan, deputy town clerk at Knutsford Town Council, said: “Given his excellent reputation as a broadcaster, extensive knowledge of music and enthusiasm for our event, we are delighted to have Mark involved with Knutsford Music Festival.
“We’re determined to make this year’s festival even bigger and better than the launch event in 2017, so look out for many more announcements in the weeks to come.”
Details on how to buy tickets and further acts for the second annual Knutsford Music Festival will be revealed in the coming weeks.