Line-up 2024

Bonfire Radicals

The electrifying sound of Bonfire Radicals is intensely creative and irresistibly fun. Their “dynamic and high octane” (Fatea Magazine) live set captures the adventurous breadth of their musical imaginations which emerge from a melting pot of original and traditional tunes from the British Isles to the Balkans.

Their recently released album, ‘The Space Between’, was met with great acclaim and went straight into the UK Folk Charts at #13.

The band features a frontline of recorders, fiddle, clarinet, and vocals set alongside a punchy rhythm section of electric guitar, bass, and drums. French melodies decorate African groves, delicate English folk song is underscored by Heavy Metal, Klezmer moves through moments of Art Rock, Brazilian drumming accompanies snapping Scottish Strathspeys…

Bonfire Radicals have been delighting audiences across the UK with their vibrant approach to traditional and contemporary folk music, and they are quickly making a name for themselves as “an outfit who specialises in creating a raucous and danceable feast” (At the Barrier).

“A serious powerhouse of a performance … foot-stomping and adrenalin-powered and came on like folk music played by ravers.” – The Artsdesk ★★★★

“Exhilarating and exuberant” – Songlines ★★★★

“Boundary challenging” – RnR

Lady Maisery

“the most exquisite vocal harmony work on the English folk scene” – The Guardian

Frequent festival headliners, Lady Maisery have for over a decade enraptured audiences throughout the UK and Europe. But the separation imposed by the events of the last few years (as well as time spent away from one another on solo endeavours, with other groups and in other artforms) brought about a realisation of the importance that making music together has in their lives, and how giving one another that artistic freedom is one of the band’s great strengths. 

Tender was recorded in Sheffield, in collaboration with producer Adam Pietrykowski. In both sound and song, it’s an affecting, powerful and radically different record to any Lady Maisery have made before. Richly textured, with meticulous arrangements of electric guitar, percussion, harp, harmonium, banjo, accordion, viola, and organ bearing voices that unite in strength, harmony and message. 

Dan Walsh

BBC Folk Awards Best Musician nominee Dan Walsh combines ‘virtuoso playing and winning songwriting’ (MORNING STAR). Describing what Dan does is no easy task but at the heart of it is British, Irish and American folk music delivered with a healthy dose of funky grooves – all performed with his unique and dazzling take on clawhammer style banjo helping to challenge all preconceptions about the instrument. Add to all that poignant songs, astonishing musical departures and lively humour and the result is a truly memorable live show which has wowed audiences across the world from intimate seated rooms to huge dancing crowds in festival fields.

Walsh has recorded seven solo albums to much critical acclaim. Most recently he returned to his first love and recorded ‘O’Neill’s Tunes’ – a collection of traditional Irish tunes played in his unique take on clawhammer style which was described as ‘expertly played’ and ‘difficult to find any fault with’ by Songlines magazine as well as receiving airplay on BBC Radio 2. He is an in demand performer with a hectic touring schedule in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and throughout Europe. He has also released two banjo tablature books including a very successful book of clawhammer arrangements of Irish folk tunes which inspired the O’Neill’s album.

Jacob & Drinkwater

South-west based duo Jacob & Drinkwater have been called “stand out new folk” by BBC6 Music with their live show described as “intense and spellbinding” byFolk Radio UK. The duo formed in 2014 playing their first gig together at the iconic Glastonbury Festival.

The duo’s dynamic and emotionally charged live show with all its energy, musical chemistryand spontaneity has drawn comparisons with the virtuosic pairing of John Martyn and Danny Thompson. Jacob’s sweeping vocals never fail to captivate, delivering many a spine-tingling moment; the fluidity and precision of his finger-picking underpinned by Drinkwater’s nimbly rhythmic double bass; at times sweetly soaring, haunting, percussive and driving, the layers of depth a perfect counterfoil. The added complement of stirring vocal harmonies nicely rounds off the mix.

She Shanties

We are eleven women drawn together by the love of a right good sing.  We’ve sung at festivals around the UK and Europe, on boats, in a lighthouse, in churches and in a surprising number of women’s toilets… but we probably like beer tents the best.

In 2015, we released our EP, Spanker Boom. We called it that in the firm belief that the Spanker Boom was officially the most amusing part of the ship. How wrong we were. 2018 saw the release of our first full length album, Futtock Shrouds. The adventure (and the search for amusingly named bits of ships) continues.

She Shanties are: Bekka Bojanowski, Cath Tyler, Eilish Ferry-Kennington, Esther Ferry-Kennington, Freyja Boycott-Garnett, Kate Gessey, Rachel Hamer, Ruthie Boycott-Garnett, Ruth Price, Sadie Greenwood and Sally Gall.


Kinaara are a trio of vocal, electric guitar and drum kit from Leeds. They play Punjabi folk songs, and Celtic songs presented in Kinaara’s own distinctive arrangements. Begun in 2018 by singer Satnam Galsian with the aim of achieving an identity that reflected both her Punjabi heritage and her UK upbringing. She began working on arrangements of the songs of Surinder Kaur and Noor Jehan with guitar player John Hogg. Both musicians are schooled in Indian classical music but they realised that they wanted to keep an edge to the sound with an emphasis on electric guitar and drums. Jazz drummer Simon Henry completed the indie/folk/rock/jazz cross genre trio.

Nominated for ‘Best Indie Act’ 2021 by Radio Wigwam, Kinaara have been playing to enthusiastic audiences in the North of England with a standout performance at Musicport festival 2021.

The Leeds trio recorded their second EP in January 2022, ‘Colours In Black’, which was released on 1st July. The tracks have been well received, with radio play on Roger Brockbank’s The Global Underground, Papaoul and Alabaster Deplume on Worldwide FM, Radio TFSC, New Music Saturday with Doc Bones and Mike Five and legendary DJ Ritu’s, A World In London.

The Hot Club of Halifax

Local legends The Hot Club of Halifax are a fresh and exciting collective of seasoned jazz musicians offering dynamic and charismatic renditions of songs and tunes from the Django ‘Gypsy Jazz’ repertoire.

Richard Grainger

A prolific and diverse artist, Richard is a singer, songwriter and musician who has been performing on the British folk scene since the 1980s. From his early days, Richard was regularly heard in the folk clubs of North East England, forming a duo with Charles O’Connor, and in 1981 joined the popular ‘Teesside Fettlers’. Richard’s songs achieved wider recognition in the process and before long he was touring throughout the UK, becoming a frequent guest ‘live’ and on record, on BBC’s Radio 2 Folk Show.

Gilmore & Roberts

Contemporary acoustic roots duo Gilmore & Roberts combine award-winning songwriting with astounding musicianship and their trademark harmonies to create a lasting connection with their audience. Nominated three times at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Katriona Gilmore (fiddle, mandolin) and Jamie Roberts (guitar) have brought together some of their most emotionally charged material yet in a new album, Documenting Snapshots. 

Drawing inspiration from fascinating stories, both personal and historical, Gilmore & Roberts present their songs through an ever-changing kaleidoscope of genres from rock to Americana, through a powerful wall of sound down to the most intimate pin-drop moments. With a show full of songs ‘capable of making you dance, cry and think’ (Folk Radio UK) delivered with their ‘relaxed, banter-laden stage presence’ (Spiral Earth), a performance by Gilmore & Roberts will stay with you long after the final note fades.

Cobalt Tales

Pat and Nuala bring a range of songs and stories to the stage in their own style with hints of Janis to Jagger via the Indigo Girls. Popular regulars at Tod Folk Fest through the years, they return with their powerful vocals complimented with engaging harmonies, acoustic and bass guitars, whistles, clarinet and harmonica. Cobalt Tales deliver music from the heart that stirs the soul.

Phoebe Rees

Phoebe Rees is a musician and songwriter from Oswestry. Influenced by a diverse range of musical genres and cultures, she predominantly combines elements of Celtic, English and American Folk traditions into her music making. Drawing on inspiration from her early years in the Scottish Highlands, experiences as a classical viola player studying in Edinburgh and London, and subsequent travels throughout the rest of the British Isles, Europe, South America and India; she performs her own compositions along with interpretations of material by other artists close to her heart. Phoebe sings and accompanies herself mostly on the fiddle, viola and guitar.

Outside the Box

“Scottish infused folk,, bluegrass and shenanigans. Foot tapping tunes, songs and harmonies.” Outside the Box are a Calderdale based trio featuring Mark Paramor on guitar, Justin Graham on accordion and Daz Jones on bass. Coming from a background of ceilidh, strict time Scottish Competition, New Orleans Second Line Jazz, Folk and Punk bands they put their own feel to songs and tunes old and new. Add beautiful  and full throated three part harmonies, Outside the Box bring foot tapping energy, glorious tunes and sing-along choruses.

Cacophany Arkestra

Formed in 2014 from a group of talented musicians and carnival artists, they perform a high energy mix of Soca & Calypso tunes blended with other musical styles – Ska, Jazz & Afro-beat. The band plays carnivals, processions, clubs and anything in between either on a truck, on foot or on stage. This year sees them return to perform procession style at our Outdoor Stage.

Monkey Box and Lisa Heywood (Ceilidh)

Monkey Box are an energetic ceilidh trio from Manchester. Composed of Tom Kitching (Pilgrims’ Way, Albireo, Gavin Davenport), Edwin Beasant (Pilgrims’ Way, Jabadaw, Ironmasters) and Pete Crowther (Melandra, Albireo), Monkey Box creates a sound larger than it has any right to do. Chunky English rhythms underpin great dance tunes for a feel-good ceilidh experience.

Lisa Heywood is all about getting guests of all ages and abilities on the dance floor. She brings infectious enthusiasm and inclusive dance instructions that will get the party started!

The Muthers

Local folk covers band and so much more! The Muthers, a band of wonderful Todmorden women, bring an array of instruments and harmonies to our outdoor stage.

Youth Award Winners 2024

The winners and runners-up of our prestigious Youth Folk Award (held in January) have been given the important task of opening each of our concerts this year:

Clem was joint winner of our 2024 Youth Awards. Clem is a talented guitarist and song-writer, and will be performing some of her own compositions and songs at Friday’s concert at St Mary’s.

Joint winners Chords and Fiddles return to Todmorden Folk Festival, having gone on to perform at Cambridge Folk Festival since their appearance at last year’s festival. The young folk duo, composed of Erin and Ben, perform folk music from a variety of traditions from Ireland, Scotland and Lancashire and play fusions of pop and rock tunes in a folk style. They especially enjoy upbeat tunes you can dance to and have started to write their own arrangements. They open the Saturday night concert at the Unitarian.

Finalists in our Youth Award competition, Jiggerie Folkerie are Calderdale’s own youth folk group, playing traditional and modern folk tunes from the British Isles and all over Europe. This talented group of young musicians love playing together and have been wowing audiences at a variety of local events. They combine instrumental talent with the energy and enthusiasm of youth – you’ll be sure to leave with a smile on your face! They open the concert on Saturday afternoon at Central Methodists.

George Daniels is another of our Youth Award finalists and has been playing the guitar since the age of 8. He has played with Jiggerie Folkerie and The Uncle Bucket Club as part of an ensemble. Now, performing as a soloist George focuses on traditional American tunes, Bluegrass and Country. He will play at the Oxford Street stage on Sunday afternoon.

Rebecca Little was one of the finalists at our Youth Awards from 2023.  She is currently studying Music and Music Technology at Greenhead College in Huddersfield. She will be playing guitar and singing mostly her own songs. Rebecca will open the concert at St Mary’s on Sunday afternoon.