Wiltshire Publications

Unique twist – and big names – for this year’s Pump Festival

THIS year’s Village Pump Festival will include many headline acts and a unique twist as organisers hope to make it the best ever. 

After last year’s event recorded a loss, the organisers of Westbury’s Village Pump Folk Festival decided to fight back, rather than stop running the event, with quirky ideas to breathe new life into the festival.

This year, award-winning acoustic folk group Show of Hands will not only be performing live on stage but they will also record and produce a live album of which there will only be 1,000 copies. The live performance will be available to only those in the crowd at the festival and anyone who buys a copy will be listed as a backing singer on the CD sleeve.

Show of Hands is made up of singer/songwriter Steve Knightley and multi-instrumentalist Phil Beer. It will not be their first time at the festival and they are delighted to be back. Phil said, “We are thrilled to be back at our favourite West Country festival and it is an honour to reveal that our fellow headline acts include our very good friends Oysterband; the incredible Treacherous Orchestra from Scotland, plus the best Reggae/English folk fusion band in the world – Edward II.”

As well as a unique opportunity to be listed on a limited edition album, the organisers have also tried to breathe life into the festival with an exciting line-up which they feel will help make it the best yet.

These acts include legendary figures of the UK folk scene Martin Carthy MBE and Dave Swarbrick who will be marking their 50th anniversary of performing together this year; Barbara Dickson OBE with Rab Noakes, alongside emerging acts including Mad Dog McRea, Roving Crows, Sam Green & The Midnight Heist and the exciting young Welsh band Calan.

The festival organisers are also pleased to have captured a performance by False Lights – the exciting new project/band from Bristol-based Jim Moray and Sam Carter.  Their session early this year for the ‘Folk Show’ on Radio 2 is still being much commented on ahead of their first album release in February.

Returning to the festival this year will be the vocal thunder from down under – The Spooky Men’s Chorale. This Australian acapella group are renowned as one of the most formidable acts in the live arena.

The Village Pump Folk Festival is also delighted to be hosting a rare gig by a new band called The Broonzies whose alumni include North-eastern singer/songwriter Jez Lowe alongside Chris Parkinson, Maggie Holland, and Rod Clements (formerly of Lindisfarne).

Festival director John Alderslade said, “Our promise to people attending the Village Pump Folk Festival is that they will get to experience, across our four stages, the very best in folk, roots and acoustic music in the United Kingdom.

“This year we have a hand-picked roster of terrific talent that will delight and entertain you whether you’re a seasoned festival-goer or a novice taking the plunge for the first time, a nu-folk obsessed teenager or a family looking for entertainment for all.

“I and the rest of the volunteer team can’t wait to welcome you to the White Horse Country Park, Westbury and to be part of the biggest backing band ever assembled for Show of Hands!”

The full guest list for the festival is :- 

Show Of Hands  :  Treacherous Orchestra : Oysterband : Edward II

The Broonzies : Spooky Men’s Chorale : False Lights : Calan : Barbara Dickson & Rab Noakes : Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick : Mad Dog McRea : Roving Crows : Coco & The Butterfields : Willie & The Bandits : Ruarri Joseph Band : Sam Green & The Midnight Heist: Allan yn y Fan : Mick Ryan & Paul Downes

Carrivick Sisters: Cardboard Fox : Keith Christmas : Striding Edge : Jenna Witts : Rob Lear : Bill Smarm & The Bizness : Up The Creek : Worry Dolls : Striding Edge : Phil Cooper ; Kirsty Clinch : Leander Morales : Polly Barrett : : Jackie & Felix Byrne : Gaz Brookfield : Foreign Affairs : Village Pump Choir