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Mike Dennis


Saturday 4 May – Bristol Folk House

Mike Dennis is a classically-trained violinist whose boyhood love of Run DMC, Beastie Boys and Gangstarr led him to create a unique kind of string-heavy hip hop music he refers to as Violinica.

Performing using a violin, loop pedal and cajon, Mike builds up layers of dense harmony and embellishes with thoughtful, energetic rhymes drawing inspiration from daily British life and the perils and profits of love.

‘Violin in hand and with a multitude of effects at his feet, he builds up to a string and percussion crescendo before opening his mouth and… wow! This guy doesn’t just spit rhymes, they cascade out at a speed as ferocious as his lyrics.’ Wake The Deaf 

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Amadou Diagne


Saturday 4 May, Bristol Folk House

Amadou Diagne is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and singer, with the traditions of West Africa at his fingertips. Emerging from a family line of percussionists and praise singers in Senegal, his unique sound has seen him play stages and festivals all over the globe, collaborating with some of the biggest names in world music.

A former member of l’Orchestre National du Senegal, Amadou and his band Group Yakar have been developing a style that is uniquely their own. The music is hard to define, yet universally appealing, spanning Afrobeat to Blues, Jazz Funk to Mbalax, and traditional West African Praise singing to Rock. Catch Amadou’s seductive blend of musical styles on Saturday Night at Bristol Folk House.

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Hannah James


Saturday, Folk House

Hannah is a mesmerising solo performer. Her solo shows incorporate all of her disciplines: song, dance and accordion playing, punctuated by her understated, dry wit and charming story telling. Her bassy accordion style, and characterful, clear voice are underpinned by powerful foot percussion. Close your eyes and you could be listening to a full band.

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Rachael Dadd


Saturday 4 May – Bristol Folk House

Contemporary folk multi-instrumentalist Rachael Dadd now lives half her life in Japan, witnessing how other people create things, connecting with other cultures and landscapes.

‘Being a travelling musician is a furnace for making music. Watching the changing landscapes from city to wilderness and back to city, becoming connected to other people’s cultures, it all makes it easier to go against the grain of what you grew up with.’

“An album of unparalleled beauty and quality” Louder Than War

Known for her longtime collaborations with Kate Stables, Rozi Plain and This is The Kit. We’re delighted to welcome Rachael back to the Bristol Folk Festival Stage.

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The Longest Johns


Friday 4 May – Bristol Folk House

The Longest Johns are a Bristol-based a capella folk music band, born out of a mutual love of traditional folk songs and shanties.

Renowned for stirring live performances The Longest Johns have also gathered a huge online following. Expect a rollicking opening to the Bristol Folk House stage.

The Longest Johns open the festival on Friday night.

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Jimmy and Sid


Saturday 4 May – St Stephen’s Church

Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith are one of the finest duos to have emerged onto the British folk and acoustic scene in recent years. Their combination of outstanding vocal work, sensitive instrumentation, and a powerful social conscience has brought them widespread critical acclaim.

“To be a great folk singer, you have to be a great storyteller. The duo are both fine singers and multi-instrumentalists.” The Guardian

Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith headline Saturday afternoon at St Stephen’s Church.

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Grace Petrie


Saturday 5 May – Bristol Folk House

Grace Petrie is a folk singer, songwriter, and activist. She first exploded on to the national protest scene in 2010 with the emotive anthem Farewell to Welfare, which captured perfectly the spirit of the new wave of dissent in austerity Britain.

Since then, she has written, recorded and toured relentlessly. Her unique takes on life, love and politics, and the warmth and wit with which they are delivered have won over audiences everywhere, and she has quietly become one of the most respected and prolific songwriters in the UK.

‘A powerful new songwriting voice.’ The Guardian

Grace Petrie headlines Saturday afternoon at Bristol Folk House.


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Spiro


Friday 3 May –  St Stephen’s Church

Bristol’s own Spiro present an exhilarating take on the swirling, dark side of folk. Mixing traditional tunes charged with the ecstatic influence of the clubbing scene.

“Dazzling instrumental quartet Spiro’s gyroscopic sounds swirl guitar, mandolin, violin and accordion lines… inspired by minimalist classical music and punk as well as folk music.” – Time Out

Hugely popular and critically acclaimed, the band began life in 1993 at the instigation of violinist and composer Jane Harbour. An accomplished quartet of mandolinist Alex Vann, guitarist Jon Hunt, accordion savant Jason Sparkes, Spiro live are a must-see experience.