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At the heart of English folk

BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards: tune in on Wednesday 19 February

Here at the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) HQ we’re pretty excited about tomorrow. The 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards mark an important milestone – their 15th anniversary – in a ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall. The awards will see some of the biggest names in folk music come together under one roof to celebrate the UK’s thriving folk music scene.


BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014

The prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented to legendary Celtic band Clannad, who will also be performing at the awards, and English folk singer Martin Carthy, who has remained one of the most influential figures in British traditional music.

Martin Simpson, Anaïs Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer, The Full English, Martin Carthy and Eliza Carthy (EFDSS’ Vice-President), Bellowhead, Suzanne Vega and The Fisherman’s Friends are also set to perform live on the night.

Martin Carthy and his daughter Eliza Carthy

In addition to the Lifetime Achievement Awards, Radio 2 has also announced that the Cambridge Folk Festival,  which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, is being awarded the Good Tradition Award. This award is given to a person, group or organisation for their contribution to the preservation, dissemination and continuance/progression of traditional music over a number of years.


Recognising Cecil Sharp

This year's awards will see the addition of the Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame, recognising the special contribution of an individual to the world of folk music; someone whose impact and influence has had a lasting impression. The first entrant to be inducted into the Hall of Fame will be our very own Cecil Sharp (1859 - 1924), England's most prolific folk music and dance collector!

To celebrate Cecil Sharp's induction, as well as his life and legacy, Radio 2 has been creating its own digital 'Cecil Sharp Collection'. Listeners who sing or play folk music – to any standard and on any instrument – have been invited to contribute to this collection with their own home recordings. Recording artists, morris team musicians and representatives from folk clubs have all taken part.

Three songs and three dance tunes from Cecil Sharp's collection (all of which feature in the English Folk Dance and Song Society’s (EFDSS) The Full English digital archive) have been chosen for this project. The songs are The Seeds of Love, Claudy Banks and Barbara Allen. The tunes are Laudanum Bunches, Bean Setting and Country Gardens.

There is still time to take part. You can find out how to get involved in our recent news story


Nominees in this year’s Radio 2 Folk Awards

Folk Singer of the Year
Bella Hardy
Fay Hield
Lisa Knapp
Lucy Ward

Best Duo
Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson
Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker
Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita
Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin

Best Group
The Full English
Melrose Quartet

Best Album
Child Ballads – Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer
The Full English – The Full English
Hidden Seam – Lisa Knapp
Vagrant Stanzas – Martin Simpson
Won’t Be Long Now – Linda Thompson

Horizon Award
Olivia Chaney
Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker
Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar
Georgia Ruth

Musician of the Year
Aidan O’Rourke
Will Pound
Martin Simpson
Sam Sweeney

Best Original Song
Love’s For Babies And Fools – Linda Thompson
None The Wiser – Chris Wood
Swimming In The Longest River – Olivia Chaney
Two Ravens – Lisa Knapp

Best Traditional Track
Codi Angor – Georgia Ruth
Les Bras de Mer – Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita
Mary Macdonald’s – Rant
Willie Of Winsbury - Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer

BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award
Hattie Briggs
Gentlemen of Few
Granny’s Attic
The Mischa Macpherson Trio

Listen to the acts nominated for this year's awards on Radio 2 Folk Awards BBC Playlister


The Full English

EFDSS is delighted that the album inspired by The Full English digital archive has been nominated for Best Album at the awards (public vote).

The album, featuring Martin Simpson, Seth Lakeman, Nancy Kerr, Fay Hield, Sam Sweeney, Rob Harbron and Ben Nicholls, was commissioned by EFDSS  - with a grant from the PRS for Music Foundation - to mark the launch of the digital archive in June this year.

The Full English band at Cecil Sharp House

The music created by the group draws from the collections in The Full English and includes tunes, songs and broadsides found on their journeys around the digital archive.

The Full English is the biggest project the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) has undertaken since the building of our HQ, Cecil Sharp House, in 1930! It is the creation of the largest searchable digital archive of early 20th century English folk arts manuscripts; a national programme of workshops, lectures, creative projects with 18 schools, training and community events in all nine English regions; and the commission, tour and release a CD of new and newly arranged music inspired by the collections. Find out more 

Nominated not only for best album but, following a successful maiden tour last year, The Full English is also nominated in the Best Band category.


How to watch and listen

You can watch and listen to the Radio Folk Awards 2014 on BBC Radio 2, online and via the Red Button.

You'll be able to watch live all the winners and performances from the Radio Folk Awards on the Radio 2 website,  from 8 – 10.30pm on Wednesday 19 February.

After the event you'll be able to see video highlights from all the night's performances, and you’ll be able to “listen again” to the whole programme on the Radio 2 website until Wednesday 26 February.

Listen live on Radio 2
5.05 – 8pm Simon Mayo Backstage at the Royal Albert Hall
8 – 10.30pm Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014
8.45 – 9.15pm Performances from the Young Folk Award nominees

Watch on the Red Button
Full live coverage can be seen by pressing the Red Button from any BBC TV channel on your digital TV - from 8 – 10.30pm on Wednesday 19 February. The BBC will also be repeating the whole show on a loop from 10.30pm until 7.45am on Thursday 20 February.

There will be a second chance to watch highlights from the 2014 Folk Awards by pressing red at the following times:
Tuesday 25 February: 8pm – 7am (following morning)
Wednesday 26 February: 8 – 11.50pm
Thursday 27 February: 2.25 – 7am and 8 – 11.20pm
Friday 28 February: 3 – 7am, 9.30 – 10pm and 10.30 – 11.20pm
Saturday 29 February: 2.25 – 7am


National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble


Donate now

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