After a sunny September date last year, Walton Folk Festival is back in its usual May bank holiday slot. This year’s lineup is one of the best yet with Wildwood Kin headlining and a day packed with the very best of folk, roots and acoustic music including Polly Paulusma and rising star Angeline Morrison.

The festival takes place at the Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, on Sunday, 1 May 2021. The last three festivals have built a reputation for showcasing the best of British folk music, and all have sold out – so early booking is recommended.

Wildwood Kin were due to headline in 2020 but, for reasons we all know only too well, that didn’t happen. So the festival team are delighted to finally welcome the Devonshire-based trio made up of sisters Beth Key and Emillie Whiteside and their cousin Meghann Loney. They perform a mix of their own beautiful and thought-provoking original songs, alongside stunning arrangements of better known covers. Wildwood Kin showcase, “Fleetwood Mac-like harmonies, hints of Fleet Foxes’ desolate, spectral acoustica, echoes of Ben Howard’s richly textured but ramshackle sparseness…” (Sunday Times)

Alongside Wildwood Kin in the evening is Polly Paulusma, the critically acclaimed, English singer-songwriter. In recent years, Paulusma has toured with the likes of Bob Dylan, Coldplay, Gary Jules, Joseph Arthur, and Marianne Faithfull. Last year she released Invisible Music: folk songs that influenced Angela Carter, a stunning album of traditional folk songs and spoken-word readings, a “….beautifully explored, interpreted, performed and curated by the remarkable musician scholar.” (For Folk’s Sake)

The afternoon lineup includes Angeline Morrison, a Birmingham-born, Cornwall-based singer, songwriter and arranger in the genres of wyrd folk, traditional folk, soul and 60s beat pop. Her star is currently rising high and 2022 promises to be a breakthrough year with a second solo album due to be released. Not to be missed!

The Outside Track need no introduction to Walton Folk after their stunning performance at the 2019 festival. Winner of Best Group in both the Live Ireland awards and the Tradition In Review awards, the band are one of the top Celtic acts in the world. Hailing from Scotland, Ireland, and Cape Breton, its five members are united by a love of traditional music and a commitment to creating new music. They blend fiddle, accordion, harp, guitar, flute, whistle, step-dance and vocals with breathtaking vitality.

Singer songwriter Ellie Gowers has been making a big impression over the last year. Her music embeds a fierce energy that echoes the 60’s folk revival. Her songs are built from a childhood love of literature and traditional folk song, but also discuss the more modern narratives of the present day.

And lastly the team are delighted to welcome a great friend of the festival, the forever brilliant Jack Cookson. He’s a Plymouth-based guitarist, singer-songwriter, music producer and BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Nominee. He brings virtuosity, wit and warmth to his live shows with stunning covers and his own breathtaking songs.

Tickets for the festival are available from the Riverhouse Barn website: £39 for the full day tickets. The festival will end at 10.30pm – in good time to catch the train home from the nearby Walton station.

Alongside the ticketed Sunday festival at the Riverhouse, there will be a free day of acoustic and roots music in Walton-on-Thames High Street the day before, Saturday 31 April. This will showcase the vibrant music scene in Surrey and West London. More details and the full lineup will be confirmed soon.