Bermondsey Folk Festival at Shortwave Cafe, the closing party

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9th September 2017 @ 19:00 – 23:00 Europe/London Timezone
Shortwave Cafe se16
100 Clements Rd
London SE16 4DG

Bermondey Folk Festival 2017 promo

Bermondsey Folk Festival 2017

Bermondsey Folk Festival 2017 puts folk, roots & blues music in the heart of South East London for the third year running. The free festival showcases some of the finest folk artists performing in Britain today with a series of events on Saturday 9th of September in and around the historic pubs of Bermondsey and a new venue at the Biscuit Factory..

The festival is organised by The Blue Bermondsey BID and Cunning Folk Music to recognise the cultural growth of the Blue.


The programme

12 Noon, Queen Victoria Pub, 148 Southwark Park Rd, London SE16 3RP


Bermondsey born comedian, author, playwright, TV and radio presenter Arthur Smith returns to his hometown from exile in Balham, to kick off the day’s proceedings in whimsical fashion with a guided tour of his former habitat.

Arthur Smith will open the Bermondsey Folk Festival 2017 with a walk starting at the Queen Victoria Pub  @ArfurSmith  ArthurSmithComedy


1.30 pm Market Place, London SE16 3UQ

Alasdair Roberts is a musician (primarily a guitarist and singer) who is based in Glasgow Scotland. He has worked with Drag City Records since 1997and also released music on labels such as Secretly Canadian, Galaxia and Stone Tape Recordings.

His work mainly consists of two parallel strands: self-written song material (which can be heard on albums such as Farewell Sorrow, The Amber Gatherers, Spoils and A Wonder Working Stone) and interpretations of traditional songs and ballads from Scotland and beyond (which can be heard on albums such as The Crook of My Arm, No Earthly Man and Too Long In This Condition).

In addition to many collaborative projects, Alasdair also recently became a member of the English/Scottish folk quartet The Furrow Collective, along with Lucy Farrell, Rachel Newton and Emily Portman. The group’s first album At Our Next Meeting was released earlier this year. Late 2014 should see the release of a new album of self-written Roberts songs, which is currently being recorded.  @AliRobertsMusicAliRobertsMusic  alasdair.roberts.7




2.30pm, Blue Anchor Pub, 251 Southwark Park Rd, London SE16 3TS


Cunning Folk is the name given to practitioners of folk medicine and folk magic but adopted by this very popular new British Folk and Roots ensemble. Their fine and enchanting songs allude to the magic and mystery of this fabled isle, exploring the relationship between past and present generations. A promoter and a singer who embrace both sides of the music business in to one.

Cunning Folk puts on regular folk & roots music and spoken word events and talks in interesting places in a mission to bring wonderful music, storytelling, history and poetry to like minded souls. In 2014 Cunning Folk put on events in Tudor houses, old barges & magical bookshops followed by events in woodlands, edgelands & forgotten corners & organised the following year.

Since 2015, Cunning Folk has organised the Bermondsey Folk Festival and he will be also playing at this year’s festival. He also organises the South East London Folklore Society a monthly pub meeting with speakers talking on subjects ranging from Wicca to Shakespeare, from Robin Hood to The Transports.  @folk_cunning  CunningFolkMusic


4pm Market Place, London SE16 3UQ

Stick In The Wheel are “ripping apart the preconceptions surrounding folkmusic” (Clash Music). Their now-trademark abrasive delivery of both original and traditional tracks, is not bland retroism, or empty nostalgia, but a voice linking now to then. Brought up in the thriving culture of working class London and cutting their teeth in its diverse musical landscape, they now bring those influences and attitudes to their traditional music. Stripped back to their bare components, their songs speak for themselves without ornament, telling tales of everyday life: carboot-swindlers, lorry drivers and London rioters, sitting seamlessly against traditional songs of prisons, hammer-wielding blacksmiths and 17th century madhouses.  @StickInTheWheel  StickInTheWheel



Market Place, London SE16 3UQ


Frog Morris is an artist, performer, poet and much more, who will be your compere for the entertainment in Market Place. Presenting songs, Circus Skills, colouring competition, Morris dancing and a Dr Bike workshop, so feel free to cycle down to the Blue and enjoy a FREE service for your bike.  @ThomasTomac1  thomas.mccarthy.9469


5pm Market Place, London SE16 3UQ

Martin Simpson is a titan of the UK folk scene and widely recognised as one of the best acoustic guitar players in the world. An outstanding singer songwriter who has collaborated with a myriad of legendary folk artists from both sides of the Atlantic during a career spanning four decades that has seen him nominated on over 25 occasions in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards – more than any other performer – winning on six occasions including Artist of The Year twice.

The Late gig

After this stonking afternoons musical meanderings the final leg of the ‘fest is to be found after a gentle trek to the newly opened Shortwave Café in the historic Biscuit Factory for an evening headlined by Thomas McCarthy who will be capably supported by an eclectic mix of performers including Kelly Bourne and Russman


7pm, 100 Clement Road, London SE16 4DG

Thomas McCarthy comes from Birr in County Offaly in Ireland. The McCarthys family settled there generations ago. Thomas describes himself as an Irish Traveller, and come from a long line of old traditional singers and musicians who kept the tradition of singing strong.

"I continue singing the old songs myself, I find great comfort in them and in continuing my tradition which I am passing to my niece and nephew who are fine little singers. I am confident that the tradition will continue."

Thomas McCarthy  @ThomasTomac1  thomas.mccarthy.9469


A gifted singer/songwriter whose distinctive and powerful voice holds a fragility that has captivated audiences who have witnessed her extensive live performances that is beginning to gain the recognition that her talents richly deserve.



Kelly Bourne

Kelly Bourne


Is the local fishmonger who doesn’t just sell the finest fishy fayre in area but also fashions songs inspired by all he sees and hears in the local market and performs them with a Piscean passion.

Support community musicians

More acts TBC or if you fancy a go just sign in for a slot on arrival.

The venues

The Blue Anchor   251 Southwark Park Road, London, SE16 3TS

The Queen Victoria   148 Southwark Park Road, London, SE16 3RP

The Old Bank   239 Southwark Park Road, London, SE16 3TT

The Ancient Foresters   282 Southwark Park Road, London, SE16 2HB

Market Place  The Blue Market & surroundings

Shortwave Cafe  Drummond Rd, London SE16 2BT


The organisers

The Blue Bermondsey BID Logo

The Blue Bermondsey BID

Cunning Folk Music

Cunning Folk Music

The Bermondsey Folk Festival is a joint venture of the following organisations:

The Blue Bermondsey  @bluebermondsey  thebluebermondsey

The origins of the Blue Bermondsey BID began with the work of voluntary representatives from local business who got together in the early 1990s as the Blue Market Traders Forum an informal group who continually lobbied local Councillors and Southwark Council on behalf of local businesses to improve the area, which had become run down and lacking investment. These pioneering efforts got the ball rolling, with the Market place getting a facelift and many small community events being established.

he BBBA BID Steering Group was constituted in autumn 2012 to develope the BID proposal and in June 2014 the ballot campaign followed asking eligible businesses to vote yes or no to the proposals. The result was announced on 4th July 2014 with 89% of voting in favour of the BID term for five years until October 2019


Cunning Folk

Cunning Folk is a folk performer & music promoter & also runs the South East London Folklore society.

Cunning Folk puts on regular folk & roots music & spoken word events & talks in interesting places in a mission to bring wonderful interesting music, storytelling, history & poetry to like minded souls. Since 2014, Cunning Folk Music has put on events in Tudor houses, old barges & magical bookshops, woodlands, edgelands and forgotten corners

In 2o15, Cunning Folk organised the Bermondsey Folk Festival 1st Edition followed by this year’s Festival. There are also plans to start the Bermondsey Folk Club. with performances across the The Blue Bermondsey BID area.




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