Award winner in the line-up for 2016 folk festival

BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner Sam Kelly

BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner Sam Kelly

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The Dacorum Folk Fest is back next month, and this year it’s bigger and better than ever.

After three very successful years, Dacorum Folk Fest is becoming a firm fixture in the local music calendar.

Its main aim is to attract the widest possible audience by featuring exciting young musicians on the roots, Americana and indie folk spectrum who don’t limit their creativity to traditional folk.

This year, for the first time in the festival’s history, one of the acts is a current BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner.

Sam Kelly, who was also a finalist in Britain’s Got Talent in 2012, is one of folk’s brightest rising stars. His connection to the Hemel area is through the new 10-piece supergroup The Company of Players, who will headline this year’s festival.

The group is the brainchild of Jess Distill, part of awardwinning St Albans folk trio Said the Maiden. Other band members include Hemel Hempstead artist Minnie Birch and Daria Kulesh, of Kings Langley.

Celebrating 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare, the group have written a diverse set of songs with a daring and fun twist on the Bard’s classics, including an Icelandic interpretation of Hamlet set to a hoedown tune, a Russian murder ballad of Siberian Lady Macbeth and Shakespeare’s own heartfelt plea for refugees.

The festival takes place on Saturday September 10 at Hemel’s new canalside venue, Fishery Wharf Café.

Thanks to the support of The Box Moor Trust, the afternoon performances will be free, followed by an affordably priced evening gala concert.

See www.dacorumfolkfestival.com