North Sea's best folk gig returns for first time since 2019

Fairpoint Convention are returning to Folk on the Pier. 

Fairpoint Convention are returning to Folk on the Pier. - Credit: Fairpoint Convention

It has been called "the best gig on the North Sea", and now Folk on the Pier is set to return to Cromer for the first time since 2019. 

Scott Butler, festival producer, said he had managed to keep most of the musicians originally booked for the 2020 festival before it - and then last year's event - were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The festival - which started in 1999 - will feature musicians including Bafta nominated TV entertainer of the year Richard Digance, Wizz Jones, TRADarrr and festival patron Ashley Hutchings.  

Anthony John Clarke will be part of this year's Folk on the Pier.  

Anthony John Clarke will be part of this year's Folk on the Pier. - Credit: Chris Gill

British folk-rock pioneers Fairport Convention will be the headline act. 

Mr Butler said the event was being organised differently this year, with a new team running fringe attractions under the banner Folk off the Pier.

He said: "I am delighted that we have a new voluntary body running the fringe events.

"I have looked after both sides of the festival for the last 21 productions and during that time increasingly felt that being involved financially with the free fringe events was actually in many ways rather counter-productive, especially when there were more chances of attracting funding and sponsorship for a ‘not for profit’ organisation distinctly separate from the commercial end of things on the pier.

TRADarr will take the stage at this year's Folk on the Pier festival in Cromer.    

TRADarr will take the stage at this year's Folk on the Pier festival in Cromer. - Credit: Chris Gill

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"Although I will still of course co-ordinate with the fringe festival, it will in future free up more of my time up to spend on producing the main theatre event each year."

Gigs will take place at the pier's Pavilion Theatre from May 6-8.

Other musicians taking the stage include the Gerry Colvin Band, Feast of Fiddles, the Spikedrivers, Kevin Dempsey, Alan Reid, and the Urban Folk Quartet.

Local acts Christina Alden and Alex Patterson, the Shackleton Trio and Klezmerized are also going to play. 

A warm-up event is planned to take place at the Belfry Centre in Overstrand on Friday, April 22, featuring singer-songwriter Anthony John Clarke and Norfolk supporting act Anto Morra.

Tickets are on sale for all concerts except the Sunday night, when Fairport Convention are playing. Tickets bought for the postponed festivals in 2020 and 2021 are valid for this year's festival. 

Visit www.folkonthepier.co.uk for more.