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New venue and dates for Gate To Southwell festival

Posted onPosted on 13th Jan

The popular Gate To Southwell music festival plans to return for a 14th time in 2021 after the cancellation of last year’s event because of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the four-day celebration of folk, root and acoustic music from all over the world, has a new venue and new dates.

It has moved from June to 2nd to 5th September and will be hosted at farm land in Kirklington, rather than Southwell Racecourse.

Among the acts confirmed are supergroup the Gigspanner Big Band, formed by Steeleye Span fiddler Peter Knight.

There is also the Galician piper-led Anxo Lorenzo Band, re-formed Bellowhead masterminds Spiers & Boden, multi-talented young Glaswegian roots band Imar and folk guitar legend Wizz Jones.

Also on the bill will be London-meets-Jamaica ska stars Maroon Town, Madrid-based roots quartet Track Dogs and Scotland’s Talisk.

Organisers are confident that many key elements of a ‘normal’ outdoor festival will be able to go ahead, including multiple music stages, dancing, food and drink stalls, children’s entertainment and workshops.

Family entertainment is expected to feature Dan the Hat as well as regulars such as Mark the Storyteller and Becky’s Baby Bops and Toddle Bops.

Festival director Mike Kirrage said: “We know it’s been a tough year for everyone and we’ve all missed families and friends and getting together to enjoy live music.

“We just hope this exciting news about our festival in September 2021, at a beautiful rural location, will really lift everyone’s spirits.

“We’ve already booked some excellent acts and now we’re really looking forward to seeing all the familiar faces who help out, perform or attend each year.”

There will be re room for camping and, for the first time, well-behaved dogs will be welcome in the main arena as well as on the campsite . A bus service will connect Southwell to the new site.

Gate To Southwell Festival’s ability to bounce back from a very tough 2020, while many other events struggled financially, has been helped by grants from the Arts Council and Newark and Sherwood District Council.

“Rather than risk further problems in early June, we’ve decided next September would be a much safer date to stage the festival,” added Mike.

“There may be rules limiting ticket sales, we’re already re-thinking the stages and layout, and we accept we may all still need to socially distance to some extent.

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