This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Edinburgh Folk Club as a vibrant hub within the capital’s traditional music scene.
A thrilling lineup of performances and events is set to unfold in the upcoming months, celebrating this milestone.
Every year from October to June, the beloved Club lights up Wednesday nights at Edinburgh’s Ukrainian Community Centre with an evening of vibrant folk music, and this year sees a jam-packed programme of 38 events to celebrate their landmark anniversary.
Made possible by the support of Creative Scotland, the programme focuses on bringing together performers from all generations and backgrounds to celebrate all things folk.
Since first opening in September 1973 in the basement of the Chaplaincy Centre in George Square, Edinburgh Folk Club has grown a large and loyal following of local music lovers, as well as attracting visitors from all over the world.
Welcoming emerging talent as well as established names, the Club’s weekly folk nights have been a platform for numerous musicians over the years, hosting over 2000 gigs with a total audience of around 100,000.
Among those on the lineup over the coming months are talented mandolin, guitar and vocal duo Jenn Butterworth and Laura-Beth Salter, renowned English musician John Kirkpatrick, celebrated folk outfit North Sea Gas, and esteemed Canadian duo Gordie Tentrees and Jaxon Haldane. Also performing are Edinburgh singer-songwriter Adam Holmes, acclaimed folk band The Poozies and Scottish-Danish duo The Quiggs, among many others.
The Folk Club will also host a number of open mic nights, including a Valentine’s Day special, as well as a special night for St Patrick’s Day, and their renowned Burns Supper, featuring Fiona Forbes.
In addition to their weekly folk nights, Edinburgh Folk Club holds an annual Songwriting Competition, which was established in 1976 and attracts up to 30 entries every year, offering wordsmiths from Edinburgh and beyond the opportunity to showcase and receive recognition for their work.
The Club also runs the Paddy Bort Fund, which offers financial assistance to folk musicians living in Scotland who are experiencing financial hardship and has raised a staggering £20,000 in support to date.
Edinburgh Folk Club won Club of the Year at the 2017 Scots Trad Music Awards for its welcoming atmosphere and exciting programme and is nominated in the same category this year, with the ceremony set to take place in Dundee on Saturday 2nd December.
“The Folk Club has become a cornerstone of the Scottish folk scene, and we’re so grateful to all our members and everyone who’s supported us over the last five decades. We’ve had performers and music lovers coming from all around the world to perform here and get a taste of a real Scottish folk club, and we can’t wait to welcome even more people through the doors in the coming year.Edinburgh Folk Club Chair, John Barrow
“It’s fantastic to be overseeing the programme for Edinburgh Folk Club’s 50th anniversary celebrations. We’ve got an incredible array of performances lined up in the coming months, with even more details to be announced, to celebrate this milestone in suitable style, with thanks to funding from Creative Scotland. I would encourage everyone to take a look at the full programme and come along to see what we’re about!”