The nominees for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2019 have been announced by Mark Radcliffe on the Radio 2 Folk Show this evening
Now in its 20th year, this year’s ceremony, presented by Mark, will take place at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester on Wednesday 16 October 2019 as part of the Manchester Folk Festival.

This is the second time the event has been staged in Greater Manchester, after Salford’s Lowry Theatre in 2012.

A highlight of the folk music calendar, the Radio 2 Folk Awards celebrates the UK’s thriving folk music scene and serves to raise the profile of this much loved musical genre. The event showcases and celebrates the best folk, roots and acoustic music and features live performances by the very best acts.

The evening will welcome an array of special guests as well as performances from new and established artists including legendary Irish group Dervish, Welsh-Senegalese duo Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita and Edward II, Anglo-Caribbean fusioneers from Manchester.

This year, the award for Best Album will be chosen by Radio 2 listeners.

Voting is now open via closes on Friday 9th August 2019 at midnight. Jo Whiley will play a track from all four nominated albums between Monday 5 August and Thursday 8 August on her Radio 2 show (7pm-9pm).

Traditional Irish band Dervish will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony.

Dervish have been bringing Irish traditional music to the world for 30 years, and have played at festivals across the globe – from Rock In Rio to Glastonbury. The band features some of Ireland’s finest traditional musicians, and is fronted by one of the country’s best known singers, Cathy Jordan.

Dervish are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year with an album called The Great Irish Songbook (Rounder), which features performances by a remarkable array of guest vocalists. The album will premiere with a special concert involving Imelda May, David Gray, Kate Rusby and actor Brendan Gleeson at the London Palladium on Thursday 19 September.

Shane Mitchell from Dervish says: “We are thrilled and so delighted to be receiving this very special honour at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, particularly as this is the 30th anniversary of the band.”

An act will be inducted to the Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall Of Fame, following in the footsteps of Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, Woody Guthrie, Ewan MacColl and Cecil Sharp.

The awards are presented by folk fans that in the past have included, Sir David Attenborough, Sean Bean, Pauline Black, Brenda Blethyn, Jarvis Cocker, Phil Collins, Roger Daltrey, Charles Dance, Ray Davies, Peter Gabriel, Ruth Jones, Cerys Matthews and Sharleen Spiteri.

The show, which will be broadcast live from 7-9pm on BBC Radio 2 and on BBC Sounds, will be produced by 7digital.

Mark Radcliffe says: “I’m really chuffed to be hosting the Radio 2 Folk Awards on home turf in Manchester this year. It’s also great to be part of the Manchester Folk Festival which seems to be going from strength to strength. I can promise you that there will be excitement aplenty on the night plus the very best live music from artists established and emerging on the healthier than ever British folk scene.”

Lewis Carnie, Head of Radio 2, says: “We’re delighted to be returning to Greater Manchester this year for one of the biggest moments in the folk music calendar – the Radio 2 Folk Awards. We are very proud of our commitment to specialist music at Radio 2 – from folk, to jazz, RnB, rock, musical theatre and more. We’re looking forward to bringing our listeners such a fantastic and varied mix of performances from the very best artists in the folk music scene – live from Bridgewater Hall in October.”

Tickets to the Radio 2 Folk Awards are available here.


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