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silb on 02/18/2016 at 01:23PM

The 10 Biggest Free Music Festivals in the UK

There are lots of music gigs that take place across the UK every week and getting tickets to see your favourites can become quite expensive so I’ve listed below some of the biggest music festivals taking place across the UK that won’t cost you a penny.

BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend

As the biggest free music festival in Europe, this list wouldn’t be complete with the legendary BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend.

It takes place in a different location each year, with this year’s taking place in Exeter. Global superstars such as; Taylor Swift, Foo Fighters, Muse and many more all get involved, it easily attracts some of the biggest names in the industry for a free evening of some of the hottest music around.

Most tickets are given to local residents in the city that it takes place but you can still register online for a chance to score tickets.

Monmouth Festival

This festival is considered one of the longest running, largest and best free, volunteer organised festivals in Europe.

Taking place in south east Wales the Monmouth Festival happens over nine days bringing an eclectic mix of genres, with classical and country being played one day and ska and dance the next. It’s grown to now include a carnival element as well as a burgeoning fringe aspect.

MoFest

As the biggest free music event in Scotland, MoFest puts Montrose on the map. This festival is celebrated at the end of May with 3 days of every kind of genres of music you can think of. Jools Holland will be headlining at this year’s festival with his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.

If Montrose East Links outdoor venue takes your heart, finding accommodation in Montrose won’t be too difficult as they have a wide range of quality hotels and houses for rent.

Godiva Festival

Taking its name from Lady Godiva’s famous ride upon a horse in the town naked, festival goers are will be pleased to know that the Godiva Festival has been confirmed for 2016. With a massive audience of around 141,000 visitors last year, Coventry City Council can be thanked for ensuring the biggest free family music festival will be taking place again.

Local bands battle it out for the Godiva Calling Competition while signed bands also compete to play at the festival you’re sure to get the best talent on stage.

The Willow Festival

While last year‘s festival had to be cancelled the Willow Festival has been confirmed for the 8th -10th July 2016. It will be their 10th anniversary and it promises to be huge. In 2014, a crowd of around 63,000 turned out to hear 178 live bands and solo acts.

Head to Peterborough in the east of England for the Willow Festival   

Folk on the Quay

With four outdoor music stages and two ceilidh dances you can get your folk on in Poole from 25-26 June 2016. You’ll get to see some colourful traditional morris dancers strutting their stuff while you relax in the Thistle Hotel.

Birmingham Jazz and Blues Festival

You can listen to Jazz and Blues in over 40 venues from the heart of Birmingham, organised by Big Bear Records which is reputed to be one of the longest established independent record companies in the UK since 1968. The Birmingham Jazz and Blues festival will take place during July with an estimated over 170 performances taking place.

Upton Blues Festival

Recently awarded the Festival of the Year by the British Blues Awards 2015, the Uptown Music festival will not disappoint. With all their main stage acts already confirmed all the biggest Blues names will be appearing though good luck if you have a particular band in mind, as the day and time of each performer haven’t been released.

Worcester Music Festival

For three days of free music head along to the Worcester Music Festival between the 16th and 18th of September. As a celebration of original music the Worcester Music Festival is in its ninth year, has now grown to include a camping element to the festival.

A key highlight is the free music clinics for kids and adults to engage and rekindle any passions for music that might have been left behind.

Liverpool International Music Festival

Winners of the Best festival for emerging talent the Liverpool International Music Festival is only four years old! From the 21st to the 24th July you can listen to anything from budding artists and DJ’s between the ages of 13-25 from across Merseyside to household names.

There’s a great family zone section with plenty of opportunities for younger kids to get their feet tapping to the beat. Everyone can enjoy the festival as Liverpool lives up to its reputation as a UNESCO City of Music.

 

While we’ve only listed the completely free events there are plenty of events that provide a mix of ticketed and free music events, the Edinburgh Fringe is well-known for its huge reach but we’ve tried to list events where free music is the main attraction that takes place across several days.

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CJSW_Music on 07/19/2013 at 06:00AM

Chris Gheran's Hard Folk Stylings Live On CJSW's Mind Grapes & House Blend

Chris Gheran live on CJSW's The House Blend, March 25th, 2011

Chris Gheran is a name you’ll hear often as you begin to plunder the depths of Calgary’s folk music scene. He’s a child of two worlds who brings a fresh take on old-timey folk sensibilities. He manages to bridge the gap between popular culture and music from the days of yore, and it’s a beautiful synthesis. He’s written tracks about our fair city of Calgary, encapsulating the culture beyond the logo-adorned skyscrapers of downtown. As part of the Calgary Folk Music Festival’s Musicians in Motion, he collaborated with Ian Tyson while performing live on the Calgary public transit. There’s really no telling what he’s got up his sleeve for us next, and that’s just the way he likes it.

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TAGGED AS:
hard folk, folk, live, country, canada
lizziedavis on 08/03/2012 at 12:00PM

MP3 of the Day: Hank Penny, "Alabama Jubilee"

photoHank Penny should be a household name. But the reason he isn't is the same reason that this release cooks: attitude. Seems Hank wouldn't take shit from anybody. As a result, he burned a lot of bridges and missed more than a few opportunities to further his career.

He started his first band, the Radio Cowboys, in 1935 and later became a regular on the Boone County Jamboree out of Cincinnati. He acted in a couple of Westerns, yukked it up on Spade Cooley's TV show in the 40's, DJ'd here and there across California and Kansas, and tore up clubs across the country from the 30's to the 70's. (via.)

A couple years ago, Bloodshot Records put together 30 of Hank's best as part of its Bloodshot Revival country reissue series. Sample what you've been missing with "Alabama Jubilee" below.

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FMAmp3 on 04/26/2012 at 04:00PM

MP3 of the Day: Spade Cooley, "Better Do It Now"

One of the most notorious figures in country music history is western swing pioneer Spade Cooley. Cooley was known as the "King of Western Swing" in his heyday, but due to a gruesome incident in his private life, he is often viewed these days more as the Sid Vicious of Western Swing. His is a model lesson in how a brilliant musical legacy can be overshadowed by unsavory personal problems. (via JoeMc, "He Did It Then" —> Read More)

This song features Tex Williams on vocals, and can be found on Shame On You, a set of music from Space Cooley & The Western Swing Dance Gang featuring Tex. The collection was issued by Bloodshot Records' Bloodshot Revival Series.

The Bloodshot Revival Series is a fantastic historical resource for country music in the early/mid 1900s, with a focus on the music of Bloodshot's hometown of Chicago.

Browse more promotional Bloodshot Revival/Soundies tracks on the FMA, and pick up these fantastic reissues at Bloodshot Records. Show 'em some love in honor of Preservation Week (#preswk12)!

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