Event dates: Friday 10th to Sunday 12th May 2019

Main venue: Pavilion Theatre, Cromer, Norfolk NR27 9HE


Cromer’s popular music festival will be twenty-one years old when it returns to the town’s Pavilion Theatre on 10, 11 and 12 May. The event will celebrate its ‘coming of age’ bringing some of the most respected stars of the folk rock world from around the UK and beyond to the town’s Pavilion Theatre.

Over the weekend visitors can pick and choose from six full length concerts each offering three accomplished acts including a top name headline artist.

The first concert gets underway on Friday afternoon with sets from two local East Anglian artists – folk rock band The Bounty Hounds and singer/songwriter Eric Sedge. John Tams and Barry Coope will close the afternoon with a rare performance of Tam’s powerful songs.

Festival favourite Richard Digance kicks off Friday evening with his customary quirky songs and wry sense of humour, followed by Jamie Smith’s Mabon making a welcome return with the band’s up-tempo celtic flavours.

Headlining Friday evening will be ‘Listen Listen’ a six piece line-up named after a song by Sandy Denny. Formed a year ago to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Denny’s passing, the band features Sally Barker, PJ Wright, Marion Fleetwood, Anna Ryder, Matt Davies and Mark Stevens, all of them no strangers to Folk on the Pier having played with various bands at the festival. They have put together a very special set that will treat Fairport Convention fans to a trip down memory lane with their new interpretations of Sandy Denny’s songs.

Ashley Hutchings MBE

Ashley Hutchings became the festival patron and each year brings a new act to the stage. This year he will be accompanied by Becky Mills for the opening set of Saturday’s afternoon concert. A former member of all-girl band Waking the Witch and a very accomplished performer in her own right, Becky has worked on a number of Ashley’s projects. Both have recently released new albums which have been receiving glowing reviews and praise.

The afternoon moves up a gear with the long awaited return of Truckstop Honeymoon from the USA offering a frenetic combination of bluegrass, Vaudeville and Americana, followed by more festival favourites Tickled Pink. In their youth they were described as ‘ Les Enfants Terribles’ of the English ceilidh scene… older, but maybe not much wiser, for this concert set the band will reinvent classic folk rock standards with typical Tickled Pink flavours and excitement proving there is still much to offer before retirement!

Saturday evening's opening artist, Anthony John Clarke, describes himself as a 'Singer Songwriter Entertainer' and he certainly does all three to great effect. His solo set mixes homourous stories and songs guaranteed to make the audience laugh out loud. Roving Crows then push the boundaries of Celtic Folk with their passionate, energetic set which defied sitting down! 

The evening will end with Daphne’s Flight – five of the best singer songwriters to ever grace the stage together. The line-up includes Chris While, Julie Matthews and Christine Collister who are no strangers to the festival, but for Melanie Harrold and Helen Watson this appearance at Folk on The Pier will be their first visit. Their set includes individual performances of their own songs and various collaborations of stunning harmonies.

Sunday takes on a strong party atmosphere with Track Dogs. Although based in Spain the band comprises two Irishmen, one Englishman and one American who mix their individual influences with Spanish overtones into a rousing set. Husband and wife duo Megson bring the stories and atmosphere of their Teesside heritage to their intelligent song writing. Their songs feature lush harmonies and driving rhythmic guitars delivered with a generous sprinkling of northern humour.

The party continues with eight piece band Merry Hell who have received numerous awards and great reviews for their self penned songs full of exuberant melodies and choruses. With their songs of the people and for the people they have won themselves an impressive following.

Scott Butler

London blues duo Fran McGillivray & Mike Burke ease us into the final concert of the festival. The duo’s set includes inspired original songs and covers of classic tracks, teamed with virtuoso guitar and Fran’s distinctive voice.

But don’t get too comfortable! Described by BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson as the most breathtaking live act I’ve ever witnessed’, we are delighted to welcome to Folk on the Pier for the first time the wild man of the accordion Eddy Jay  and harmonica whizz kid Will Pound. We safely predict all will be blown away by their awesome musicianship.

 The final set of this year’s festival belongs to one of our most popular bands – Oysterband who recently celebrated forty years of touring. This multi award-winning band is renowned for having brought power, passion and poetry to folk and roots music and continues to deliver energetic rousing sets wherever they perform.

 “Having Oysterband as our final act is the perfect way to close the festival this year” says festival organizer Scott Butler. “They are by far one of the most oft-requested artists by our audience and certainly one of my personal favourite folk rock acts”. “My love of folk rock inspired the very first festival in 1999 and Oysterband are masters of the genre” he adds. The festival may have come of age but Scott says “that doesn’t mean we have to grow up. As long as folk rock continues to roll so will we!”

Tickets for the individual afternoon concerts cost £20 and evening concerts cost £23. They are on sale from the Pavilion Theatre box office 01263 512495,

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