Folk Arts Oxford

About us

The work we do at Folk Arts Oxford can be broadly categorised in to three main strands: development work, community building, and events.

Development

We have undertaken a number of funded projects, providing access to the folk arts for many people in Oxfordshire as well as work for local folk artists. We have a number of Associate Artists who work with us on a regular basis to carry out these projects.

We are committed to promoting accessibility in the folk arts, and are actively working to improve access for those who face barriers to participating in what we do. You can read about this on our Inclusive Folk blog page.

Community

We run a website called FolkinOxford.co.uk; this is a folk-specific listings site, and portal for folk activity in Oxfordshire. This site is expanding rapidly and fast becoming a first port of call to find out what's going on in the county. There's also a wealth of information on there about the different activities, aiming to make it easy for someone who is new to folk to see what sort of activity they might enjoy.

Events

We run an annual folk festival in Oxford city centre called Folk Weekend: Oxford, which showcases and celebrates the local folk scene, and offers local artists and the opportunity to perform alongside nationally renowned folk artists.

We also promote smaller events throughout the year.

Contact us

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Folk Arts Oxford Limited is a registered company in England and Wales, registered in Cardiff. Company number 7950391.

Registered address: 17a Crawley Mill, Dry Lane, Witney, OX29 9TJ. Telephone: 01993 357340.

Who we are...

FAO is run by Cat Kelly, a professional folk artist who has been working in the folk scene for more than fifteen years. Cat has been actively involved with the Oxfordshire folk scene since 2007, leading the revival of the now flourishing Oxfolk ceilidh series, working with Oxford Folk Festival for three years, and in 2012 consolidating her community work in to the formation of Folk Arts Oxford and the launch of the new festival Folk Weekend: Oxford.

In 2015, Nina Hansell joined the team as Admin Manager, working part time. Nina is a fiddle player and morris dancer, formally of the famed ceilidh band The Bismarcks, and now of Polkaworks and Oxfordshire North-West side Old Speckled Hen.

What we do...

Folk Arts Oxford aims to work within the local folk community; creating opportunities and resources, and promoting high quality musical experiences for all ages and abilities.

Our work includes the Folk in Oxford website, celebrated festival Folk Weekend: Oxford and a variety of funded projects, most notably ‘Inclusive Folk’ which focuses on enabling people with disabilities to be a part of community arts events. We run training and development days for artists, and a variety of workshops for members of the public.

For more detail this page will tell you all about us.

Welcome to Folk Arts Oxford

Welcome to Folk Arts Oxford! Please have a browse around our websites and get in touch if you would like more information.

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Introducing our patrons

We are delighted to have two outstanding local folk artists as our festival patrons; Jackie Oates has been with us since 2013, and she was joined in 2016 by John Spiers, of Bellowhead and Spiers and Boden.


Jackie is a singer and fiddle player hailing from Staffordshire and now living in Oxford. Her unique treatment of English ballads and songs, and pure, haunting singing style has attracted increasing attention. Since appearing as a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards 2003, she has performed extensively at festivals and folk clubs across the country, in a solo capacity and with a number of bands. Her second album 'The Violet Hour' was one of the Top 10 on the Mojo folk album of the year chart in 2008, followed by 'Hyperboreans' reaching number five in the chart the following year. Also in 2009 Jackie won two BBC Folk Awards - The Horizon Award for best new comer, and the Best Traditional Track Award. She is currently singing with her own band, and touring as a member of The Imagined Village alongside Eliza Carthy. When not busy with all this Jackie dances with Summertown Morris and knits a lot!

 

John Spiers, known better in folk circles as Squeezy, has made a name for himself as one of the leading squeezebox players of his generation.  Well known for his long-standing duo partnership with Jon Boden in the formidable Spiers & Boden as well as his contribution to the massively popular Bellowhead, John has also played with Eliza Carthy’s Ratcatchers and a number of local folk-dance bands.

John was born in Birmingham, but moved to Abingdon in Oxfordshire at an early age where his association with the traditional folk music and dance of the region began. His road to success all started when he met Jon Boden at a folk session in the Fir Tree pub on Iffley Road in the late 90s; by 1999 they started performing together as Spiers & Boden and were quickly signed to Fellside records. 2004 saw the duo join 9 other friends to create the explosive ‘Bellowhead’ who have cooked up a storm on festival stages UK wide ever since. Bellowhead went on to win several BBC Radio 2 folk awards for Best Live Act and Best Group, and their album 'Revival' entered the UK album charts at number 12, before they sadly parted ways in 2016. 

Merch!

We had some amazing SPECIAL EDITION festival merch available for the 2020 lockdown festival.  They are still available if you want a momento of that unique weekend - click here to browse!  

Folky Fundraisers

We have a number folky fundraisers throughout the year - from Christmas Concerts and workshops to Family Ceilidhs. Supporting Folk Weekend whilst having a fabulous time - what could be better?!

Support Folk Weekend as you Shop!

An easy way of supporting Folk Weekend without costing you a penny! Once you have registered with Easyfundraising, every time you shop online a small donation will be made towards Folk Weekend by the participating retailers. If you ever needed an excuse to go shopping then here it is! Sign up with Easyfundraising now!

Morris at Folk Weekend

In normal times we are always delighted to welcome Morris dancers to Folk Weekend, who perform in the streets and at fantastic locations across the City centre including the Botanic Gardens and the Ashmolean Museum. Things are a litte different at the moment, but Morris will return.  For more information, go to our Morris page.