The Best Folk Music Festivals

Check out our top picks of the Best Folk festivals in the UK and beyond, where you can go being serenaded on a hilltop to jigging in a huge crowd, all in one place!

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 28th Feb 2024

In a global music culture where the vibrant rhythms of popular genres, and the thundering bass of dance music and house tunes dominate the festival scene, there exists a plane where people come together to enjoy timeless threads of folk music, a sound that is vastly underappreciated by the modern festival-goer. Folk music, with its roots deeply embedded in cultures across the globe, calls us to take a step back, reconnect with the melody of days gone by, and experience the storytelling so prominent to the genre and its heartfelt verses.

From the mist-shrouded isles of Scotland to the verdant hills of America, these folk festivals provide a haven for the old souls of the world, where the raw ballads of the US, the spirits of Irish folk, and haunting tunes of Nordic traditions unite in protest to the modern music scene. 

So take a scroll down, and delve into the best UK folk festivals in 2024. What are you doing still reading? Check them out below!


The Gathering


Image: The Gathering /

When: Saturday 1st June 2024

Where: Bught Park in Inverness

2024 lineup: Cala, City of Inverness Youth Pipe Band, Malin Lewis, Sian, Trail West, Julie Fowlis, Torridon, Valtos and many more

The Gathering is a multi-genre festival with rock, pop, folk, world music, country, and Americana. So if you’re quite new to folk music, this might be the best festival to slowly introduce you to the world. But if you're a folk lover, you'll find more than enough to wet your appetite right here.

They have an incredible bar stocked with Scottish beer, whisky, gin, and more, a food village full of Highland’s street food, The Tomatin Whisky Stage with music, dancing, poetry, drams (that's small whisky or another spirit), and a kids area. It's a proper folk festival where the general vibes match the genre too, a perfect way to get your folk fix in the UK.


Find tickets, FAQs, and more information on The Gathering - HERE



Craic by the Creek 


Image: Craic by the Creek /

When: Friday 19th - Sunday 21st July 2024

Where: Whitebottom Farm in Stockport

2024 lineup: Nathan Carter, LAMPA, The Tumbling Paddies, All Folk'd Up, Johnny Brady, Matt & Donal and many more

A little different to the rest on this list, Craic by the Creek is more focused on traditional and contemporary Irish country and folk music. Here, they’ve got plenty of Irish folk artists from the traditional and modern vibe, with acoustic, world music, indie pop, cover bands, and more to fill out the proceedings. 

Going down the weekend after St Patricks Day, it’s probably the best festival to join in with the celebrations. Expect a huge variety of food, drink, music, camping facilities, and an unbeatable atmosphere. Over in Stockport, using public transport from Manchester, you’ll get there in a little over an hour. 


Find tickets, FAQs, and more information on Craic by the Creek - HERE



Kelburn Garden Party


Image: Kelburn Garden Party /

When: Thursday 4th - Sunday 7th July 2024

Where: Kelburn Country Centre in Largs

2024 lineup: Sheelanagig, Ushti Baba, Owanj, The Girobabies, Eyes Of Others and many more 

Interactive art installations, pop-up parties, waterfall plunge pools, workshops, a 13th-century painted castle, The magical Kelburn Garden Party festival is a cultural and artistic safari for the mind, body and soul, featuring a unique programme of music, art and entertainment spread throughout the ancient and spell-binding forest glen and gardens. Plus, there's an incredible smattering of folk artists throughout the lineup to get your fix.

This family-friendly, independent event is bursting at the seams with creativity. Turning its back on the standard idea of what a festival should be, entertainment can be found, seen and heard in the most absurd of environments. It has a folkish vibe that is near unmatched in the UK, and is an excellent choice if you want a good bit of folk, alongside a variety of other genres for those who may not be into it as much as you!


Find tickets, FAQs, and more information on Kelburn Garden Party - HERE



Knockengorroch Festival


Image: Knockengorroch /

When: Thursday 23rd - Sunday 26th May 2024

Where: Galloway, South West Scotland

2024 lineup: Ewan Macintyre, Jemima & The Fuse, John Fairhurst, Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening, Mairi Campbell and many more

A selection of world-class names from near and far will journey to the stunning Southern Uplands of Scotland to mark the festival's milestone 25th anniversary. With loads of folk, some alternative, and also a bunch of blues and traditional music, this is truly a great festival for all folk lovers and their friends. Plus, there's a hippy vibe to the place that is hard to find elsewhere.

Among the talents that made the journey to the festival's stunning Southern Uplands home, set amidst the hills of Galloway in South West Scotland, this year features the likes of Ewan Macintyre's intricate storytelling, the lush arrangements of Jemima & The Fuse as well as the rousing blues of John Fairhurst, among the likes of Mungos Hi Fi and 808 State. We're sure it will be blowing last year out of the water!


Find more information on Knockengorroch Festival - HERE



Wick Street Festival

Image: Wick Street Festival /

When: Friday 30th August - Sunday 1st September 2024

Where: Wick St Paddocks, Wick St, Berwick, East Sussex

2024 lineup: Beans On Toast, The Cuban Brothers, Hutch, Dutty Moonshine Big Band, Rosie Frater-Taylor, John Otway and many more

With a folk soul, but an eclectic mix of genres, Wick Street Festival is one of the newcomers on the UK folk festival scene, but the impact it's had is already incredible, mainly thanks to the sheer quality of the lineups. From the drunken folk of cult favourite Beans On Toast and the off-kilter comedy of The Cuban Brothers to the punky reggae vibes from Don Letts, there's plenty to enjoy. 

It never abandoned the folk at the centre of what it does, but it makes sure that those who arent massively into the genre can still have an incredible time. A great one to visit with pals! 


Find tickets, FAQs, and more information on Wick Street Festival - HERE



Woodford Folk Festival


Image: Woodford Folk Festival /

When: Friday 27th December 2024 - Sunday 1st January 2025

Where: Moreton Bay Region, Queensland, Australia

2024 lineup: TBA

The Woodford Folk Festival is Australia's largest gathering of artists and musicians, held annually for six days from December 27th to January 1st. With over 2,000 local and international performers, the festival presents 438 acts to an estimated audience of 132,000. It starts with the iconic Opening Ceremony and ends with the spectacular Fire Event on New Year's Day. This year marks the 36th festival and the 29Th at Woodfordia, a former dairy farm transformed into a vibrant village. Over 120,000 subtropical rainforest trees and plants create a habitat for wildlife. With 25,000 daily attendees, including volunteers and stallholders, Woodfordia becomes the 67th largest town in Australia, embodying an inclusive community of art and culture, and most importantly... Folk Music.

There are few, if any, larger folk festivals on the planet, and if you like your festivals to be huge, all-encompassing affairs, then we may have just found the one for you. Just make sure to save for them flights over!



Fairports Cropredy Convention


Image: Fairports Cropredy Convention /

When: Thursday 8th - Saturday 10th August 2024

Where: Cropredy in Oxfordshire

2024 lineup: Rick Wakeman & The English Rock Ensemble, Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening, Feast Of Fiddles, Fairport Acoustic and many more

During the 1970s, Daves Pegg and Swarbrick lived in Cropredy. In 1979, Fairport disbanded after opening for Led Zeppelin and then quickly travelled to Peewit Farm in Cropredy for a Farewell concert. A year later, they reunited with friends and established the first Cropredy Festival in 1980. The festival has grown from a few thousand attendees to its current capacity of 20,000, featuring diverse acts such as Lindisfarne, Julie Fowlis, Steeleye Span, Ralph McTell, Cara Dillon, Alice Cooper, Robert Plant, Status Quo, Steve Winwood, and Buzzcocks.

Cropredy Festival is not limited to folk music but includes various genres based on Fairport's preferences. Unlike other festivals, Cropredy has always maintained a single-stage setup, ensuring that attendees don't miss any performances and providing even lesser-known artists with the opportunity to perform in front of a sizable audience.



The Cambridge Folk Festival


Image: The Cambridge Folk Festival /

When: Thursday 25th - Sunday 28th July 2024

Where: Cherry Hinton Hall in Cambridge

2024 lineup: Robert Plant, Aoife O'Donovan, Capercaille, Dani Larkin, Fantastic Negrito, Flamy Grant, Jerry Douglas, Katherine Priddy and many more  

Cambridge Folk Festival is one of the longest-running folk festivals in the world. Held each year since 1965, set in the stunning surroundings of Cherry Hinton Hall Park, it attracts around fourteen thousand people, many of whom return year after year.

The Festival is renowned for its unique atmosphere and its eclectic mix of music, the best traditional folk artists from the UK and Ireland rub shoulders with cutting-edge contemporary acts, the finest American country, blues and roots artists, acclaimed singer-songwriters, famous names and world music stars. Arguably the biggest folk festival in the UK, and is most definitely the one to be at if you're a folk purist!



Newport Folk


Image: Newport Folk /

When: Friday 26th - Sunday 28th July 2024

Where: Fort Adams State Park in Newport, USA

2024 lineup: Adrianne Lenker, Gillian Welch, Gusta, Sierra Ferrell, David Rawlings and many more

The renowned Newport Folk Festival, with its remarkable 60-year history, graces Rhode Island annually, drawing crowds to celebrate the rich tapestry of kindred folk tradition. This beloved event showcases a diverse lineup of musicians, who, guided by the festival's spirit, join forces to pay tribute to contemporary social justice endeavours. In addition to its legendary reputation for selling out swiftly, the Newport Folk Festival is revered for its penchant for unveiling unexpected performers and fostering extraordinary collaborations, delighting its passionate attendees year after year.



Telluride Bluegrass Festival


Image: Planet Bluegrass /

When: Thursday 20th – Sunday 23rd June 2024

Where: Telluride, Colorado, United States

2024 lineup: Sam Bush Band, Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, Charley Crockett, Sierra Ferrell, Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway and many more

Welcome to the ultimate four-day mountain party, an experience that will leave you breathless at an elevation of 8,750 ft. In the charming town of Telluride, Colorado, lies a hidden gem that is not only a haven for bluegrass and alternative country enthusiasts but also one of the best places to immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of folk music in the entire United States.

This remarkable festival should be at the very top of your list if you yearn to witness the melodic brilliance of bluegrass. Prepare to be enchanted by the captivating performances that will transport you to musical nirvana. And it's not just the tunes that will astound you; nestled amidst the awe-inspiring mountain scenery, this festival is undeniably one of the most beautiful sights to behold on any festival-goer's wish list, perhaps even in history itself!



Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.








Festivals 2024