Folktown Market, Belfast’s newest weekly outdoor market for 400 years, will host its inaugural Folk Festival on Saturday August 22, bringing a feast of multi-ethnic music and dance to Bank Square.
‘Folk at Folktown’ will see four top music and dance acts performing in the newly refurbished Bank Square during the day and gigs and traditional sessions in the local bars throughout the evening.
Bank Square, which is home to the weekly Folktown Market, will highlight performances from the likes of Willie Drennan and the roots band Afresh, amongst others.
There will be a taste of things to come at the Mela in the form of Indian Dancing from the Artsekta dancers, and there will be the mini market with a selection of what’s on offer at the Thursday weekly Folktown Market.
Folktown CIC Director and well known Belfast musician Joby Fox encouraged everyone to come along and enjoy the atmosphere.
He added: “The event is free. Come and have a look around this emerging new cultural quarter, which is bringing life to one of our forgotten spaces. It is going to be a fantastic day, with some of our most exciting folk bands reflecting our changing city .”
Willie Drennan is a traditional musician, storyteller, poet and writer. He has become a household name through his BBC programmes, such as ‘A Dander With Drennan’. The Ulster Scots cultural traditions of his native County Antrim are the root source of much of his material.
Afresh is a traditional Zimbabwean folk band based in Belfast and led by Gabriel Makamanzi with talented musicians from across the globe. Gabriel’s main focus is Zimbabwe’s traditional instrument, the Mbira; an instrument rooted in Africa’s history spanning back 800 years.
Local bars are joining in with traditional sessions and groups at Kelly’s Cellars from 4-7, Cosgrove’s from 7pm and Madden’s Bar from9.30pm.
Folk at Folktown was created to attract people into the hidden gem of Bank Sq. It was recently upgraded as part of the Streets Ahead scheme in the city centre by Department of Social Development.
The square is surrounded by some of the best pubs and restaurants, such as Havana Bank Square, Safa and Mourne Seafood Restaurant in the city and nestled beautifully between St Marys Chapel and Berry Street Presbyterian Church. The Folktown area is also home to many contemporary artist studios and independent shops.