Sunday 27th August 2023
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Foolhardy Folk Festival – Nottingham – Live review
Towards the end of the original lockdown, the ever creative music industry sought ways to bring people back together to experience the unparalleled joy of live music. The Arboretum in Nottingham hosted a number of events including a couple of shows from folk favourite Frank Turner.
That is where the story of the Foolhardy Folk Festival begins as the man behind the festival, fellow folk icon Beans On Toast played in support of Turner. From there on Beans has affectionately taken over and curated his own festival which this year is a complete sell out.
A large part of this is the stunning line-up put on but another is the fantastic sense of community that exists in this portion of the folk scene and the lovely audience that has taken this back to basics event to heart.
Opening his own event Beans On Toast highlights the great music, great food and great beer theme. On the music front Beans serenades the already full venue with the likes of ‘Major Oak’, ‘The War on War’ and ‘Humans’ as the festival gets into full swing.
WATCH ‘HUMANS’ ON YOUTUBE
The festival is family friendly and this is punctuated by the vibe created by attendees in that we are all family. Beans own daughter lays on kids activites, there is live art and lots of merch offer as well but with short changeovers the attention is mainly on the one stage where both Vona Vella and Tensheds play delightful early sets.
Soon enough it’s time for our special guest to take to the stage and this year that means Frank Turner himself as he returns the favour three years on from that socially distanced affair.
As you’d expect Turner gets a hero’s welcome as he begins his set with ‘Be More Kind’ and ‘The Ballad of Me and My Friends’. The crowd’s singing voices are in fine fettle which is a good thing considering the sing-a-longs continue through to final song ‘I Still Believe’.
WATCH ‘I STILL BELIEVE’ ON YOUTUBE
Another beautiful thing about this community is the lack of ego on show, Turner as always appearing eternally grateful for the opportunity to play. The same can be said for your next three acts Truckstop Honeymoon, Ferris & Sylvester and Jeffery Lewis & The Voltage. All three acts are given equally as passionate reactions from the audience who can clearly appreciate beautiful music.
Considering we’ve brought our two little monsters with us another great thing about Foolhardy Folk Festival is that the music is wrapped up by 9pm! But before then we still have two highly anticipated performances.
First up are the always joyous Skinny Lister who bring their traditional party atmosphere to the festival. Perhaps more so than any other set today, the Lister crew get the fans up and dancing to the likes of ‘Cathy’, ‘This Is War’ and ‘Trouble on Oxford Street’. The band are surely now established as one of the best live acts in the UK and with a new album and tour on the horizon, there will thankfully be lots of opportunities to catch them again in the near future!
WATCH ‘CATHY’ ON YOUTUBE
Finally the event ends just as it began… with our gracious host Beans On Toast! With backing band in tow this time around the show feels different and special as our headline performance. Kicking off with ‘Life’ and ‘Not Everybody Thinks We’re Doomed’ the set is an uplifting celebration of our existence and is the perfect way to end a wonderful day.
The cutest cameo from Beans daughter, new material and old favourites ensure that despite having to follow some sensational artists, Beans On Toast is able to send the crowd into the night reminiscing about a beautiful day, many including our kids still singing the chorus of ‘On & On’!
With another edition already announced for next August, the Foolhardy Folk Festival has quickly established itself as a must attend date on the folk calendar. This is of course a credit to Beans On Toast, but also to everyone involved behind the scenes and of course the fan community that makes the event so special.
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