Folk by the Oak

Page was last changed May 9th, 2012 @ 14:17:42

Folk by the Oak will be celebrating its fifth festival in 2012, and will once again be filling Hertfordshire’s beautiful Hatfield Park with equally beautiful folk and acoustic music. Sunday 22 July will certainly be a date for the diary, as the organisers announce another fabulous line-up.


2012 line-up, news and updates

Show of Hands, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Cara Dillon, Breabach, Chris Wood, Nancy Kerr & James Fagan, and Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo.

Last year’s crowds were craving more of Show of Hands, who performed in 2011 but who will be returning this year as the headliners with a full closing set.

2012 will be a milestone year for this iconic folk duo, as they celebrate a 20 year stand-out career including three sell-out gigs at the Royal Albert Hall and countless awards.

Another Albert Hall favourite on the bill is The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, who wowed audiences at the 2009 BBC Proms with their virtuosic toe tapping, all-singing, all-plucking obituary of musical history. It’s music you love as you’ve never heard it before!

Since their first sold-out concert in 1985, this legendary band of 8 ukuleles have spawned thousands of other uke orchestras around the world, and created an unmissable live show.

Cara Dillon also makes a welcome return, having performed at the very first Folk by the Oak. Her unmistakeable crystal clear vocals will be accompanied by the familiar musicianship of husband Sam Lakeman (brother of FBTO favourite Seth).

Cara’s career has earned her astonishing critical success. She is the winner of three BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, has worked with major record labels since the age of 19, and has even provided vocals for a Disney film!

Breabach will have the crowd out of their seats for the mid-afternoon set with their rich and dynamic live show. This young Highland five-piece includes pipes, whistles, guitar, fiddle and double bass as well as energetic vocals, and has been taking audiences by storm since they won the Open Stage Award at Celtic Connections 2005.

Former BBC Folk Singer of the Year Chris Wood will hypnotise the crowd with his “warm, dark brown voice” (Colin Irwin, fRoots Magazine), and unrivalled ability to weave traditional English folk sounds with his own contemporary compositions.

Nancy Kerr & James Fagan are one of the most established and respected duos on the folk scene, currently celebrating fifteen years on the road. In this time they have twice won the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Duo.

The opening act, Emily Barker & the Red Clay Halo, hail from Bridgetown in Western Australia. ‘Nostalgia’, a track from Emily’s second album, is the theme tune to BBC1’s Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh, so even if the name is unfamiliar, there will be many who will recognise this Bafta-winning song.


Folk by the Oak has gathered a strong following since it arrived back in ‘08. It has its own unique style with a relaxed and family friendly feel, where the organisers encourage you to bring your own food and drink along and make yourself at home. It’s a compact and leafy site with one main stage so you can pick a grassy spot, kick back and enjoy a whole day of top quality live music.

Music stages and other entertainment

As well as a list of stellar folk performers there will be plenty for all the family to enjoy at the stalls and activities including a craft tent, workshops, children’s activities, storytelling, circus skills, real ale bar, music stalls, recycled gifts and delicious food.

History and facts

Fifty pence from each ticket sold for Folk by the Oak is donated to Hatfield-based charity The Willow Foundation, who provide special days for seriously ill 16-40 year olds. Organisers are proud to announce that nearly £22,000 has been raised since the first event, both through ticket donations and on-the-day collections.

Location and travel

More to be announced.

Tickets and contacts

Find information and book tickets at or by calling on 01432 355 416