The Den line up is now revealed!

Tuesday 30 April 2024

One of the most keenly anticipated elements of the Cambridge Folk Festival programme is the line-up for Emerging Talent Stage, The Den. Expertly curated and featuring the brightest rising stars of contemporary roots music, The Den offers Festival-goers the chance to see the stars of tomorrow in a charming, intimate setting. Future hitmakers Jake Bugg and Passenger first played The Den before headlining Stage 1 and over recent years Christian Raphael Prize winners Angeline Morrison and Katherine Priddy have followed suit.

Cambridge is proud of its long-standing reputation for providing a platform for up-and-coming new artists and nurturing promising young talent and The Den is a smaller stage specially established to support musicians at the beginning of their careers. The Festival then continues its support by shaping a pathway for those artists to return and play on the bigger stages.

Eighteen of the thirty-plus artists playing The Den will be short-listed for The Christian Raphael Prize, which seeks to award a talented musician or group of musicians the tools they need to take the next step towards becoming a successful professional, including a year-long bursary, time in a studio or rehearsal space, a spot on the following year’s Festival, and music industry advice.

Introduced six years ago, the Christian Raphael Prize has become a major force in progressing the careers of its winners. Most recently Angeline Morrison, Katherine Priddy and Frankie Archer have all gone on to major success. Amongst the media accolades, Angeline and Frankie secured coveted slots on BBC TV’s ‘Later With Jools Holland’ and Katherine was featured on the BBC TV Glastonbury coverage.

The Prize was established and is funded by inspirational figure and keen supporter of Cambridge Folk Festival’s commitment to emerging young artists, Christian Raphael MBE. A 37-year-old man with severe and multiple learning disabilities who communicates non-verbally, Christian has been attending the Cambridge Folk Festival for many years.

The Den bill this year includes: BBC Spotlight artist Áine Deane; indie collective Amateur Theatre Group; vocalist and harp player Anna McLuckie; Award-winning singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Annie Baylis; Around About Dusk telling tales of wonder and nature with nods to folk, jazz and chanson; instrumental trio Auka, paying tribute to the importance of protecting our wild waters; hotly-tipped Norwich band Brown Horse; Chiara Gilmore combining her deep love for music and nature; intricate folk and Americana from David Burnett; Australian Folk Alliance Artist of the Year nominee Ernest Aines; London indie-folk singer-songwriter Fran Lusty.

Singer-songwriter Francesca Louise, who has been compared to Carole King and Joni Mitchell; Northern Ireland’s Gareth Dunlop whose songs have featured on many TV soundtracks; eclectic indie pop singer-songwriter Jakey Boy Hughes; Joey Mac, known for her unique vocals and energetic percussive guitar playing; Taiwanese-Australian singer-songwriter Kim Yang; heralded as ‘one to watch’ by The Guardian, mesmerising vocalist, violinist, pianist and guitarist Konyikeh; Lily Lyons, known for her angelic voice and complex, heartfelt lyrics; one of the most played female artists on Irish radio, Lorraine Nash; queens of the new vibe of activist British folk Lucy & Hazel; Mat Hunsley, much-admired for his folk-tinged sound and unique brand of story-telling; ambient folk singer-songwriter Mezanmi; Glasgow-based, Irish alternative folk singer and writer Mima Merrow.

Australian vocalist and cellist Monique Clare, blending indie-laced folk with chamber pop; Ghanaian-English soul and jazz singer-songwriter Nectar Woode; good vibe acoustic folk-roots duo from the UK River Roots; described as “the best kind of songwriter” by none other than Ricky Ross, Scotland’s Robin Adams; Dublin-based folk artist Seánie Bermingham; folk/country/rock singer from Kent Sorrel Nation;  punk attitudes, beautiful harmonies and intertwined instrumentations from Manchester’s The Deep Blue; Tricia Collins, enchanting audiences with her unique Irish indie-folk soundscape.

Slow Worm Records - a new label based in London specialising in folk, trad, experimental, improvised and electro-acoustic music and created by musician and producer Tom Moore - will hold a takeover of The Den featuring eight of its finest artists: Grace Lemon, Paddi Benson, James Gavin, Tim Fairhall, Dave Malkin, Louis Campbell, Tom Moore and Archie Churchill-Moss.


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