Billed as ‘Britain’s Friendliest Festival’, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention takes place this summer from 11 – 13 August 2011 in the village of Cropredy, north of Banbury in Oxfordshire. “We always strive to bring variety to Cropredy. This year is no exception and we’ve got everything from pop, rock and reggae to folk and bluegrass with some surprises thrown in,” says Simon Nicol, Fairport’s lead singer and festival co-organiser. Having recently won the coveted Editor’s Award at Total Production International’s annual TPi Awards and with Sky Arts 1 expected to record the festival for broadcast later this year, we give you the lowdown on the award and the full line-up for Fairport’s Cropredy Convention 2011.
At the TPi Awards 2011, staged in London on 7 February 2011, Cropredy’s Festival Director Gareth Williams collected the coveted Editor’s Award on behalf of festival hosts Fairport Convention. “Cropredy festival has been staged for over 30 years and for much of that time has remained relatively unnoticed by the music industry – or so we thought. We are all truly touched by this recognition by our peers in the industry and we want to thank Mark Cunningham for the accolade of the TPi Editor’s Award,” said Gareth Williams. The annual Total Production International Awards event has, since 2002, become regarded throughout the world as the premier networking event for the live production industry. It honours not only the Live Production Of The Year, but also some of the most talented sound engineers, lighting and show designers, video creatives and tour/production managers. Mark Cunningham, Editor-in-chief of TPi (the leading monthly magazine for international live event production), selects and presents the Editor’s Award for outstanding achievements, whose past recipients have included U2′s production staff and the Led Zeppelin O2 reunion crew. He said: “It’s a pity Cropredy tends to slip under the radar when it comes to awards because it deserves to be recognised as being up there with the very best. And this year, TPi is doing just that.”
FAIRPORT’S CROPREDY CONVENTION 2011 LINE-UP
Thursday 11 August 2011: Fairport Acoustic Convention open the festival with their semi-acoustic line-up. BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award nominees Katriona Gilmore & Jamie Roberts showcase their trademark harmonies and distinctive fiddle & guitar work. Talented young singer & guitarist Blair Dunlop (son of former Fairport founder Ashley Hutchings) plays the main stage for the first time. With a distinctive brass sound and great repertoire, Home Service (born out of the Albion Band and one of the best-loved groups on the British folk rock scene) re-form for 2011 with John Tams and Graeme Taylor. Nashville’s Appalachian hellraisers, Hayseed Dixie, take American bluegrass and give it a rock edge, a style they describe as ‘rockgrass’. They’ll be performing hillbilly renditions of Dixiefied rock classics plus some of their impressive repertoire of self-penned songs. One of the most influential reggae outfits in the world, UB40, who’ve sold more than 70 million records during their career, will be headlining Thursday with their political messages of tolerance and hope.
“Cropredy is as much a British summer institution as Wimbledon” The Guardian
Friday 12 August 2011: Each year Cropredy proudly presents a set by the winner of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award. This year superb young trio Moore, Moss, Rutter (fiddle, melodeon, guitar) claim the prize to perform their gutsy, contemporary take on English traditional music. With a Radio 6 ‘Album of the Day’ and a Radio 2 ‘Single of the week’ under their belt, The Travelling Band will be playing their exciting blend of country-pop and nu-folk. There’s a welcome return to Cropredy for old friend, singer-songwriter and guitarist Steve Tilston who’ll be appearing with folk, roots and alt-country harmony outfit, The Durbervilles. With five albums of self-penned songs to her credit, acclaimed singer-songwriter Charlie Dore brings her distinctive blend of folk and country influences to Cropredy for the first time, while The Dylan Project, featuring Steve Gibbons on vocals and PJ Wright on guitar, play the very best of Bob Dylan’s repertoire. Fronted by Joe Broughton and with a dozen instruments between them, the young musicians in The Urban Folk Quartet will be showcasing their high-energy brand of globally-influenced folk. The Coral‘s electrifying stage show features snappy upbeat songs shaped by influences ranging from folk-rock to psychedelia and country to indie. Finally, Brit-nominated Seasick Steve (one of the greatest living exponents of authentic blues) brings his rich voice and extraordinary guitar technique to this year’s line-up.
“What Fairport organise at Cropredy is absolutely fantastic” Jools Holland
Saturday 13th August: Richard Digance provides the crowd-pleasing Saturday opener that’s become a traditional feature of Cropredy. With three powerful vocalists, the multi-instrumental, all-female six-piece band The Shee play music with a diverse range of influences from Gaelic traditions to bluegrass. Part jazz-funk, part Cockney knees-up and best-known as Ian Dury’s band, the Blockheads remain one of the tightest outfits in the business playing classic Dury-penned songs as well as more recent compositions. Virtuoso guitar/accordion/fiddle trio Lau, voted ‘Best Group’ at the BBC Folk Awards bring their fresh contemporary feel to traditional Scottish folk music. Arguably the most influential band to come out of Ireland in the 1970s, Horslips, the founding fathers of Celtic rock, re-formed in 2009 and are guaranteed to put on a fantastic show. Not to be missed, Mercury-winner Damon Gough (aka Badly Drawn Boy) who remains one of the most distinctive musical voices of his generation and one of the UK’s most respected singer-songwriters. As always, the festival will end with a spectacular three-hour set by Fairport Convention & Guests, giving the band a chance to plough through a repertoire stretching back over forty years.
“A great way to while away an August weekend” The Sunday Times
Tickets for Fairport’s Cropredy Convention are now on sale with substantial discounts for early purchase online and by post from PO Box 8413, Bilsthorpe, Notts NG22 8WY.