MODERN Welsh folk bands and musicians will gather in Newport next month for the Tredegar House Folk Festival.

A packed line-up over the three-day event - which will run from Friday, May 6, until Sunday, May 8 - is led by multi-award-winning group Calan, as well as The Trials Of Cato, who won best album at the BBC Radio 2 folk awards.

They will be joined by Wales Folk Award winners Alaw, and Caldicot indie folk band Rusty Shackle.

Also making an appearance will be Avanc, a collective of the best young traditional musicians from across Wales, who have been brought together to become Wales’ first National Youth Folk Ensemble. Under the direction of Calan’s fiddle player Patrick Rimes, their 11-piece line-up features fiddles, harps, whistles, cellos, guitar and pipes as well as vocals and step dancing.

“We’ve had to build a bigger stage to fit them all in,” said festival director Sue Oates. “The sound is going to be amazing.”

“This is the first major Welsh festival since all Covid rules were relaxed. There’s a huge hunger for a great time, for the joy of live music.

"Tickets are going like hot cakes and we’re confident of a sell-out.

"Most of all, I’m delighted that we’re featuring so much Welsh music - along with huge amounts of Welsh and international dancing.”

Other big acts include folk legends Show Of Hands, Billy Mitchell of Lindisfarne and Texas Americana star Rebecca Loebe, who is flying in specially to kick off her UK tour.

“Better still, we’ve got loads of free stuff too,” Ms Oates added.

“So many people are having a financially tough time that we need to step up and help.

"We’ve created a free Saturday lunchtime concert, and all our dance displays, workshops and open mics are free.

“It’s time to do something that we haven’t managed for so long - smile, sing and have fun.”

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