English Folk Expo (EFEx) is an annual music showcase event run by Sound Roots, a charity which supports the grassroots music sector through a variety of projects and initiatives. We host festivals and events throughout the year to introduce the best folk, roots and acoustic music to new and existing audiences.

We largely rely on grant funding and donations. If you would like to make a donation, you can do so by clicking the link below:

English Folk Expo was founded by EFDSS and Playpen Management & Agency in 2012 to deliver the annual Showcase of English folk, roots and acoustic music.

Since this point, the charity has grown exponentially, building new programme strands and activities for artists, music industry and public audiences, changing its name to Sound Roots in Autumn 2023. We run The Manchester Folk Festival which happens each October and our promotions programme presents concerts across Greater Manchester and beyond.

Each October we invite 200+ music industry representatives to Manchester to see more than 60 artists perform over three days. Our annual showcase event runs alongside the Manchester Folk Festival and generates in excess of £2m of work for artists within two years per event (source: the hub).

In April 2021 we launched a comprehensive new platform of learning for anyone building a career in the music industry. Folk Talk Academy is free to all and contains insight and learning from right across the international music industry

Our artist mentoring programme gives in depth training, industry mentoring and showcase opportunities to selected artists over the course of a year. We work in partnership with a variety of organisations including Americana Music Association UK, FOCUS Wales, Cambridge Folk Festival and the FAC.

2018 / 2019 Artist Mentoring Programme at FOCUS Wales

We also run a Promoter Training Programme which supports selected fans to learn the skills and develop networks which will enable them to host their own folk concerts.

We have an online platform for fans, artists and industry which enables networking, resources and bespoke offers to subscribers – EFEx Digital

In 2024, Sound Roots launches the next stage of its digital work, Sound Roots Connect. This brings together EFEx Digital and Folk Talk Academy with some new features to create an online community for learning and networking about the music industry.

To help reach new audiences, we are keen to support the commissioning of new work which reaches beyond existing folk, roots and acoustic audiences. In 2019 alongside EFDSS and Unite, we commissioned Rising Up which explored themes of protest, freedom of speech and democracy. We’re currently working up new commission projects.

In order to expand the reach of English folk, roots and acoustic music and to grow the audiences, we have a series of international partnerships, collaborations and projects.

We produce the monthly Official Folk Albums Chart on behalf of the UK folk music sector. This month’s chart can be found here.

Sound Roots is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and a Greater Manchester Combined Authority Cultural Partner.

Sound Roots is a Registered Charity and Company Limited By Guarantee | Company Registered in England and Wales No: 9929705 | Charity Number: 1192064 | VAT No: 242744608


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