English Folk Expo runs an annual Artist Mentoring Programme which supports selected artists to develop their careers in the music industry.

Given the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever for musicians to understand more about how the industry works and how to prepare for future international export. To this end, English Folk Expo offers an artist mentoring programme, giving carefully selected artists from the folk, roots and acoustic music genres a tailored and extensive training opportunity.

Over 12 months, participants on the English Folk Expo Artist Mentoring Programme will study selected areas of the music industry, developing their awareness, widening networks and creating a strategy tailored to suit their own business needs. By the end of the course, participants will have a firm understanding of the roles and responsibilities of different parts of the sector, developed new contacts and networks within the industry and have a clear road map for them to follow in the next stage of their careers.

Watch an interview with Chloe Foy, one of the participants in the 2018 / 19 programme HERE

Full programme details can be found here:

2020 / 2021 Participants

This year, we have selected four participants:

Danny Addison

Inspired by the likes of Kadjha Bonet, Moses Sumney and Nick Drake, multi-instrumentalist Danny Addison first emerged in 2019 with a unique blend of retro-fitted, neo-classical folk, combining voice, guitar and string quartet.

After moving to Manchester in 2014 to study music, Danny began performing with a range of folk outfits, including previous participant on the artist mentoring programme, Chloe Foy, Scottish harpist Anna McLuckie and singer-songwriter Sophie Morgan. It was through these experiences that Danny discovered his love for songwriting and began to turn his attention to finding his own sound.

His debut EP ‘Colour Songs’ was released in June 2020. https://dannyaddison.com/

Lizzy Hardingham

South-East based folk musician and songstress, Lizzy Hardingham is paving her way as a rising star on the UK folk scene with songs that “sing straight to the heart”. Her powerful yet pure voice twinned with her impressive songwriting skills meld together to create beautifully delivered folk music. After storming the UK folk club and festival scene, including Cambridge Folk Festival 2019, she is proving herself as a powerful singer to watch out for.

A finalist in 2018’s ‘New Roots’ competition, Lizzy has also won the Herts, Milkmaid Folk Club and Watford Folk Song songwriting competitions as well the Royston Young Artists competition. She has also run her own songwriting competition alongside the St Albans Folk Festival. Her latest release, Seven, features a varied mix of traditional and self-penned songs about our seas and half of the proceeds go towards the great work done by the RNLI. https://www.lizzyhardingham.com

Dominie Hooper

Having grown up on the wilds of Dartmoor, Dominie has folk music in her bones and a voice that can silence the rowdiest of moorland pubs. She’s lived in Bristol, Paris, and London, collecting impressive collaborators including Yola, Ríoghnach Connolly, Mikey Kenney, and Alabaster Deplume. After training in physical theatre at Circomedia Bristol, she worked extensively with composer Verity Standen, later James Thiérrée in Paris, and as a session and on-stage theatre musician in productions around the UK. Dominie is a founding member of folk ensemble Band Of Burns, and is currently developing her debut solo album – original material rooted in traditional English song, deeply inspired by her wildling childhood, and pulling at the tablecloth of life-long inspirational figures such as Sandy Denny and Janis Joplin.

Katherine Priddy

Katherine Priddy emerged onto the scene with her long-awaited debut EP ‘Wolf’, which has been championed by the BBC 2 Folk Show, BBC 6 Music’s Gideon Coe and Tom Robinson and BBC Wales, and received exceptional reviews. Richard Thompson named it as his ‘Best Thing I’ve Heard All Year’ in MOJO Magazine whilst Folk Radio UK pronounced the release to be “something extraordinary indeed…one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard”. After quickly selling out of the original pressing of ‘Wolf’, Katherine released it digitally, as well as selling out two further re-presses of the EP.

Katherine’s ‘haunting vocals’ and distinctive finger picking guitar style have been captivating audiences around the UK for the past 8 years including performances at including Cambridge Folk Festival, Towersey Folk Festival, Shambala and Underneath the Stars. At her first performance at Cambridge Folk Festival, Katherine received the Christian Raphael Award; a prize given to one developing artist from the festival each year. http://www.katherinepriddy.co.uk/

Partners and Supporters

This programme is only possible with the support of a strong range of partner organisations.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority – This year, we are delighted that GMCA have provided support for an artist from Greater Manchester to participate in the programme.

PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund for Organisations – Thanks to the PRS Foundation for supporting this project through their Open Fund. It would not be possible without this funding.

The Peter Sowerby Foundation – We are especially grateful to this fantastic foundation for enabling us to continue this programme into 2021 / 2022.

Cambridge Folk Festival – Building on the opportunity for the artists to perform at Cambridge Folk Festival 2019, we’re pleased to continue this partnership and look forward to presenting the participants at Cambridge Folk Festival.

FOCUS Wales – We’re grateful to the team at FOCUS Wales for enabling the artists to participate in their conference as well as showcase to delegates in Wrexham this May.

Americana Music Association UK – Participants will also attend the annual AmericanaFest UK, three day Conference and Showcase Festival to network within the industry, attend panel discussions and see a showcase from the point of view of a delegate first hand.

Manchester Folk Festival – to finish the programme, the selected artists will perform at Manchester Folk Festival 2021.

Featured Artists Coalition – Participants will start the programme by taking part in the FAC Artist:Entrepreneur Day in Manchester.

The 2019/20 Artist Mentoring Programme cohort

Previous participants on the project include: Harri Endersby, Hollie Rogers, Jordan Price Williams, Katy Rose Bennett, Lady Nade, Angharad Jenkins, Gareth Bonello, Jack Rutter and Chloe Foy.


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