Today we announce the first wave of artists for English Folk Expo /
Manchester Folk Festival – 13th to 15th October 2022

The showcase and festival returns once again to its hub at HOME with shows at O2 Ritz and new for 2022, The Blues Kitchen, with further venues to be announced in April.

Artists announced today include Grace Petrie, Lady Maisery, Longest Johns, The Magpie Arc, Thea Gilmore, Will Varley, and heading up an Irish partnership for 2022, Daoirí Farrell Trio, Clare Sands and Moxie.


Thursday 13th October sees HOME’s Theatre 1 host a very special double bill from The Magpie Arc and Lady Maisery. The Magpie Arc brings together five very established folk musicians; Nancy Kerr, Findlay Napier, Tom Wright, Alex Hunter and Martin Simpson, to mix their song-writing styles and musicianship in a full-on electric band. A further three well-established folk musicians make up the multi award-winning Lady Maisery. Hazel Askew, Hannah James and Rowan Rheingans weave together a rich palette of sounds with their unique approach to harmony singing, intelligent and thoughtful arrangements of both traditional repertoire and original compositions.

The Magpie Arc and Lady Maisery perform in HOME Theatre 1 on 13/10/22

Over at The Blues Kitchen on Thursday night, Grace Petrie returns to Manchester Folk Festival fresh off major tours with Hannah Gadsby and The Guilty Feminist. Grace’s show will include songs from her Top 40 2021 album ‘Connectivity’.

Following on from the success of 2021, we once again we will be running our Festival Club (formerly the Last Night Bar) in the first floor restaurant of HOME. Starting on the Thursday night and running from 11pm – 1am each night of the festival, the bustling club atmosphere is the perfect way to finish off your night at Manchester Folk Festival whilst being treated to three of England’s up and coming folk artists.


After releasing two successful, but very different albums in 2021, ‘Afterlight’ and ‘The Emancipation of Eva Grey’, Thea Gilmore headlines HOME Theatre 1 on Friday 14th Oct supported by the first of our Irish partnership artists Clare Sands whilst Theatre 2 sees the second of our Irish partnership artists Moxie, bring their signature sound which has been described as “a swirling, almost cinematic sweep through the global electronic and acoustic landscape” by The Irish News.

Thea Gilmore performs in HOME Theatre 1 on Fri 14th Oct 


Gigs on Saturday include our continued partnership with Ireland with a headline show from BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner Daoirí Farrell Trio. Sea shanty superstars The Longest Johns take to the stage at HOME’s Theatre 1 on Saturday night whist The Drystones promise ‘big bad beats for badass barn dancing’ in Theatre 2 before Hannah Moule & The Moulettes push what can be done with a traditional chamber ensemble, playing steel string Guitars, Cellos, Viola, Piano, Violin, Harp, Nyckelharpa (Swedish keyed fiddle) Percussion and singing close harmony vocals.

Over at the 02 Ritz Will Varley makes a welcome return to Manchester Folk Festival playing songs from his 2021 album ‘The Hole Around My Head’.

Will Varley performs at O2 Ritz on Saturday 15th Oct

33 further artists will be announced next month.


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