St Albans Folk Music

St Albans Folk Music organises pub music sessions, a monthly concert series, ‘Folk at the Maltings’, and an annual 'New roots' competition for young musicians. It is a part of the 'Folk at the Festival' Committee which organises the St Albans Folk Festival.


St Albans Folk Festival 2020
St Albans Folk Festival now runs from September 25-27 and will be mainly online. Our festival concert on Sunday September 27 featuring our original guest Fay Hield will be live streamed.  Support will be Alison Raymond, winner of the Watford Folk Club song writing competition. Tickets are now back on sale on the Abbey Theatre web site and tickets for June 27 will be valid for September 27.


We have arranged an online showing of the film ‘All my life’s buried here. The story of George Butterworth’ about singer, composer and morris dancer, George Butterworth, who died in 1916 on the Somme. The film will be available online to ticket holders from 9am on Friday September 27 to midnight on Sunday September 27 and there will be an online discussion with the producer Stewart Morgan Hajdukiewicz at 5pm on Sunday September 27. Tickets covering both are on sale at


We welcome musicians and singers who want to take part in our online showcase performances. If you want to contribute, please contact These will be put online on Saturday September 26 from 11am onwards on our YouTube channel   There will also be sessions and singarounds. Further details will be announced here shortly.

On September 26, we are unable to hold the planned a day of dance in the City Centre because of the ban on dancing, but we hope you will enjoy our online events.


Write a new song for St Albans Unfortunately we received very few entries for our second song writing competition is ‘St Albans Scoundrels’. This is not surprising as we hoped writerswould access local libraries and museums for inspiration, but these have re-opened only relatively recently after being closed since lockdown in March. Two of the writers have been invited to contribute a set with their entry and other songs to an online concert on Saturday September 26 which will also include sets by leading local performers. Programme to follow shortly. and revised plans will be available here when finalised. Further details are here and the application form is here.


St Albans Folk Festival 2021

This will take place from June 25-27 2021. We can’t predict what form it will take, but there will definitely be a festival.

New Roots an event for young musicians who are under 25 and play or sing folk, roots or traditional music. Entries for New Roots 2020 closed on February 9. The final at Trestle Arts Base, St Albans and has been postponed to Sunday November 1 2020 from 11am to 5pm and may have to be partially or wholly online so that all who want to can listen. For further details, click here. New Roots 2021 will take place in the autumn of 2021. The closing date will be announced nearer the time.

New Roots 21st anniversary celebration, Sunday June 28

The first New Roots took place in 2000 and it was planned to hold a 21st anniversary event on Sunday June 28, with performances by some of the amazing singers and musicians who have taken part over the years. This was an online event, with videos newly recorded by over 30 past New Roots finalists. If you missed it, you can still hear it on YouTube by following this link and make a donation at  The proceeds will be shared between the performers. The programme, which includes featured spots by Iona Fyfe, Hazel Askew on behalf of the Askew Sisters, the Foxglove Trio and Katrina Gilmore and Jamie Roberts is here.


St Michael's Street folk evening
From 1988 to 2019, we held a popular event in St Michael’s Street on the first Wednesday evening in July, with dancing in the street and music everywhere. The 2020 event was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. We are keen to reinstate this event as soon as it is safe to do so, but it may be several years before this is possible. If it possible to hold it as soon as 2021, it will be on Wednesday July 7 so please put this date in your diary.


Folk at the Maltings

Maltings Arts Theatre, The Maltings, St Albans AL1 3HL

These are likely to be online events. Please note the dates in your diaries and watch this space for details and changes.

Monday October 12, 8.00pm Alden, Patterson and Dashwood and The Shackleton Trio Two of Norwich’s finest folk exports on tour together. A set from each act, along with a rare collaborative set bringing together Alden Patterson and Dashwood and The Shackleton Trio.

Friday November 6, 8.00pm James Findlay plus New Roots finalist and BBC Young Folk Award 2019 winner Mandie MorrisJames comes from a family of folk singers and his enthusiasm lies firmly within the English tradition, He first came into the public eye after winning the 2010 BBC Young Folk award. In recent years, he has worked mainly in touring theatre, so this is a rare chance to hear him sing. Mandie Morris is a folk musician who uses traditional and contemporary folk song to create discussion and social commentary on big issues.

Friday December 4, 8.00pm The Devines plus Elie Rees and New Roots finalist Nancy Potts.

John, Joe and Caz Devine are three members of the same musical family, with an inspired blend of instruments that include uilleann pipes, banjo and saxophone. They perform a mix of original compositions and their own unique arrangements of traditional folk songs and dance music. Elie Rees is a singer songwriter. A singer and a fiddler, Nancy Potts specialises in playing for dancing and sings a variety of songs both for performance and social settings.


Tickets: £12, Students and concessions £11. Under 18 £7.50

To book:
Online at
By phone 0333 666 3366, in person at St Albans Central Library or pay on the door


Sessions Mainly traditional Irish, English, Scottish and other traditional music. All welcome to listen or to play. Mainly tunes, but singers welcome.   The sessions have been suspended until further notice.   


Weekly sessions at 8.30pm on Wednesdays are at the Robin Hood, 126 Victoria Street, St Albans AL1 3TG. These have now been replaced by sessions on Zoom. For details, email


Monthly sessions are at the Great Northern, London Road at 6.00pm on Sundays, usually on the fourth Sunday of the month.

Links to other regular events in St Albans

Contact Alison Macfarlane            Tel 01727 852111