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Moira Furnace Folk Festival 2022

I was once asked a deceptively easy question; what is folk anyway? Folk music encompasses such a wide array of music that it is, really, rather impossible to pin down. The one thing that seems to be threaded throughout all of the spectrum of folk music is a sense of community and Moira Furnace Folk Festival has this by the barrel load.
When you attend a folk festival there are some things that are a given: you WILL experience excellent musicianship, you WILL hear incredible vocal talent and you will almost always get exception crowd choral accompaniments! This weekend from the dulcet tones of Reg Meuross to the exceptional talent of young talents such as Granny’s Attic was no exception. Every single act that graced the stage was a masterclass in what folk music IS.
What makes Moira special though is the sense of community. Acts such as Ian Bruce and Kenny Speirs have such an incredible way with the crowd. They are storytellers above all else both through their music and between songs. And the crowd hang on every word. It is also clear that the crowd are as much a part of the act as the acts themselves be it through the banter or the singalongs.
Through the day time there are no end of workshops to learn or improve various instruments or even songwriting and these are very popular. I struggled to get into a few myself! These are such warm, inviting environments that strongly urge any attendee to go to as many as possible, they were a lot of fun. Ian Bruce was an absolute joy to be around.
Through the evening the merriment continue at the bar; I have attended folk festivals for around 6 years now from the very large to very small and I can honestly say I have never come across singarounds into the night that were so much fun. When I got there there must have been 30 or 40 people with an exotic array of instruments and an incredible diverse catalogue of songs at their disposal. How some of these are nit on the bill this year is amazing because some of the singers were just breathtaking.
So what is folk anyway? It’s all about the people. Those on the stage, those in the crowd and those behind the scenes. A festival can be made or broken by the quality of all people involved and Moira is special. This is one of the loveliest atmospheres around and one of the most thoughtful lineups around. It is clear to see that everyone involved is passionate about this festival and they deserve to be proud of it!
Editor of LLR since 2005

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