August 2023: Downend Folk & Roots Preview


Downend Folk & Roots have announced their programme for this Autumn/Winter.

The season begins on Friday 15 September with a highly-anticipated return for Downend Folk & Roots favourites The Black Feathers. To say they’re back for a third appearance by popular demand would be an understatement… they’ve been the most requested artists over the last couple of years! Sian Chandler’s soaring, dramatic, melodious but powerful voice is a perfect counterpoint to Ray Hughes’ piquant vocals and his sparkling and occasionally spicy guitar motifs. Joining them on the bill will be Barney Kenny, who is quickly carving out a name for himself as a solo artist across the folk circuits. This concert will be live-streamed in partnership with Live To Your Living Room.

Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage headline the next concert, on Friday 20 October. Since emerging in 2016, Hannah & Ben have been defying all conventions of style, genre and compartmentalisation. A touch of Americana, yet quintessentially English. Traditional, yet contemporary, with their individual writing style. Opening the evening will be Lauren South, a Rugby-based singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

Ward Knútur Townes found their sound when the world fell silent. In 2020, these three singer-songwriters – Lucy Ward (Derbyshire), Svavar Knutur (Iceland) and Adyn Townes (Canada) – were selected to take part in a virtual global music sharing experiment called Global Music Match. They spent several lockdowns turning their stories into soft harmonies and intricate melodies. This year, they cashed in their stagnant travel points and recorded their debut album in Iceland. It will be released in Autumn 2023 and they headline the concert on Friday 17 November, where they will be supported by Maddie Morris. Maddie strives to make a difference in the world. Bold, insightful and refreshingly unique, she takes traditional song in new directions to shine a light on contemporary issues. 

Headlining the now legendary Christmas concert on Friday 15 December will be one of the most exciting young trios to emerge in recent years, The Wilderness Yet. Lockdown saw the trio record Turn The Year Round, a winter album featuring classic carols and carefully arranged seasonal favourites. The album has proven to be hugely popular, with the band even playing live on BBC Radio 3 on Christmas Day 2022. Joining the trio on the bill will be Leo MacKenzie, a singing cellist who is unique in using the baroque cello to accompany his own voice.  This concert will  also be live-streamed.

All four concerts will take place at Christ Church Downend. Seating is unreserved. The concerts are all priced at £14 in advance, £16 on the door, but you can also buy a season ticket for all four concerts for £50 (no booking fees!), a saving of almost £10. All tickets are non-refundable. They are available online at, and they will also be available from Melanie’s Kitchen in Downend ahead of each individual gig. Please note that Melanie’s Kitchen can only take cash payments and season tickets are not available at the shop. There will be a full bar at all concerts, as well as a prize draw, all proceeds of which go towards booking our support artists. Doors open at 7.30pm for a 7.45pm start. For further information, email