Can it really be 10 years? Back in 2014, Ant Miles and a team of like-minded individuals decided to put on a few folk concerts in Downend. By their own admission, they didn’t really know what they were doing, but muddled through, made it work, and 10 years later it has grown into a monthly fixture on the calendars of music lovers from Downend and beyond.

10 years deserves a special event to celebrate, and Downend Folk & Roots are thrilled to reveal details of their 10th Anniversary Celebration, which will take place over the weekend of 19-21 July this year. They’ve assembled a lineup of the very best folk, roots and acoustic music artists, including many who have played a big role in their story over the last decade, and have teamed up with their regular venue, Christ Church Downend, for some community-focused events which will really make it feel like a little festival!

The weekend will kick-off with a ceilidh and ploughman’s supper on Friday 19 July, with Bristol favourites The Molecatchers providing the music for the dancing.

On Saturday 20 July, there is a full day of the very best music. The day will start with a performance from Katie Grace Harris, in a gig which will simultaneously be the second in the new Live at Lunchtime series; concerts which are designed to be accessible to families, providing a relaxed atmosphere and shorter sets. Under-18s will go free for this part of the day, which is also individually ticketed, and there will be activity sheets and free squash for younger children. Some noise from children is expected and encouraged!

 Attention then turns to the Saturday afternoon concert. Jim Moray has been patron of the club since the beginning and he will headline the gig, He will be joined on the bill by Janice Burns & Jon Doran, who went down a storm when they performed in Downend in November 2022… and wouldn’t be a 10th Anniversary Celebration without Road Not Taken, the four-piece that was formed out of Downend Folk & Roots, and have been tempted out of their current hiatus to open the Saturday afternoon concert.

 The celebrations continue on Saturday evening. Lady Maisery headlined back in November 2016, and returned triumphantly in December 2018 with their Christmas show Awake Arise. Both concerts are among the favourites with our regulars, so inviting them back to headline the 10th Anniversary Celebration was a no-brainer… it’s been far too long! The trio will be joined on the bill by Downend Folk & Roots newcomers Bryony Griffith & Alice Jones, while local favourites Gavin Osborn & The Comment Section will open the evening. Gavin has played both support and headline slots over the years.

In addition, there will be events taking place in the Parish Hall throughout the afternoon, including crafts and games.

 This might look a bit like a mini-festival, and in some ways, it is, but Downend Folk & Roots also pride themselves on being part of the community, so Sunday will be a bit different. The club are teaming up with Christ Church Downend, and the day will kick-off with an optional, and very short, church service, before the musical regulars and members of the church head down to Lincombe Barn Park & Woods, where they’ll spend 90 minutes weeding, clearing paths, cleaning railings and generally giving this beautiful local resource a bit of a spruce up. It’s then back to the church for a soup, bread and cake lunch (all complimentary), before enjoying a closing concert, which will feature the fantastic Bristol-based folk choir Heartwood Chorus and guest headliner. Bright Season .And all of Sunday is FREE!.

 All events will take place at , and seats are unreserved for everything. You can buy a Weekend Ticket for £55 per person, or you can just get a Saturday Ticket for £45 per person (the ceilidh is not included). As mentioned, Sunday is free and you don’t have to book, but it will help if you let them know that you’re coming. You can also buy tickets individually for the ceilidh, Live at Lunchtime and both Saturday afternoon and evening concerts, if you can’t make it for the whole weekend.

 There will be food options on the Saturday while the bar will be operating throughout Friday and Saturday, offering the usual range of hot drinks, soft drinks, wine, cider and locally-brewed real ales from Hop Union Brewery, as well as sweet treats from Radstock-based The Great Cake Company.

It promises to be a special weekend, so book now as places are limited. Go to downendfolkand
to find out more, or find them on social media.