shared by Norman Warwick

English Folk Expo has a long traditional of an exclusive annual partnership with one country or territory.  It is a much-loved element of the weekend and one which always attracts much speculation from delegates. At our 2022 event we announced that the format of our partnership showcases would be changing in 2023, and we would move from one to multiple partnership showcases each year. So, come follow your art down sidetracks & detours via the UK, South Korea and Canada to learn more about English Folk Expo (efe)  and its long traditional of an exclusive annual partnership with one country or territory. 

It is a much-loved element of the weekend and one which always attracts much speculation from delegates. At our 2022 event we announced that the format of our partnership showcases would be changing in 2023, and we would move from one to multiple partnership showcases each year.

So EFE are delighted to announce that there will be FOUR partnership showcases at EFEx 2023, presenting artists as detailed below.

South Korea – presented by Seoul Music Week

Seoul Music Week is an annual showcase festival in the South Korean capital. It is an international music market and platform for the music business in South Korea, an urban showcase festival presenting around fifty South Korean and international bands annually, and a conference and networking opportunity for music industry professionals from across the world.

Flanders, Belgium – presented by Dranoeter VZW

Festival Dranouter, run by Dranoeter VZW, has presented a broad programme of music that pushes the boundaries of the folk and roots genres, in an annual green field festival since 1975 in the heart of Flanders in Belgium every August. With a focus on England in 2023, Festival Dranouter will host a selection of artists from England at the festival this August, as well as presenting artists from Flanders in England at EFEx ’23.

Bavo Vanden Broeck of Dranoeter VZW, says, “Dranouter has always contributed to the development of the Flemish folk scene. Now that the scene is qualitatively stronger than ever, we also want to help open the doors internationally for talent from Flanders.”

Prince Edward Island, Canada – presented by Music PEI

Music PEI, founded in 2001, is a non-profit member services organization and music industry association for the Province of Prince Edward Island, Canada. It is devoted to advancing careers of PEI artists and music industry members. Music PEI promotes, fosters and develops artists and the music industry on PEI, at local and national level. Music PEI also produces the highly regarded Showcase PEI in September each year. Artists from PEI showcased at EFEx Showcase in 2017 and we are delighted to welcome back more artists from this island which has proved to be a source of much musical talent.

Sweden – presented by Export Music Sweden

Export Music Sweden’s focus and long-term goal is increased revenue for all of Sweden’s music exports and to support all of Sweden’s music genres.  Its four focus areas are education, networks and fairs, collection and packaging of information, as well as support and grants.

”After checking out the impressive English Folk Expo platform last year, we at Export Music Sweden are now thrilled to announce our official partnership with EFEx 2023. In close collaboration with the conference we will select three Swedish diverse and export ready acts to showcase at the 2023 edition of English Folk Expo in October. We are looking forward to seeing what this fruitful collaboration will lead to for us as an organization but especially for the Swedish acts.” Jesper Thorsson – CEO, Export Music Sweden


Each partner will present three artists from their country/territory/province in a showcase at EFEx ’23.  All partnership showcases will take place on the afternoon of Saturday 21st October, using a collection of beautiful venues in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The showcase presenters will also preview their showcase at a delegate lunch the same day.

EFE are rightly proud that through the partnership showcases they will be able to present a rich, diverse and exciting gathering of musicians from across the world as part of English Folk Expo 2023.

Book Your EFEx Delegate Place Today

Registration for delegate places for English Folk Expo ’23, running from Thu 19th-Sun 22nd October, is now open. Delegate passes are available at the Super Early Bird rate of £140 + VAT until midnight on 31st March. To register click here. If you have any questions before registering contact Terry O’Brien at terry@englishfolkexpo.com. For more information about English Folk Expo’s annual showcase in Manchester, England click here.

We have a limited number of free passes available to non-UK delegates. If you are interested in attending from outside the UK please contact Terry to ask about this opportunity.

The first artists in this year’s Manchester Folk Festival line-up will be revealed next week! Keep an eye on our website, or follow social media to be the first to find out.

1st Release Festival Passes are now on sale for £90 +£7.20 booking

The Three-Day Festival Pass is the best way to take advantage of the full variety of our programme, dipping in where you feel, with full access to every gig from Thursday to Saturday. Make new discoveries and enjoy old favourites with the

Victoria Baths Presents… Ríoghnach Connolly and Honeyfeet (left)
Sat 15th Apr | SpringFest 2023

Victoria Baths Presents… will bring music and art together under the beautiful evening glow of Victoria Baths. Honeyfeet’s heavy sound spans from the bountiful to the subtle, held together by the powerful vocals and flute from Ríoghnach Connolly, BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year (left)

Eliza Carthy & Jon Boden’s Wassail (right)

8 December | The Stoller Hall

Before there was carolling, there was wassailing, where seasonal songs were exchanged for money, food and ale.  In the countryside trees were blessed, while in the towns wassaillers went house to house with their songs and calls for Christmas treats freedom that the Pass offers.

Manchester Folk Festival offers an exclusive opportunity to plan and enjoy your own festival line-up, with limited festival wristbands allowing audiences to select from more than 20 artists performing each evening.

The Festival Wristband is the best way to take advantage of the full variety of our programme, dipping in where you feel, with full access to every gig from Thursday to Saturday. Make new discoveries and enjoy old favourites across the iconic venues of Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

Festival Wristbands are now on sale for £90 (+£7.20 booking fee).


Maddy Prior & Forgotten Lands (right) is both a performance and an opportunity to learn, experience & explore traditional folk song with some of the very best vocal teachers in the business. They are touring folk festivals with a unique live performance and in addition also offering vocal technique workshops for festival goers.

Hack-Poets Guild (left) are three of the UK’s most innovative folk artists, Marry Waterson, Lisa Knapp and Nathaniel Mann. Inspired by historic broadside ballads the artists rejuvenate and reinvent these stories. Fascinating interpretations and original compositions tell tales of birth, love, conflict and death, with all the imagination of the folklore from which they’re based.

Suntou Susso (right) is a multi-instrumentalist: Kora player, percussionist, singer and composer from The Gambia, born a Griot in a 700-year old tradition. The Kora is unique to the Griots of the Mandinka people. Griots have a unique societal role as oral historians, transmitting and preserving a people’s culture through the generations in song, music and poetry.

Blackbeard’s Tea Party‘s (left) bold and riotous modern folk rock is built for late nights and big stages. They believe a live show should be a spectacle for the eyes as well as the ears. Outlandish outfits, costume changes, DIY props, unhinged stage antics and chaotic choreography all add up to an engaging, high-octane show that inevitably leaves audiences cheering for more

It is obvious how much professionalism and organisation has been brought to the UK folk scene by EFE, and how they have created a productive and cost efficient environment, that enable artists to better focus on their artistic skills so that their song-writing and playing flourishes.

Jazz music in Manchester is similarly professionalised by The Manchester International Festival which we preview in an article entitled A Year Of Manchester Festivals which we shall be publishing on 23rd March and will then retain in our easy to access archives of around 900 articles.

In fact, throughout the UK the jazz scene is being similarly shaped by a great supportive raft of media outlets and by excellent listing agencies such as those who allow us to share their news with our readers. Those include a guy who surely never sleeps, Rob Adams, with his Leith to London listings of Music That´s Going Places and a hard working crew with radio and print outlets and on line and social media platforms, Ribble Valley Jazz And Blues Festival.

We are also always pleased to receive news of all sort from Jazz In Reading, although title doesn´t quite reflect the swathes of area they cover of Soth East England.

In fact, we have had a reminder from Jazz In Reading (JIR) just today that no matter how hard the above listed agencies and we, club organisers and venue proprietors and the musicians might work, there is still a recognition that there are many volunteers who help the process, and that yet more are needed.

As supporters of Jazz In Reading and readers of these pages may be aware, both Jazz In Reading and the Progress Theatre, a venue they include in their listings,are staffed 100% by volunteers.

As well as the regulars who undertake most of the tasks, the Theatre maintains a list of people who have kindly offered to help out from time to time with various duties – helping to keep the audience safe, answering queries, selling programmes, coffee and tea etc.

This valuable assistance applies not only to JIR jazz gigs but also to the Theatre’s own productions.

We’d like to be able to add a few more names to the occasional volunteer list; if you might be interested in helping from time to time, please email Stuart McCubbin who will explain the various roles – some of which have the added benefit of allowing you to enjoy the show free of charge!

An occasional contributor to these pages is artist, poet, writer and radio presenter of the weekly Hot Biscuits mix cloud show, Steve Bewick (right). He is now back in his studio after short break. This week he features jazz guitarist Jim Faulkner with James Adolpho, bass and Phil Bennett, drums playing modern jazz pieces in a live set at the Creative Space venue. Also featured are pieces from Henry Spencer of Survivor. Jazz violinist, Adrien Chevelair will be playing Dark Eyes, a tradition folk song with a swing, and Steve will also introduce Hippo Campos with a debut single and there will music Hans Mathisen Quartet including Jason Rebello. Steve will close the show with an April Fool piece from David Gordon Trio. If this looks interesting, then share with friends/follow the jazz presenter 24/07 at www.mixcloud.com/stevebewick/

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