Investigate potential dates for Folk Weekend

More detailed presentation for Pirate Festival Weekend

With a five year ambition of developing a folk festival of international renown we have investigated:

World Folk Festivals

UK Folk Festivals, including dates, size, average ticket prices

Liverpool’s folk connections

Liverpool’s other music events

Suggested potential diary dates

NAME URL CITY Month 2016 Ticket Price
Acoustic Gathering Festival Scarborough Sept N/A £15.00
Arran Folk Festival Arran June 3rd-5th June £17.50
Bath Folk Festival Bath Aug 8th to 16th June £17.50
Bromyard Folk Festival Bromyard Sept 9th -11th Sept
BunkFest Wallingford Sept free
Burnham-on-Sea Folkfest Burnham on Sea N/A
Cambridge Folk Festival Cambridge July £62.00
Celtic Connections Glasgow Jan 14-31 £13 to £35.00
Chester Folk Festival Chester, Kelsall May 27-30 May
Crawley Folk Festival Crawley June 21-27 June free
Cropredy Festival Cropedy Aug 11-13 Aug
Folk by the Oak Herts July 24th July £33-£44.00
Fylde Folk Festival Fleetwood September
Hop Farm Festival Kent July £68.00
Hull  Sea Shanty Festival Ceased Hull
International Eisteddfod Llangollen July 6th -10th July
IVFDF Coventry Feb 26th -28th Feb
Middlewich Folk And Boat Festival Middlewich June 17-18-19 june free
Moseley Folk Festival Moseley Birmingham Sept 4th 5th 6th £39.00
Orkney Folk Festival Orkney May 26th-29th
Sark Folk Festival Sark July 1st-3rd July £35-£40.00
Scots Fiddle Festival Edinburgh November 20th-22nd Nov £18.00
Shrewsbury Folk Festival Shrewsbury Aug 26th-29th £40-£55.00
Sidmouth Folk Week Sidmouth Aug 29th July-5th Aug free
Shetland Folk Festival Shetland May 28th April, 1st May
Speyfest Spey July 29th-31st July
Stogumber Festival Stogumber West Sussex Sept 2nd -4th Sept
Towersey Village Festival Towersey Aug 26th-29th £40.00
Warwick Folk Festival Warwick July 21st to 24th july
Southwell Folk Festival Southwell June 9th-12th June £21- £40.00
Great British Folk Festival Great British Folk Festival Skegness December 15th 16th April £79 weekend
Folk Weekend Oxford Folk Weekend Oxford Oxford
The Big Session 2106 The Big Session Buxton May 29th April, 1st May £86 weekend
Folk on the Pier Cromer May 6th-8th May £95 weekend
Hebden Bridge Folk Roots Festival Hebden Bridge May 13th-17 May £25.00
Beverley Folk Festival Beverley 17th-19th June £30-£48.00

Liverpool Folk Connections WebAddress Dates Venue
Liverpool Folk and Roots Festival 2013 N/A
Wirral Folk on The Coast 2nd to 5th June Whitby Club
Liverpool Acoustic Festival March Unity Theatre
Liverpool Acoustic All year
Liverpool Sea Shanty Festival 2nd 3rd 4th Oct The Baltic Arms etc
Liverpool Music Festivals WebAddress Dates Venue
Sound Festival 28th 29th May Liverpool Waters
Liverpool International Music Festival 22nd to 24th July Sefton Park
International Beatleweek 24th to 31st August Cavern Club plus
Liverpool Irish Festival 15th-25 October Multi Venue

Folk Festivals By Month

Month Max. temp Min. temp Air Forst Sunshine Rainfall Rainfall Wind Speed
C C Days Hours (mm) (days) (knots)
Jan 7.2 2.4 7.8 3 74.9 13.8 13.5
Feb 7.3 2.1 7.9 4 54.4 10.7 13.3
Mar 9.4 3.8 3.4 6 63.6 12.5 12.7
Apr 12.2 5.1 1.5 8 54.3 10.4 11.1
May 15.6 7.9 0.4 9 54.9 10.6 10.6
Jun 17.9 11.1 0 10 66.2 10.5 11.1
Jul 19.7 13.3 0 8 59 10.1 11.7
Aug 19.4 13.2 0 7 68.9 11.2 8.6
Sep 17.3 11 0.1 6 71.7 11.5 11.5
Oct 13.9 8.2 1.2 5 97.3 14.8 12
Nov 10.2 5.2 3.1 3 82.6 14.6 12.6
Dec 7.5 2.5 7.5 4 88.8 13.9 12.4
Annual 13.2 7.2 32.8 6 836.6 144.3 11.8

Taking into consideration, potential weather constraints, major folk festivals in the UK and Liverpool’s other music events we are recommending the first weekend in September  – 3rd and 4th September 2016.

For the next two years the first weekend of September will fall into the school holidays and does not clash with the major Liverpool Music Festivals. On investigation, it was similar weather to the summer months, in fact there was less rainfall on average than in August.

It is difficult in this period to find a date that does not overlap with any other music event in the country. The one clash is with one of the UK’s top ten folk festivals which is Mosely Folk Festival in Birmingham. However, we feel that Liverpool would provide an attractive alternative and over time could build to prove more popular.

Liverpool Leaving

Based on the Folk Song “The Leaving of Liverpool”




Folk festival based on the water

Folk and Coke, or Folk Float

Folk and Steam boats

Three Dollies

A play on the three graces based on the three dollies that black folk singer seth davey used

Dicky Sam’s Folk Festival

A native of Liverpool

Battern The Hatches

Liverpool Folk Festival

Liverpool’s International Folk Festival and Boat Rally

On The Waterfront

Folk on The Water

Privateers Ball

Liverpool Lock

North By NorthWest

Play on South by SouthWest

The Albert Dock Folk Festival


At The Dock

On The Wind

Carried Voices

Liverpool Lou

Song by The Scaffold

Pre Weekend : Leeds and Liverpool Canal folk supported by Arts Council.

Albert Dock: steamboat and vintage boat rally
Albert Dock from the Collonaides: Sunday “Voices Over The Water” mass choir event invited choirs.
Albert Dock from the Collonaides: Buskers programmed
Albert Dock from the Daniel Adamson: Captain’s Table VIP sessions
Merseyside Maritime Museum : Friday and Saturday Night Cèilidh Socials
Tate Foyer Tate Cafe : Contemporary Folk Music (Ticketed)
The Pub Sessions : Liverpool Acoustic Festival in Revolution, The Pumphouse, Circo, (Free)
The Smugglers Cove : The Liverpool Sea Shanty Festival (Free)
Premier meetings or Martin Luther King Building : Folk Workshops (Ticketed)
Mermaid Court and Pier Masters House : Beer Festival / Real Ale and Cider (Concession)
Anchor Courtyard: Folk dancing competitions Saturday and Sunday (Small Entry Fee)
Salthouse Dock: Narrowboat Rally
Salthouse Dock: Floating Traders (concessions)
Salthouse Stage: Boat Owners Party (ticketed?)
Canning Dock : Tallship World Folk Music
Car Park : Music Stalls and, Boat Traders, Vintage Tent, Recycled Gifts (concessions)
Swing Boats

Screenshot 2015-12-03 05.48.58

We have used for our reference:
Liverpool Privateers

The story will focus around Captain Fortunatus Wright, the most famous privateer commander of his time and Liverpool’s favourite hero during the first half of the 18th century.

The fact that these battles between pirates/privateers took place at sea clearly means that we cannot be totally accurate as we will be using the backdrop of Albert Dock.

However, with poetic licence we can loosely re-create a battle scene between the British and the French that has been referred to in history. This at least gives the production some real reference points and also uses entertainment to educate and inform about one of Liverpool’s maritime hero’s.

Screenshot 2015-12-03 05.49.19

Screenshot 2015-12-03 05.54.35 Screenshot 2015-12-03 05.54.51

Screenshot 2015-12-03 05.55.07

Screenshot 2015-12-03 05.55.57 Screenshot 2015-12-03 05.56.07


INTERNAL WORKING BUDGET FOR THE PIRATE FESTIVAL at The Albert Dock 12th and 13th September 2015
Temporary TTRO £400
H&S Site Officer £500
Barriers £450
stage/PA/Tech £2,669
marquees £0
stewarding £1,334
Keith’s Budget SUBTOTAL £4,503
Cook & Line ents £2,500
Event Management £1,000
Print & Publicity £3,000
RBS Subtotal £11,003
INFO FROM SUE. Revised 30.7.15
VILMA £2,000 attending fromPort Penrhyn
ZEBU £3,500 includes cannons & costumes
Historic Maritime Society £600 Naval Cutter, living history, musketeers & cannons
CANNON MASTERS £100 Delivering gunpowder & cannons
SCOTTISH PIRATES £550 Minibus hire & fuel, musketry & a cannon, swordfighters, living history pavillion
Accomodation at IBIS Hotel £315 Captain Jack & family, 2 cannon masters, Sharkeye
Accomodation Nordic Church £400 Musicians & HMS
Accomodation Bridge House £100 camping, sleeping, breakfasts & mini-bus transport
Liverpool Shanty Kings £100 Travel exes & transport, 8 performer per day x 3 sessions
Blunderbusters £200 travel & per diems 5 performers from Midlands
La Bomba £100 Voodoun Drummers
Lord of the Wings (Kevin Bunn)
ALAN CONNAN £900 two days Commentary, plus development work
MERSEY HERITAGE £1,000 Planning, Development, Delivery, Risk Assessment, publicity calls, training schedule
JACK SPARROW £200 2 days appearances
BLUNDERBUSS & BADGER £200 musical appearances over weekend
ARABELLA DRUMMOND £150 storytelling (accompanied by Captain William Lubber)
GUNPOWDER £320 for all musket & cannonry displays & 2 Battles
INSURANCE £210 black powder & living history re-enactment insurance
WATERFRONT MARINE (VILMA) £2,000 Plus VAT, to invoice direct to Peter Cronin as per previous
ZEBU £3,500
TOTAL £21,948
Budget £22,000

While Captain Fortunatus Wright lay at anchor in the harbour in Italy, as commander of the St. George Privateer of Liverpool, (a small ship of 12 guns and 80 men), a large French xebeque, mounted with 16 cannon and nearly three times the number of his men, chose her station in view of the harbour, in order to interrupt the trade of British commerce. The gallant Wright could not endure this insult and despite the enemy’s superiority in ammunition and its number of men, Wright weighed anchor, hoisted his sails, and engaged him within sight of the shore.

After a very intense conflict, in which the Captain, lieutenant, and more than thirty men belonging to the xebeque were killed on the spot, he obliged them to move out of the way and Wright returned to the harbour in triumph.

We will still use the character of Captain Fortunatus Wright, Liverpool’s maritime hero as the main character. We will substitute the Italian harbour for that of Liverpool Docks and the story will revolve around the French ship blocking the way of Wright’s trading path with the rest of England.

English ship – St George

French ship – The Comte (Count) de Maurepas under master Charles Bailly (who existed at this time and led French ships).

During the conflict, Wright will capture Bailly’s ship and take charge of their cargo, including wine, 370 hogsheads, 44 barrels of sugar, 57 casks of coffee, 1,270 pieces of eight and five cobs of gold that had been taken as prizes by the French ship during a trip from St Domingo.

All the above are the actual real names of ships and privateers and masters. The story is set in the 1740’s.

Pirate Fight In The Courtyard – set in 1757

The original story goes…….

In April, 1757, Captain Walter Barber, brought his ship the “Resolution” to Liverpool to be re-fitted as a privateer.

” We were, for forty hours visited by three French privateers, till Captain Barber beat them off,” writes one of the captains to his owners. ” He is the most honourable commander I ever was under.”

After striking on a rock three times and losing her rudder, the Resolution arrived in Liverpool. A romantic affair in connection with this ship, is reported in the paper of May 2Oth, 1757:

” A young person, five feet high, aged about nineteen, who entered in January last on board the Resolution privateer, Capt. Barber, under the name of Arthur Douglas, proceeded with the ship from London to this port, went aloft to furl the sails and when called upon, was frequently mustered amongst the marines at the time they exercised the small arms, and in short executed the office of a landsman in all shapes with alacrity, was on Saturday last discovered to be a woman by one of her mess-mates.

Tis said that he found out her sex on the passage, and that she, to prevent a discovery, then promised to permit him to keep her company when they arrived here (Liverpool; but as soon as they came into port refused his addresses.

The officers in general give her a very modest character, and say by her behaviour that she must have had a genteel education. She has changed her clothes, but will not satisfy any of them with her name or quality; only that she left home on account of a breach of promise of her lover.

‘Tis remarkable that during- their passage down, on the appearance of a sail, she was eager to be fighting and no ways affected with fear or sea sickness.”

Adaptation of this story for the Courtyard sword fight display:-

The girl (at first dressed in men’s clothing) Elizabeth Winn
Captain Walter Barber
Standing Officer Robert Deane

The girl is seen being brought into the Courtyard over the shoulder of Standing Officer Robert Deane. The armourer is seated in the Courtyard when the couple enter. An altercation takes place between them that explains to the audience what happened on board the Resolution – how she disguised herself as a male in order to escape her betrothed whom she discovered was already promised to another.

The dishonourable Robert Deane reminds her that in order for him to keep her secret on board, she had said that she would give herself to him once they arrived in Liverpool. This is a promise she no longer wants to keep.

Robert Deane begins to mistreat her and threatens her safety. Captain Walter Barber witnesses this and challenges Robert Deane to a sword fight to protect her honour. Various weapons are used (taken from the armourer) including cutlass, pipe hawks etc and eventually Captain Walter Barber is victorious and Robert Deane yields.

Monarchy – George ll
Prime Minister – Robert Walpole

The ships

Wright's ship fame

The costumes

Captain's uniform British

Peripheral entertainment –
Hurdy gurdy
Sailor’s hornpipe dance
Rule Britannia was sang for the first time in 1740 so we can ask the crowd to join in with this for the finale celebrating victory
Quadrille dance

Merchandise opportunities –
Union flags
Pirate merchandise

We suggest significantly increasing the pyrotechnic effects in the Pirate Show so that there are realistic blasts coming out of the water when one ship fires on another.

Our performers are trained stunt men so we will be able to improve on the realism of the stunts and allow the actors to move from one ship to another. The fights will be choreographed and we suggest a mix of narration through the PA system coupled with the performers having radio mics on, so that they can deliver script and encourage support and booing from the crowd. If feasible, we would like to try and include a “Walk The Plank” moment, to add drama to the show and again involve the audience.

The show is set in the year that Rule Britannia was first sung and we would like the show’s finale to end with a triumphant chorus of this stirring song with everyone waving Union flags (merchandise opportunity). This gives a real climax to the show and a definite end, which at the moment it lacks.

This event continues to attract significant numbers with a large amount of young children. We want the show to be much more interactive.

Peripheral Attractions

We feel the drums certainly add to the production and this is an attraction we feel should be kept as part of the main Pirate show. As it currently stands, the parade does not work effectively and we suggest that the trained costumed characters and Jack Sparrow should lead the crowd down to the Courtyard. This enables the guests to interact again with the performers.

The judging of the best dressed pirate is also lost on the day. We would like to address this by hosting the Best Dressed Child on a stage with a clear winner and photo opportunity for the press. The winner can accompany Jack Sparrow down to The Courtyard.

The CBBC stage needs adapting and ideally should be positioned in a different direction so that more people can see the show. Long benches in front of the stage would help with viewing and sight lines for more people to see at the back.



Fit The Bill to produce a briefing document for all performers including walkabout artistes. Information to include clear instructions on, for example:

1 All costumes to be authentic including shoes
2 No mobile phones to be carried during performance or whilst in costume and in public view
3 All performers to be knowledgeable of the running order for the day and layout of the attractions. They should also be well informed so that they can assist the public with all questions
4 All performers to remain in character when in view of or conversing with the public
5 Performers to be given specific times for walkabout appearances to ensure that the public always have access to street artistes

This is a sample list and a full production document would be drawn up for all the team including the client, producers, creatives, technicians and performers.