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Local singer Nick Mulvey to curate Cambridge Folk Festival


By Alex Spencer


Nick Mulvey. Picture: Jenna Foxton
Nick Mulvey. Picture: Jenna Foxton

Cambridge Folk Festival has announced that local singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey will be returning to Cambridge in 2019 as the festival's guest curator.

Nick Mulvey, picture: Jenna Foxton
Nick Mulvey, picture: Jenna Foxton

Responsible for selecting five of his favourite artists to play sets for the Cherry Hinton crowd, Mulvey’s says he is hoping to encourage some of his heroes to take to join the line-up in August next year.

Beyond his role as guest curator, Mulvey will also take to the main stage for his own performance. He returns to the event that has seen him graduate from emerging talent platform The Den in 2012 through the stages, to sit at the curatorial helm for 2019.

Mulvey says: “As a Cambridge boy born and bred I’m honoured to be the guest curator of next year’s Folk Festival and I’m excited to bring a flavour of the music I love into the mix.

“It came out of the blue Cambridge folk approached me last month and I was really happy to say yes. I have known the festival my whole life and it’s going to be an exciting challenge.”

He has been sworn to secrecy about the guests he would like to book to play the event. “I’m

“itching to say more. It has a lot of contemporaries of mine that I love and respect and some heros of mine too. I’m shooting for the stars. Shamelessly some of the people on the list I’m booking because I would love to get to know them.”

He also hopes to be able to get on stage with some of his heroes, explaining: “playing together would be a beautiful thing.”

His own musical tastes will obviously influence the line up, and he hinted that there would be “some great music from around the world. I’m loathe to say ‘world music’ because we have moved away from that term.”

Audiences can expect some surprises on the line up as Mr Mulvey promises to ‘stretch’ the remit of a traditional folk festival.

“If we offend some purists along the way then it has to be that way,” he says.

Raised in Cambridge, Mulvey studied at Chesterton Community College before embarking on his musical career which saw him travel across the globe. Having sold out London’s Royal Albert Hall earlier this year performing as a trio, Nick is currently on an 18-date run across the UK and Ireland.

Mulvey follows 2018’s curator Rhiannon Giddens who excelled in her role this year, introducing acts to the stage, performing three times herself and taking part in debates and Q&As that became defining moments of the Festival.

David O’Hara of Cambridge Live hopes that Mulvey’s curation will add to what is shaping up to be another great line up for 2019: “We’re excited that Nick is taking the baton from Rhiannon who did a fantastic job in 2018. His passion, youth and enthusiasm for the extended folk genre will undoubtedly bring some surprise additions to the bill and we look forward to announcing them in due time.”

Cllr Anna Smith, executive councillor for communities at Cambridge City Council welcomed the announcement saying: ‘I am thrilled to hear that Nick has agreed to be guest curator for next year’s Folk Festival. It’s particularly exciting, and inspiring, to have someone who grew up in our city taking on this important role. I look forward very much to discovering the artists he chooses to bring to the fore in 2019.’

Cambridge Folk Festival tickets are on sale from cambridgelivetrust.co.uk on October 1, 2018.

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