BROMYARD Folk Festival has a golden anniversary to celebrate this year, and organisers are promising "170 hours of first class entertainment".

The event which began as "a ceilidh in a shed" some fifty years ago has grown steadily to became a internationally recognised beacon for folk lovers everywhere.

A spokesman said: "World-famous Quebec band, Le Vent du Nord; Jamie Smith’s Mabon, from Wales; Goitse from Ireland; Imar, from Scotland, and The Mighty Doonans, Rusty Shackle and Crows are among the major attractions lined up for Bromyard Folk Festival’s golden anniversary celebration.

"One of the longest running folk events in the country and renowned as the leading festival and cultural event in the Welsh Border area, the lively weekend of traditional music, song and dance takes place from September 8 to September 10."

The spokesman added: "Other leading names booked so far from the national and local folk circuits include Keith Donnelly; Granny’s Attic; Northern Company; Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne; Graeme Knights; Jim Mageean; Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman; Shooting Roots; Cock and Bull Band; Tickled Pink and the Georgia Lewis Band.

"The weekend is packed with concerts, ceilidhs, sessions and dance displays and appeals to all ages. While the main programme takes place on the Broad Bridge Farm site (Bromyard Town Football Club), numerous venues throughout the town present music and dance events. These include the highly popular workshops for dedicated dancers and a ‘Dancers’ Day of Dance’ held all Saturday in the Falcon Hotel."

Bromyard Folk Festival has come a long way since it started in a shed, way back in 1968.

The town was already well-known as a popular meeting point for morris and traditional dance teams and as attendance grew it became clear that more space was needed.

The spokesman said: "A local farmer offered the use of his Broad Bridge field and the Festival became established as a popular late-season attraction for folk fans from across the country and beyond.

"The weekend also features a good selection of children’s events, instruction sessions for mastering a range of musical instruments, a craft fair, several food franchises and a famous real ale bar."

Festival director Lynne Barker added: “It’s a great achievement to celebrate a fiftieth anniversary and we’re very proud of the Festival’s long-lasting appeal for music and dance fans of all ages. While our focus is on the folk tradition, it’s rewarding to see so many young people come to watch, perform and return year after year, sometimes developing as big-name artists in their own right.

"Ticket sales are already going exceptionally well and we are looking forward to a fantastic milestone celebration of outstanding music in the beautiful heart of Herefordshire.”

For all ticket enquiries call the box office on 01432 340555 or use the web link below.