ABOUT FOLK IN THE BARN
Folk in the Barn aims to bring the best Folk - Acoustic artists in the UK - and beyond - to beautiful and interesting venues in the Canterbury and East Kent region - Why? To inspire, entertain and enhance the lives of those who come along, and provide lovely settings for these amazing artists to display their considerable talent.
Folk in the Barn was born in 2003 in order to meet a need. Back then our favourite folk duo Show of Hands didn’t have a Kent gig, and we wanted to see them without having to drive across 3 counties. When we asked them why they said they didn’t have a suitable local venue/promoter, so somebody suggested we promote them ourselves. With a lot of help and encouragement from other friendly promoters and the band themselves, we did, and that first gig in April 2003 in the Kingston Barn was a wonderful night and the start of something amazing. We hadn't intended to repeat the process, but we did and the rest as they say is history.
The venue for those first gigs was the historic and beautiful Kingston Barn, an old Kentish Flint Tithe Barn in the village of Kingston, which lies 5 miles Southeast of Canterbury. Originally given to the people of Kingston to be used as a community hall in 1931, the Barn was restored and converted in 1996 to its present superb state and provides a cosy, welcoming, and beautiful space, with good access and facilities.
Whilst many of the Folk in the Barn concerts are still held in the Barn, we have now spread to include other venues in the area, the remit being that they are beautiful and inspiring places with great ambiance and a perfect setting for acoustic music. From the elegant and more spacious Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, located in the Precincts of Canterbury Cathedral, to the ancient and stunning St Mary’s Church Arts Centre in Sandwich, and in recent years the wonderful Gulbenkian. See venues page for full list and details.. We will continue to look for other interesting local venues as necessary in order to provide the best and friendliest local Acoustic Music concerts. If you know of any – let us know.
Without exception all the artists and performances have been wonderful, and support and enthusiasm for what we do has grown to the point where it would be impossible to stop doing this now. Many of the concerts sell out, so advance booking is advisable. To keep in touch join the emailing list – you’ll get priority news and booking for all the gigs.
A regular dose of inspiring live music – we’re certain is essential and life enhancing – spread the word and come along and share the fun with others who feel the same way.
Free Smiles Tickets
Becase life can sometimes be tough, and we know personally and hear from so many who agree, that a good night out with friendly company and inspiring music can make a difference, we have a scheme offering two free tickets to most concerts* to give to those in need of a lift. If you are struggling - in any sort of way, or know people that have been through a tough time and are deserving of something lovely, please get in touch - in confidence - and we will arrange this. *available at The Black Robin, Kingston Barn, Cathedral Lodge, St Marys Sandwich & Ashford, CCCU Chapel, St Gregory's.
How do we get to play at Folk in the Barn?
Due to the success of Folk in the Barn we are inundated on a daily basis with requests to perform here. We have a waiting list of about two years. Sadly that means that if we were to personally reply to every request, and to take time to thoroughly check out every artist that applies - there wouldn't be time to organise any gigs.
That doesn't mean it's impossible and we try hard to offer opportunities to all when we can. To headline one of our concerts - we would probably need to have seen you perform live and you would need to already have some national status, or simply be extraordinary and give us goosebumps. You'd need to be regularly selling a minimum of 60+ tickets at £12+ per ticket.
Support Spot at Folk in the Barn
If you are interested in a support spot. These aren't available at every gig. Some headline acts stipulate no support, some bring their own on tour and sometimes we want the headline to have the whole evening to themselves. If there is a suitable opportunity we offer a 25 minute opening spot, in return for travel expenses, a hot meal/drinks and the opportunity to sell cds free of commission charges. We have so many applicants we can be choosy and pick the very best. Priority goes to local artists. If you think you fit the bill, email - please don't ring, tell us a bit about yourselves, include links to good quality youtube/soundcloud clips or similar and a link to your website. Include quotes/feedback from other venues/press. If we think you are suitable we will email you back and add you to our list. If you don't get a reply, don't take it personally, like I said we get too many to able to do that and have a life! We usually book at least six months ahead. Please don't post us a cd, we get too many to be able to listen to. They would just be put on a pile, you're better off hanging it on to it.
What sometimes helps is buying a ticket, coming along to a gig, introducing yourself and having a chat face to face. We're far more likely to book someone we've met and like, and who supports what we're doing here. Hope that helps!