Folk in the Barn brings the best Folk - Acoustic artists in the UK - and beyond - to beautiful and inspiring venues in the Canterbury and East Kent region - To enhance and uplift the lives of all who come along, and to provide perfect settings for these inspirational people to display their musical talents. Music makes the world a better place, and sharing it with others even more so!
Folk in the Barn was born in 2003. In 2002, 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?.. it was simply that they didn’t have a suitable local venue/promoter, so a friend suggested we promote them ourselves. With help and encouragement from other friendly promoters and the band themselves, we did just that, and that first gig in April 2003 in the Kingston Barn was a memorable night and the start of something special. Originally, we hadn't intended to repeat the process, but the rest, as they say is history!
The venue for those first gigs was the historic and characterful Kingston Barn, a converted ancient 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 some 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 more recently the wonderful Gulbenkian. See VENUES page for full list and details.. We will always 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.
How do we get to play at Folk in the Barn?
These days we are inundated with requests to perform at Folk in the Barn. We have a waiting list of about two years. Sadly that means that if we were to reply personally to every request, and to take time to thoroughly check out every artist that applies - there wouldn't be time left to organise any gigs.
That doesn't mean it's impossible and we try hard to offer opportunities 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 75+ tickets at £14+ per ticket.
Support Spot at Folk in the Barn
Support spots are only available at a few of our events. Some headline acts stipulate no support, some bring their own with them on tour and sometimes we'd like the headline to have the whole evening to themselves. If however 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/merch free of commission charges, plus a small fee if the budget permits. We have many applications and priority goes to local artists. If you think you fit the bill, email – (please don't phone) tell us a bit about yourselves, include links to examples of live performance youtube/soundcloud clips or similar and a link to your website. Include quotes/feedback from other venues/press.
If we think there is a suitable opportunity we will contact you and add you to our list. If you don't get a reply, please don't take it personally, like I said we get too many to be able to do that and have a life! We usually book at least six months ahead.
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!"