17 - 18 - 19 June 2016

Celebrating 26 years of the Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival

a fabulous weekend of folk & roots music


Our sincere thanks to everyone
who came and supported our festival !

Special thanks to all of the volunteers, artists, traders, contractors & boaters

See in you 12 months 16-17-18 June 2017!

The South

The South headlining at FAB26

Buy tickets now - click here

Iconic band 'The South', featuring ex members of 'The Beautiful South' will be live at FAB Festival on the main stage on Friday night, 17th June, performing their famous songs such as A Little Time - the bands number one single, as well as Perfect 10, Rotterdam, Old Red Eyes, Good as Gold and Don't Marry Her.

'The South' features ex members of 'The Beautiful South', who sold over 15 million records worldwide. In 2008, band members brought back the music and formed 'The South', who now have their own album, 'Sweet Refrain', and perform the classics for audiences to enjoy all over again. 'The South' have received an eager and enthusiastic reception from fans old and new alike, and now FAB festival-goers will be able to experience the iconic music for themselves.

Tickets are available now, at just £20 (Adult), £12.50 (Child) or £60 for a family ticket (two adults and two children, aged 16 years and under).

Funke and the Two Tone Baby

Funke and the Two Tone Baby is a one man sonic explosion. Jammed halfway between frenzied alt-blues and metronomic dance beats. Combining guitar and harmonica with beatboxing and effects that seamlessly collide, the organic with the mechanical to create a fresh sound of unstoppable rhythm and unrelenting melody- seeing is believing…

Steel Threads

Steel Threads are an original acoustic band performing their own unique blend of rock and alternative folk. Influenced by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Crowded House, and Fleetwood Mac, Steel Threads pride themselves on their strong song-writing and heartfelt performances.

Merry Hell

Merry Hell is a band founded on the ever evolving Folk tradition - music made by the people and shared by the people.

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Cheshire Ring Race

18/19 June

Cheshire Ring Race 2016

During the FAB weekend, crowds of hardy souls will be paddling round the Cheshire Canal Ring which, of course, passes through Middlewich!

The event began in 1977 when two Ardeche tourer relay teams from Poynton Canoe Club (now Macclesfield and District Canoe Club) took up the challenge to paddle the newly re-opened Cheshire canal ring. The winning boat finished in 20 hours and 20 minutes. The race has since been held every year (with one interruption due to foot and mouth disease), and more than 1300 people have completed the ring in a variety of classes.

So watch out for paddlers and if you want to know more check out their website at http://madcc.btck.co.uk/CheshireRingRace!

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Saturday Night on Live Stage

Saturday 18th June

The Christians

There is a great FAB26 line-up for the Saturday night Live Stage Concert!

Headlining Saturday's free concert will be The Christians supported by Sultans of String, Gaz Brookfield and Na Leanai.

Middlewich FAB Festival organiser Dave Thompson comments, "At Middlewich Town Council, we're very excited to announce hit band "The Christians" as FAB Festival's second headline act". Dave adds "It's fantastic to see another big name join us in Middlewich for this year's festival, and we can't wait to see "The Christians" in action at Saturday night"s free concert".

Sultans of String

The Sultans of String join us from Canada!

Thrilling their audiences with their genre-hopping passport of Celtic reels, flamenco, Gypsy-jazz, Arabic, Cuban, and South Asian rhythms, Sultans of String celebrate musical fusion and human creativity with warmth and virtuosity.

Gaz Brookfield

Gaz Brookfield is a solo acoustic musician based in Bristol.

Since winning Acoustic magazine's 2010 Singer Songwriter of the year, he has spent his time on the road, touring the UK and Europe. In this time he has shared the stage with the likes of Levellers, Frank Turner, New Model Army, Nick Harper, Newton Faulkner, Miles Hunt, and many more, racking up over 1000 gigs to date.

Na Leanai

Growing up with songs/tunes learned from their musical parents 'the Sands Family' and from other renowned musicians, it's no wonder this new folk group Na Leanai (pronounced N Lah-nee) are taking the Irish music scene by storm!

After spending years singing with their famous County Down family they made the decision to form the band in 2014

Band members are;

  • Sorcha Turnbull (daughter of Anne Sands)
  • Ryanne Sands (daughter of Ben Sands)
  • Eimear Keane (daughter of Anne Sands)
  • Fra Sands (son of Hugh Sands)
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Pete Morton's Folk Showcase

Saturday 18th June from 15:00
Boatyard Stage @ Middlewich Narrowboats

Pete Morton

Roll-up roll-up for another fabulous helping of Pete Morton's Folk Showcase at Middlewich!

Curated and hosted by the man himself- a wealth of new talent alongside one of the UK's very best, FAB!

Artists, email your application to play to:


More details here

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Sunday on Live Stage

There is another great FAB26 line-up on the Live Stage on Sunday

Golty Farabeau Flank Dub Department with Golty Farabeau

Bringing FAB26 to a cool but exciting conclusion, is Golty Farabeau backed by Stoke-based reggae band Flank Dub Department.

Sure to include a multitude of musical styles he's encountered since his arrival here in Cheshire from the Seychelles.

Stick in the Wheel

Stick In The Wheel's sound is a raw, fresh take on English Folk music. Their songs tell tales of everyday life: carboot-swindlers, lorry drivers and London rioters, sitting seamlessly alongside traditional songs of prisons, hammer-wielding blacksmiths and 17th century madhouses.

Richard Digance

Richard Digance is a BAFTA Nominated entertainer and a Gold Award recipient from The British Academy of Composers and Songwriters. Not many guitarists have played a duet with Queen's Brian May, worked with Steve Martin, played an acoustic set with Status Quo or performed at The London Palladium with the late Robin Williams

And following requests for more comedy at FAB26 he's back in Middlewich!

Megan Dixon-Hood

Megan Dixon-Hood combines haunting melodies with ethereal lead vocals. Her broad musical background reverberates through her songs, delivering atmospheric, spine tingling melodies with creative, yet heartfelt lyrics.

Henry Priestman

Henry Priestman is looking forward to his first appearance at Middlewich FAB Festival.

In 2009, Henry (who wrote all those hits for The Christians in the 80's, and Yachts' songs in the 70's) reinvented himself as a singer-songwriter, and released his debut solo CD "The Chronicles of Modern Life" to critical acclaim, and singles from the album (including "Grey's The New Blonde") made it onto the Radio 2 playlist.


It's great to see Threaded back after their FAB debut at last year's festival."a thrilling musical ride, where inventive and melodically interesting tune- medleys alternate with thoughtful, quirky self-penned songs." fROOTS

Emma Stevens

Following Emma Stevens' fabulous main stage appearance in 2014 we look forward to her exciting folk-pop songs- more 21st Century Folk!

Clog dancers and fiddle players in black with red sahes

'The Fosbrook Folk Education Trust School of Traditional Music and Dance' is in Stockport in the north west of England. The students perform the music of the British Isles to accompany their unique percussive dances. They are the second revival of a dance group dating back to the 1890's.

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All Blacked Up

FAB Ceilidh Saturday 18th June Town Hall
Doors open 19:00 Dancing from 20:00

All Blacked Up folk group on stage Buy ceilidh tickets now - click here

Ceilidh tickets are available now, at just:

  • £10 (Adult)
  • £6.00 (Child)
  • Free (Under 12).

At the top of the English Ceilidh scene for more than 20 years, All Blacked Up are a highly influential Ceilidh band who play traditional music and original compositions in their own distinctive style. Building upon a solid guitar, bass and drum rhythm you will dance to melodeon and saxophone melodies, spiced with harmonica, songs and innovative sax solos. All Blacked Up provide a varied sound that is great for dancing to, or listening to.

They were formed in 1986 by musicians of the Border Morris and North West dance teams: The Ironmen and Severn Gilders from Ironbridge in Shropshire. The band's name comes from the longer 'all blacked up and nowhere to go' which refers to the black faces of the Ironmen - it seemed a good idea at the time!

All Blacked Up are:
Alistair Gillies: Saxophones, Recorders and Whistles
Edwin Beasant: Melodeons, Contra Bass Bugle
Baz Parkes: One and Two Row Melodeons, Harmonica, Caller
Steev Hall: Electric guitar
Ray Archer: Electric Bass Guitar
Nick Beck: Drums, Percussion


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Book Your Camping Now!

Tent Buy camping tickets now - click here

Camping for the Middlewich FAB Festival is on Harbutts Field, conveniently located for the town centre, floating market and official fringe venues.

Camping must be booked and paid for in advance and is priced per unit not per person.

You can camp for either one, two, or three nights in either a tent, caravan or motorhome. Security is provided overnight between 6pm - 6am each day. The site is open from 2pm on 17th June and must be cleared by 12 noon on 20th June.

Book your camping tickets below - just choose the pitch size and number of nights you need.

Camping Prices

  • Camping Small / 2 person tent 1 night - £12.50
  • Camping Small / 2 person 2 nights - £25.00
  • Camping Small / 2 person 3 nights - £37.50
  • Camping Large / Caravan / Motorhome 1 night - £22.50
  • Camping Large / Caravan / Motorhome 2 nights - £45.00
  • Camping Large / Caravan / Motorhome 3 nights - £67.50
Buy camping tickets now - click here
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Looking for a gig in 2016?

The main stage programme is now booked so if you want to be part of FAB26 please contact the fringe venues direct for gigs- details on the fringe page

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