Cream of crop is at music festival

Burton band The Leisure Society
Burton band The Leisure Society

A string of Derbyshire acts have been snapped up to appear at a major music festival taking place in June.

Among those taking to the stage at The Big Session, which takes place from June 15-17, are singer-songwriters Lucy Ward, Richard Warren, Julie Collings, Jo Lewis and Son Of Eagle, plus The Leisure Society.

They’ll be joining a varied line-up of major names including festival co-founders and three-times BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2012 winners Oysterband, former Fairground Attraction singer Eddi Reader, the legendary June Tabor, West Country acoustic roots duo Show Of Hands, fresh from headlining London’s Royal Albert Hall, and tubthumping folk/punksters Chumbawamba.

Rising star Lucy Ward recently scooped the best newcomer Horizon Award at the BBC Folk Awards 2012, while the Jarvis Cocker-approved Richard Warren – whose CV includes such acts as Spiritualized, Doves and Mark Lanegan – has garnered four-star reviews for his recent album, The Wayfarer.

Julie Collings, meanwhile, is currently working on her third album while Jo Lewis has recently re-released her Picture Show album.

Taking place in the picturesque grounds of Catton Hall, in South Derbyshire, the three day event also boasts its own Real Ale and Cider Festival, an onsite Sculpture Village (complete with a working forge and chain-saw wood carving), impromptu music and singing sessions, morning yoga, on-site luxury camping and a rolling programme of family-friendly activities.

A spokesperson for The Big Session said: “Over the last seven years, the festival has built a great reputation as a welcoming and enjoyable festival with a broad appeal, and that’s something we’re very proud of.

“While we certainly attract big names, we also showcase some fantastic new talent too, making this a festival that is very much rooted in the Midlands.”

For more details on the festival, go to