Imagined Isle Folk Festival returns to Brum

‘A Folk Festival Of The Imagination’

Birmingham music festival returns for second year.

Headliners include Fairport Convention and Jon Boden.

Fairport Convention, Jon Boden and The Conservatoire Folk Ensemble are among the acts headlining folk and roots festival Imagined Isle, which returns to the Birmingham’s iconic Town Hall from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 May 2017.

Formed in 1967, Fairport Convention are lauded as founding fathers of the British folk rock movement, with their seminal Liege And Lief considered one of the most influential albums of the 1960s. The band’s appearance (13 May 2017) is part of their year-long 50th anniversary celebrations, a landmark which is accompanied by new album, 50:50@50.

Acclaimed writer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist Jon Boden (14 May 2017) was, until recently, lead singer with the multi-award winning Bellowhead. Away from the band, his career ranges from compositional work for the RSC and the theme to TV’s Count Arthur Strong, to the year-long A Folk Song A Day project, and collaborations with artists such as John Spiers and Eliza Carthy. His return as a solo artist is marked by the re-release of 2006’s debut, Painted Lady.

Hailing from Birmingham’s historic Conservatoire, The Conservatoire Folk Ensemble headline the contemporary flavoured late night Urban Folk Night (12 May 2017), which also includes appearances from roots/ fusion combo The Urban Folk Quartet and cinematic septet The Fair Rain (both from Birmingham), Stafford’s banjo maestro Dan Walsh, and South Wales’ indie-fused Rusty Shackle.

Founded in 1997 by Joe Broughton (The UFQ, The Albion Band, Joss Stone), the 50-strong Conservatoire Folk Ensemble line-up features a 15-piece horn section, four cello players, five percussionists and five electric guitarists, plus fiddles, flutes, clarinets, double bass, even a harp! As they mark their 20th birthday, past members are to re-join the ranks for the ensemble’s biggest ever performance.

Other Imagined Isle highlights include a Family Ceilidh with Rabscallion (13 May, 10.30am), and appearances from Benji Kirkpatrick (Bellowhead, Faustus), and Boat To Row’s Michael King.

Weekend tickets, for all Imagined Isle performances, are on sale now for just £58. Individual concert tickets are also available. For more information and bookings, see:


Friday 12 to Sunday 14 May 2017
Imagined Isle
Town Hall, Victoria Square, Birmingham B3 3DQ
Tel: 0121 780 3333
Weekend Tickets £58

Friday 12 May 2017
Urban Folk Night
Featuring Dan Walsh, The Conservatoire Folk Ensemble, The Fair Rain, The Urban Folk Quartet, Rusty Shackle
7.45pm – £20.50

Saturday 13 May 2017
Family Ceilidh with Rabscallion
10.30am – £6-£7.50

Saturday 13 May 2017
Fairport Convention 50th Anniversary Tour
Plus support from Benji Kirkpatrick
7.30pm – £28

Sunday 14 May 2017
Jon Boden
Plus support from Michael King
2.30pm – £23


Debuting in 2016 at Birmingham’s Town Hall, the annual Imagined Isle is ‘a folk festival for the imagination’. Featuring a specially curated line-up of nationally and internationally renowned artists, alongside local and emerging talents, the festival celebrates the unique voices and sounds of folk.