Folk festival glides into Newbold pub

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Britain’s biggest free festival starts its 2013 tour in Rugby this weekend – mooring at the Boat Inn in Newbold.

Folk on the Water brings a full line-up of live music every night from Friday through to Sunday – along with an opportunity for local artists to turn up and get their music heard by festival organisers on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

More than 150 artists will be taking part in the 17-day festival. The crew and international artists live aboard a narrowboat for the duration of the festival as it travels to each of the venues along Warwickshire’s Grand Union canal.

All the concerts are free, with a suggested donation of £5 to the official charity this year – Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice.

This year the festival is hosting two international acts – Andrew Duhon from New Orleans, and Kathryn Hallberg from Houston, Texas. Kathryn is being sponsored by record label and development team Big Help Management, which moved its training centre to Rugby this year.

Audiences can enjoy a host of varied acts including The Fallows, Barricades Rise, Hollie Aires and Vicar’s Daughter.

Organiser and Rugby resident Dutch Van Spall said: “This started out a few years ago as a nice idea for a few friends to enjoy live music in a great setting.

“It caught the interest of musicians and the public – well beyond my expectation – and has grown each year. We were officially recognised as the biggest free festival last year.

“In some ways it has become a bit of a monster to handle but it also gives us the opportunity to champion local emerging acts and gain stage slots for them at other festivals.

“The team were a little bit taken aback when we received an invitation last year to have tea with Glastonbury Festival organiser Michael Eavis – it’s a bit like getting invited to Buckingham Palace.”