The Guardian festival blog: Cambridge folk festival review – verve and energy in a female-focused weekend | Music

The folk music industry isn’t immune to the anguished debate and self-examination stemming from stories of sexism, inequality and disrespect reverberating through the arts. Old stereotypes of women providing decoration at the front while the blokes do the serious music behind were illuminated by the recent BBC Radio 2 Folk awards when all the nominations for singer of the year were women while musician of the year had an all-male shortlist.

Last year, incoming Cambridge folk festival booker, Bev Burton, made her mark by programming a day of mostly female acts, a noble gesture dented somewhat by the series of lame Americana artists. No lameness this year, though – not with the powerful voices of Patti Smith, Eliza Carthy, Peggy Seeger, Amythyst Kiah, Grace Petrie, Rioghnach Connolly, Janis Ian, Irish Mythen, Nicola Kearey of Stick in the Wheel and the Shee on the bill.

First Aid Kit perform at the Cambridge folk festival, Cherry Hinton Hall, 4 August 2018.

Unexpected venom … First Aid Kit at the…


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