JC Grimshaw




Pubs and music venues might be closed at present, but this isn’t stopping local folk singers John Hacker and John Bentley.

Since the lockdown, a weekly folk club has been running on Zoom and now the organisers are planning a 2-day digital Folk Festival later this month.

Called Isolation Row Folk Festival, the event will feature some of the finest local performers, as well as a few mainland guests. It will run from 14:00-17:00 on both Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st May 2020.

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The event is being held as a fundraiser for the Quay Arts Centre in Newport which has been badly hit by the lockdown and closure of the venue. Quay Arts is a not-for-profit charity and receives no funding from either the Arts Council or the local authority.

Although Quay Arts has continued to offer a range of online arts activities they are struggling to stay afloat.

John Bentley says:

”I run a monthly folk club at the Quay and it’s a great venue. During the Isolation Row Folk Festival we will be encouraging listeners to make a donation to the Quay.

“Those who are appearing will do so through specially recorded video home performances”.

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John Hacker adds:

“I’ve been on a steep learning curve to get to grips with the technology but it’s all coming together! We will be streaming the event through Facebook and Youtube.”

Amongst those Island lined up to play are JC and Kath Grimshaw, Second Time Around and Cajundaze. Mainland guests include Abacus, The Silver Darlings women’s shanty group and Gemma Kwahaja.

Del Seymour, manager of Quay Arts, said:

“We really appreciate the support of the Island folk music community. We hope to be open again before too long but in the meantime the music goes on. Please listen in to the Festival and make a donation to the Quay”.

Readers can find out more about the Festival and stay in touch with developments by visiting https://www.facebook.com/supportquayarts/.

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