A folk & acoustic gig in Bristol

Folk Nights & Acoustic Music in Bristol

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Bristol's Folk & Acoustic Scene

Like jazz, folk is an extremely broad genre. From Joan Baez and Joanna Newsom to Bon Iver and the Fleet Foxes to Sheelanegig and Beirut, the folk field is vast. Fortunately when it comes to catering for such a broad spectrum of live music, Bristol excels.

Was folk & acoustic born in the West Country?

With local venues like Bristol Folk House and Bristol University Folk society, folk and acoustic music has a strong foothold in Bristol. The romantic images of a farmer chewing grass sitting on a hay bale is a West Country classic, English folk music has always thrived in the countryside. While Bristol isn’t as rural as its surroundings, music people have always flocked to Bristol from the surrounding areas, bringing the folk sound with them. So while folk music wasn’t born in the west country, it sure does have a home in Bristol.

Folk venues in Bristol
For off-centre Twee and Anti-Folk, be sure to check out what's on at the Louisiana and check the Lost Horizon listings. Cafe Kino and The Arts House both on Stokes Croft also host occasional anti-folk bands and solo musicians.

For less lo-fi and more straight up folk, key venues include: The Leftbank, The Lansdown in Clifton, The South Bank Centre and The Folk House.

For more feisty folk bands keep an eye on gigs at The Attic and check out our gypsy jazz listings.

The folk big-guns and pop-crossover 'stars' like Noah and The Whale, Seth Lakeman and Mumford and Sons will be found at the biggest Bristol Venues (Colston Hall, o2 Academy and St George's Hall). For these gigs, arrive early as big folk events (at St Georges Hall in particular) can come packaged with some great (and potentially better) support artists.

Buy tickets for folk & acoustic events in Bristol

Our recent folk & acoustic recommendations

Reverant folk blues played on 12 string guitar with the poetic fever of Townes Van Zandt, summoning the same ghosts of mental illness and the mundane country sprawl. Parr isn’t a revivalist - he’s one of the last of the true originals. Charlie Parr at Exchange.

Stirring and melancholic home-grown harvest alt-folk / sublime Americana from the Cucili family. Expect another night of church-based wonderment with Fritillaries wowing on guitar, banjo and harmonium + delicate trumpet and folk cello classical crossover from Jow. Intoxicating pastoral sounds FFO: The Staves, Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn, ECM, Arthur Russel. Fritillaries + JOW at St Ambrose Church, Whitehall, BS5 7AN.

Incomparable alien balladry taking the fragile beauty of Arthur Russell, Nick Drake or Chet Baker and pairing it with singular guitar gurgles and synth wheezes. Eric Chenaux’s an unmissable astral treasure, with the dulcet joys of local Lost Maps dream-folker Molly Linen in support. Eric Chenaux + Molly Linen + Danny Riley at Strange Brew.

Sartorial showcase and alternative midsummer celebration brought together by rabbit, Vogue-tipped up’n’comer Sophie Spratley’s fairycore slow fashion brand. Feat Millie Turner’s sensuous indietronica, transportive psych-pop from Baby Vanga’s Jules Smith and experimental post-jangle from locals Looney Bergonzi. Millie Turner, Jules Smith & Looney Bergonzi - folkloric fashion designer brings you the multi-band bill of your solstice

What our editors say

“Taking in soul, funk, country-rock and any other kinds of music they care to play, expect drama, improvisation, musical fireworks and Waterboys classics such as ‘The Whole Of The Moon’, ‘How Long Will I Love You’ and ‘This Is The Sea’.”
From: The Waterboys

“With the small-town charm of boy from Bixby, the big-city energy of Dallas, and vocal prowess that rivals Nashville’s best, Corey has been poised for a career in music from the beginning. Growing up influenced by various genres and artists, Corey started his journey in country music at an early age.”
From: Corey Kent

“John and TJ Osborne are leaders of a progressive and classic school of country music, and the faces of the new generation of Nashville. The siblings took home their first Grammy in 2022, for their song ‘Younger Me’, inspired by TJ’s recent coming out. The band have won several prestigious awards and their critically acclaimed songs have tallied multiple RIAA Gold and Platinum certifications, while surpassing more than 2.7 Billion global streams.”
From: Brothers Osborne + Tyler Braden

“The Downend Folk & Roots Christmas concert has seen some incredible lineups take to the stage in front of some of our biggest audiences, but the one that our regulars have kept talking about is A WINTER UNION, and they return on Friday 13 December in a gig that will also be live-streamed by LIVE TO YOUR LIVING ROOM. Featuring members of The Willows, Gilmore & Roberts and Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage, this supergroup is now fast becoming thought of as the pre-Christmas knees-up for folk and roots music lovers all over the country. And, after the success of last year, we’re pleased to say that the brilliant folk-choir HEARTWOOD CHORUS will get us underway.”
From: A Winter Union + Heartwood Chorus

“He was born Andrew Heissler in Bloomington, Illinois. The nickname "Pokey" was coined by his mother, who would scold him to hurry when he was a child. He adopted the name "Pokey LaFarge" because it sounded like what he was looking for musically during the time he was moving around the country.”
From: Pokey Lafarge

Trending Folk & Acoustic Gigs

Cahalen Morrison at The Wardrobe Theatre
— The Wardrobe Theatre
country folk
Corey Kent at The Trinity Centre
— The Trinity Centre
Grace Petrie at The Trinity Centre
— The Trinity Centre
The Sheepdogs + support tbc at Strange Brew
— Strange Brew
rock classic rock rockabilly blues folk rock
Mattiel + special guests at Strange Brew
— Strange Brew
indie rock singer-songwriter
Darren Kiely at The Trinity Centre
— The Trinity Centre
pop folk

Bristol's Trending Live Music Venues

Exchange The Louisiana Jam Jar The Trinity Centre The Marble Factory Rough Trade Bristol

More Photos of Folk Nights & Acoustic Music in Bristol

Band playing at a folk & acoustic gig A folk & acoustic gig in Bristol
John Francis Flynn at Strange Brew
— Strange Brew
country traditional folk folk folk rock singer-songwriter
Katy J Pearson at SWX
country indie rock folk folk rock folk-pop
On Mono Festival at Exchange
— Exchange
experimental pop alternative rock indie rock shoegaze folk-pop
Villagers at The Trinity Centre
— The Trinity Centre
indie folk pop rock folk rock folk-pop
Rozi Plain + special guests at Lost Horizon
— Lost Horizon
alternative pop art pop indie rock folk folk-pop
Flo Perlin at The Wardrobe Theatre
— The Wardrobe Theatre
folk jazz soul
Pokey Lafarge at The Trinity Centre
— The Trinity Centre
Oisin Leech at Bristol Folk House
— Bristol Folk House
country folk folk rock folk-pop singer-songwriter
Pem at Dareshack
— Dareshack
folk folk-pop singer-songwriter
The Felice Brothers at Strange Brew
— Strange Brew
country folk folk rock folk-pop singer-songwriter
Liz Lawrence at Strange Brew
— Strange Brew
alternative pop pop folk-pop singer-songwriter
TWEN at Rough Trade Bristol
— Rough Trade Bristol
pop indie rock folk-pop
John Bramwell & The Full Harmonic Convergence at Strange Brew
— Strange Brew
pop rock electro folk folk rock singer-songwriter
Bruce Molsky at The Wardrobe Theatre
— The Wardrobe Theatre
country folk