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A folk & acoustic gig in Bristol
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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 Start The Bus 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.

Our recent folk & acoustic recommendations

Subtle, moving bleeptronica from members of Mammal Hands at Jam Jar. Sure to delight Moderat / Luomo / Jon Hopkins fans. Lowkey: Sunda Arc at Jam Jar.
Scalping say: “Two of the best songwriters in Bristol in the same place, sure to assist with the exorcism of those lockdown demons and take a moment to reflect on the past year.". EMILY ISHERWOOD + OLIVER WILDE at The Lanes.

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