TOWN leaders have called on the community to support a brand-new music festival in Malmesbury next month.

The market town's first ever Malmesbury Folk & Roots Festival will take place between 1.30pm and 10.30pm in the Cloister Gardens behind Malmesbury Abbey on Saturday, September 23.

This brand-new event has been timed to take place on the same day as European Folk Day.

Malmesbury resident and folk music lover Catherine Burke runs the annual Purbeck Valley Folk Festival and decided to set up a similar event in her hometown.

Catherine has booked some big names from the genre for the stage, including Martha Tilson, Old Baby Mackerel, Wiltshire band Fly Yeti Fly and 3 Daft Monkeys will be headlining the event.

As part of the festival, Morris dancers will be performing at different places around the town, and local cafes, shops and restaurants are getting ready for the big day.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Fly Yeti Fly Fly Yeti Fly (Image: Fly Yeti Fly)

Catherine hopes that this festival will show Malmesbury residents and visitors the breath and variety that folk music offers.

She said: “People sometimes have an idea of what folk music is, but it really is much broader. 

"Ed Sheeran is a man with a guitar, storytelling, and to me that’s folk music.

"We’ve called the festival ‘folk and roots’, to show we have a wide variety – Opa Rosa is an upbeat Balkan band, Old Baby Mackerel are bluegrass - so think Dukes of Hazzard - and Martha Tilson plays very laid back, chilled music. 

"We really have something for everyone."

This event has been supported by Malmesbury Town Council, which hopes this festival will become an annual highlight of the folk music calendar.

Town mayor Cllr Gavin Grant said: "I am so excited Malmesbury is celebrating the inaugural European Folk Music Day with our first ever one day Folk & Roots festival of traditional music and dance.

“It promises to be a terrific event, set in the beautiful Cloister Gardens with a great line up of musicians, local talent showcase, food stalls and bar, and raising funds for my mayoral good causes. 

"I hope it will become an annual fixture in Malmesbury’s events calendar.”

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Martha TilstonMartha Tilston (Image: Martha Tilston)

Musician Stephen Kearney, director of MusicLan Studios and European Folk Network member, is also helping make this brand-new festival into a reality.

He said: "There was never a better time to celebrate the incredible musical diversity and cultures of Europe.

“The traditional arts are an essential element of European cultural identity and diversity. 

"There are millions of us who work, create and actively participate in this fundamental element of our culture.

"I'm delighted that the mayor of Malmesbury has so actively embraced that and mobilised the town’s people so effectively.”

Burton Hill campsite is currently offering a discount for folk music lovers who wish to camp after the event. 

Visitors who are driving to the event can park at the Malmesbury Long Stay Car Park (which is a few minutes walk from the Cloister Gardens) or there is further parking in the town square.

Tickets can be bought from Malmesbury's Tourist Information Centre or in the High Street shop Renew or online at 

Adult tickets cost £25 and under 12s can free but must be accompanied by an adult.

All proceeds from the event will go towards Cllr Gavin Grant's three mayoral charities HEALS of MalmesburyMalmesbury Animal Sanctuary and Malmesbury River Valleys Trust.