A SPECIAL fund-raising concert is set to take place this weekend to raise funds for the National Forest Folk Festival.
The event, which is taking place from 8pm on Saturday at Packington Memorial Hall, will feature acts including Hand On Heart and Shkayla and has been organised to boost the coffers of the festival, which takes place from July 4 at Conkers.
A spokesman for the event said: “A concert is to take place at Packington Memorial Hall this weekend to raise funds for the festival, which is run on a not-for-profit basis, and to give a flavour of the tremendous range and quality of music which will be on offer.
“Maddy Prior will be heading to the area in July with her full band, the legendary Steeleye Span as part of the weekend-long National Forest Folk Festival at Conkers.
“Derbyshire girl Hannah James will also be appearing at the festival with her own award-winning group Lady Maisery.
“Other performers will include the all-female supergroup The Shee, the electrifying Shooglenifty from Scotland to get everyone dancing, the amazing and hilarious Suitcase Circus, two top Irish bands in Kelly’s Heroes and The Mighty Doonans, and blues virtuoso Sunjay Brayne, to mention just a special few.
“Opening the festival will be Hand on Heart, who also organise the festival, and they are to appear at a special evening at Packington Memorial Hall to play their blend of traditional and contemporary folk music.
“The band includes festival organisers Nina Szifris (guitar, bodhran and vocals) and Mike Scott (mandocello and vocals), along with Packington resident Joy Gravestock, playing violin and piano, and Jonathan Trout, conductor of the Derby Concert Orchestra, on violin.
“Excitingly, there will also be a guest appearance by Shkayla who were headline performers at last year’s festival.
“The captivating sound of Joe O’Donnell’s Shkayla brings together the spirit of Celtic tradition and the dynamic grooves of modern rock and jazz.
“Joe is a true virtuoso on electric fiddle who worked extensively with Rory Gallagher, Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzie) and Terry and Gay Woods amongst many other superstars.
“Joe was also a member of the famous progressive rock band East of Eden.
“The exciting line-up of Shkayla for this concert is Joe O’Donnell (electric violin, mandolin, vocals), Si Hayden (guitar, vocals) and Martin Barter (on keyboards and vocals).”
Tickets for the fund-raising concert cost £10 and are available by calling 01530 411767.