Festival Info About us

About us Gallery
Rochdale Folk Festival took place in 2021 and 2022 aiming to bring together the very best of local and regional folk music and dance, including lots of free activities to entertain the whole family.


In 2020, after three years bringing folk, roots and acoustic music to the masses of Manchester at Manchester Folk Festival, we were invited to run a weekend-long event in Rochdale, and so Rochdale Folk Festival was born.

Initially due to take place in June 2020, the global pandemic slowed us down, but didn’t defeat us! Our first festival ran 4th – 6th June 2021 and was a great success!

In 2022 we ran the festival for a second year.

The event included free live music in some of Rochdale’s best-loved pubs including The Medicine Tap and The Flying Horse, free street entertainment, including Morris Dancing and family activities.

We’re extremely grateful to our partners and host venues for supporting our 2021 & 2022 Rochdale Folk Festivals.

Thanks to: Rochdale Borough Council, Rochdale BID, Arts Council England, GMCA, The Medicine Tap, The Flying Horse, Touchstones Rochdale, Hoochi Koochie, Vicolo Del Vino, St Mary in the Baum and all the Morris teams and volunteers that helped make the festivals happen.

Unfortunately, we were unable to secure enough funding required to deliver the festival in 2023. We would like to thank Rochdale Town Centre Management and Rochdale Borough Council for their strong offer of support for a 2023 festival. We’re sorry that we couldn’t secure the remaining funding required to make it work this year.

Hopefully the festival will return at some point in the future.

Thank you to all who have attended and supported our previous festivals.

Who are we?

Rochdale Folk Festival was produced by the English Folk Expo (EFEx) team. EFEx supports the English folk, roots and acoustic music sector through a variety of projects and initiatives. To learn more about EFEx and our work please visit englishfolkexpo.com.

We had such a great time at Rochdale Folk Festival in 2021. We saw loads of free live music and discovered some new fantastic bands. We can’t wait for next year!

David Agnew

You may well be familiar with Festival Artistic Director, David Agnew. David is also the Artistic Director of Manchester Folk Festival, The Met, Bury and Head for the Hills festival in Ramsbottom. He also programmes artists for other events such as Timber Festival and The Lost Carnival.