THE intimate and internationally-renowned Music on the Marr festival returns to Cumbria this month, with performances taking place at venues around Castle Carrock for four days.

Artists from around the world will again descend on the small village near Brampton, with the event running from Thursday 19 until Sunday 22.

Adam Hopkins, Ross Tennant and Alex Johnston-Seymour, better known as pioneering folk fusion band The Tenmours, are promising a "jaw dropping" opening performance to get the festival under way.

Four-piece fiddlers The Bottle Bank Band also join them on the Thursday line-up, and upbeat folk, rock, pop and world music ensemble Dansi round out the opening day's action.

Folk singers and sea shanty revivalists Kimber’s Men open on Friday , followed by Castle Carrock’s very own community choir, The Geltsdale Singers, and Dublin-born traditional singer and bouzouki player Daoirí Farrell.

Friday headliners are traditional Scottish folk band Trail West, who are currently leading the thriving scene of ‘Glasgow Gaels'.

A massive Saturday bill features the return of Daoirí Farrell, three award-winning musicians joining forces in the Andy May Trio, soul and R&B-influenced solo artist Steve Ridley, performers from North Cumbria Schools, ukulele orchestra The D'Ukes, South Cumbrian singer-songwriter Celie Ketchell, protest musician Quiet Loner, and folk icon and festival patron Roy Bailey, joined by Marc Block.

Two Belgium-based acts also appear on the Saturday, with a visit to the region by Estbel - combining Estonian and Belgian talents - and some of its members returning in traditional Flemish band Trio Dhoore.
Estbel (photo by Ward Dhoore)

Regular BBC Folk Award nominees Stick In The Wheel, Canadian folk act Yves Lambert Trio, and The Five Ring Circus fire troupe also appear before the main Saturday headline act Edward II - an English roots band that uniquely blend the rhythms of the Caribbean with traditional songs from the British Isles - hit the stage.

Another busy day on the Sunday will see a return to Music on the Marr for folk singer, songwriter and activist Grace Petrie, an appearance by the festival's regular MC, Keith Donnelly, second shows for Estbel and Trio Dhoore, and a much-anticipated performance by local favourites Hadrian's Union.

Award-winning singer, songwriter and musician Louise Jordan shares the stories of inspirational women in her mid-afternoon set, and there will be performances by traditional country artist Ags Connolly, highly-rated guitarist Ben Draper, musical opera and ukulele crossover act Opera Lele, and folk rockers Joshua Burnell & Band.

Acadian and Celtic instrumental trio Vishtèn, Danish big band-style folk group Habadekuk, and festival stalwart Ian K Brown are also due to appear, with young four-piece The Agenda progressing from last year's Young Musicians Showcase to the Main Stage to complete the line-up.

Also appearing around the festival sites over the course of the event will be The Border Reivers, Morris on the Marr, The Hexhamshire Lasses, Carlisle Clog and Sword Dancers, and Ben Gates Sound Sculptures.

Camping, weekend and single day tickets can still be booked by phoning the box office on 01228 670329, or visiting