Cambridge Folk Festival: Thousands of fans turn out

Image caption,
Folk legend Ralph McTell said the long-running event was a "very special festival"

Thousands of music fans have gathered at the 55th Cambridge Folk Festival.

The event, which bills itself as one of the longest-running and most famous folk festivals, attracts about 14,000 revellers each year.

Folk legend Ralph McTell headlined Thursday night's slot at the four-day festival at Cherry Hinton Hall, which he first played 50 years ago.

McTell, best known for his 1974 hit Streets of London, described it as a "very special festival".

"I still get nervous performing at the event," he said. "It is daunting."

Image caption,
Graham Nash, of Crosby, Stills and Nash fame, headlined on Friday
Image caption,
Cambridge Folk Festival has remained a firm fixture on thousands of music lovers' calendars

Derbyshire singer Lucy Ward put together the festival's first folk ballet.

Over the years she has made regular appearances at Cambridge, a festival which she said was "more important than ever to give audiences the chance to find new acts".

Image caption,
Scottish singer-singwriter Kerri Watt posted on social media following her gig that it was an "honour" to perform at the festival
Image caption,
Norwich singer Lucy Grubb received a rapturous reception to her her first performance at the festival

Norwich Americana singer Lucy Grubb headlined The Den stage on Thursday and received a rapturous reception.

She said her Cambridge Folk Festival debut was "truly an honour".

On Friday, Graham Nash of Hollies and Crosby, Stills and Nash fame, headlined the main stage.

Image caption,
Singer-songwriter Annie Dressner played the festival, held in her home city
Image caption,
The festival is held in the grounds of Cherry Hinton Hall

Festival organiser Rebecca Stewart said: "Friday is the first full day of the festival and it feels so alive.

"It was a great opening with the world premiere of the first ever folk ballet, The Sisters of Elva Hill, some lovely performances on The Den stage and we're so excited about three stage one acts: Jose Gonzalez, Graham Nash, and Calexico with Iron & Wine."

BBC Local Radio in the East presenter Sue Marchant, who is working at the festival, said it was a "feast for the ears".

A Cambridge Folk Festival Special will be broadcast on BBC Cambridgeshire later.

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