From Oxford to the world: Our partnership with Folk Weekend

Live to your Living Room Melrose-Quartet-Credit-Lizzy-Doesml-crop-2-1024x768 From Oxford to the world: Our partnership with Folk Weekend
Melrose Quartet – photo credit: Lizzy Doe

This weekend, we’re heading back to our roots at Folk Weekend: Oxford, with three hybrid gigs set to open the festival up to the world!

If you’ve been coming to our gigs for a while, you’ll know that this festival is where Live to your Living Room sprang from, so it’s an event that’s very close to our hearts. As lockdown loomed back in March 2020, Cat McGill (Founder, and at that point Creative Director of the festival) was determined to ensure that Folk Weekend: Oxford would go ahead. At short notice, she worked with sound engineer Pete Ord and the festival team to pull together a fully online version of the festival, connecting artists and audiences when they needed it most. Having seen the impact of this, the team couldn’t stop there, and after delivering regular online gigs for several months, Live to your Living Room was born in the Autumn of 2020.

Fast forward to 2022, and we’re getting ready for the festival to go online for the third time, now as a partnership between Folk Weekend: Oxford and Live to your Living Room. With the festival going ahead in person for the first time since 2018, this year’s livestreamed events will be hybrid ones. On Saturday 23rd April, we’ll be going live from St Aldate’s Tavern with Granny’s Attic, then on Sunday 24th April, we’re off to the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building at St Hilda’s College Oxford for music from The Fay Hield Trio and Melrose Quartet.

Although the festival is able to go ahead in person now, the decision to continue having an online element made perfect sense, as Jim Driscoll, now the festival’s Creative Director, explained:

“The feedback from audiences in 2020 and 2021 showed us just how important online gigs are for those who find it hard to attend gigs in person for so many different reasons. There has been a hidden group of people who have been excluded from gigs pre-lockdown, and we’re determined that this will no longer be the case. It’s brilliant to be able to work alongside Live to your Living Room to open up the festival to audiences everywhere!”

The festival is also set to be extra special for us this year, with the presentation of a medal for our very own Cat McGill. Cat was awarded a British Empire Medal for Services to the Arts, following all her hard work to bring the festival online under such difficult circumstances (read more about it here!). When it came to choosing where she’d like to receive the medal, Cat wanted to head back to the festival where it all began. She said:

“It means a huge amount to be heading back to Folk Weekend: Oxford this year. The medal is a reflection of the hard work of the whole team, so I can think of no better place to mark the occasion than back at the festival with the team around me. I’m so pleased to be continuing the partnership between Folk Weekend: Oxford and Live to your Living Room, so we can continue to make the festival more accessible for everyone.”

Though much has changed since we started this journey, our determination to open gigs up to new audiences still drives us to this day, and we’re so proud to be bringing Folk Weekend: Oxford online again this year. Whether you’re joining us online or going along in person, here’s to a fantastic festival!

Folk Weekend Oxford takes place from 22nd to 24th April, and we’ll be livestreaming gigs with Granny’s Attic, The Fay Hield Trio and Melrose Quartet. Hope to see you there!