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BLOWZABELLA Festival with special guests NARAGONIA

Friday 11 May 4pm — Sunday 13 May 5pm, 2018

To make a booking enquiry please complete the form below. We will contact you to confirm availability and complete your booking.

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Due to last minute cancellations we have a small number of camping places available (no campervan spaces or rooms, sorry). Call us on 01984 618274 ext 1 to snap-up a last minute booking!

Tickets are still available for the Blowzabella Dance on Saturday 12 May, 8pm, with or without overnight camping. Click here to be redirected to the event page.

Full board per person (all meals, accommodation, activities):

  • £232 – single ensuite room
  • £206 – sharing an ensuite room
  • £206 – single non-ensuite room
  • £160 – sharing non-ensuite room

Camping per person (all meals, and activities):

  • £149

Non Resident (all meals except breakfast, and activities:)

  • £139

Sunday night supper, B&B available:

  • £35 per person

Due to last minute cancellations we have a small number of camping places available (no campervan spaces or rooms, sorry). Call us on 01984 618274 ext 1 to snap-up a last minute booking!

International folk legends Blowzabella celebrate 40 years with a weekend of workshops, sessions, concerts and dances at Halsway Manor. Plus special guests – Naragonia (Belgium).

“If ever a band was overdue a lifetime achievement award it is Blowzabella. Not only have they written a stack of what have become standard tunes in sessions on both sides of the channel, but they have also been largely responsible for reviving English Bagpipes and hurdy-gurdy, instruments that played a foundational role in traditional music.” Andrew Letcher, SONGLINES.

The weekend includes:

  • Friday 11th May:
    Arrive from 4pm. Dinner 6.30pm.
    8.30pm: Evening concert with Blowzabella.
    Followed by Bal with Naragonia & Musicians’ Session.
  • Saturday 12th May:
    Daytime: English & European dance workshops. Big band workshop. Guided walk.
    Hurdy-gurdy ensemble. Bagpipe Ensemble. Violin, accordion & bagpipe workshops.
    8.00pm: Dance – Blowzabella, Naragonia, Workshop Dance Orchestra.
  • Sunday 13th May:
    Morning: Workshops – Big band, singing, violin, diatonic accordion, beginner bagpipes.
    Afternoon: Bal – unplugged with Naragonia & Blowzabella.
    Ends with a final gathering & the legendary Halsway cream tea at 5pm.
    Sunday evening music session in the bar for those who want to stay an extra night.

Click here to download a copy of the full programme.

All events take place in the Manor or on the Marquee Stage in the gardens. Camping is onsite in the gardens. Phone 01984 618274 ext 1 to discuss tickets and accommodation options. 

If you have any queries email pauljames.eu@gmail.com or call 0788 794 8853.

Who’s it For?

Blowzabella have been staging folk music and dance workshop events in Britain and abroad since 1984. The aim is to encourage people of all ages and abilities to participate at whatever level they are comfortable with. Many participants have gone on to form bands and dance groups as a result of attending Blowzabella workshops. All the members of the band are highly experienced at teaching people of all ages and abilities.

The Artists

BLOWZABELLA is Andy Cutting – diatonic button accordion; Jo Freya – vocals, saxophones, clarinets, whistle; Paul James – vocals, border bagpipes, saxophones, whistle; Gregory Jolivet – hurdy-gurdy; David Shepherd – violin; Barn Stradling – bass guitar; Jon Swayne – border bagpipes, saxophones.

The band make an inimitable, driving, drone-based wall of sound, played with a fabulous sense of melody, rhythmic expertise and sheer feeling. They compose their own music which is influenced by English and European traditional dance music. Many of the tunes they’ve composed are “standards” in the modern British/European folk repertoire and are played by people all over the world. Bands across Europe who experiment with folk music often cite Blowzabella as a major influence.

Blowzabella have invited Flemish duo NARAGONIA as their special guests. Toon Van Mierlo – diatonic accordion, bagpipes, flute.  Pascale Rubens – diatonic accordion, fiddle.

For our European Friends

Blowzabella, c’est un son inimitable et immédiatement reconnaissable; une musique à bourdons toute en émotion portée par des mélodies envoûtantes et des rythmes terriblement efficaces ! Leur répertoire s’inspire des musiques traditionnelles à danser d’Europe et bien-sûr d’Angleterre. Nombre de leurs compositions originales sont d’ailleurs devenues des standards du répertoire folk actuel et sont jouées partout à travers le monde. Blowzabella est une influence majeure pour beaucoup de groupes folk à travers toute l’Europe.

Die Gruppe hat ihren ganz eigenen, mitreißenden, auf einem starken Bordun basierenden Sound mit sagenhaftem Gespür für Melodie und Rhythmus und mit viel Gefühl. Sie spielt Eigenkompositionen der verschiedenen Bandmitglieder, die von der englischen und europäischen traditionellen Tanzmusik inspiriert sind. Viele ihrer Stücke gehören mittlerweile zum Standardrepertoire der modernen britischen bzw. europäischen Folkmusik und werden weltweit nachgespielt. Viele progressivere Folkmusikgruppen in ganz Europa erklären, dass Blowzabella sie maßgeblich beeinflusst hat.

De band heeft een geheel eigen, opzwepende, van bourdons doordrongen klank gespeeld met een fantastisch gevoel voor melodie, ritmische expertise en pure feeling. Ze schrijven hun eigen muziek die beïnvloed wordt door Engelse en Europese traditionele dansmuziek. Alle bandleden componeren; veel van hun nummers zijn inmiddels “standards” in het moderne Engelse / Europese folkrepertoire en worden gespeeld door mensen over de hele wereld. Bands in heel Europa die experimenteren met volksmuziek noemen Blowzabella vaak als belangrijke inspiratiebron.

La banda tiene un inigualable sonido basado en los bordones de gaitas y zanfona, con un sentido del ritmo y de la melodía muy característico. Música original influenciada por la música de baile de tradición inglesa y europea. Todos los componentes escriben nuevos temas, considerados “standards” en el moderno repertorio del Folk Europeo y son interpretados por muchas otras bandas de folk en todo el mundo. Muchos de los grupos europeos de folk consideran a Blowzabella un referente y una de sus mayores influencias.

Blowzabella propongono un inimitabile sound basato sulle sonorità degli strumenti a bordone, realizzato con un fantastico gusto melodico, ritmicamente coinvolgente e di grande impatto emotivo. Il repertorio è formato da brani di nuova composizione del gruppo stesso, fortemente influenzati dalla tradizione Inglese ed Europea. Molti dei loro brani sono divenuti “standards” nel moderno repertorio folk e sono eseguiti da musicisti di diverse nazionalità in tutto il mondo. Blowzabella sono spesso citati dai gruppi di tutta Europa che sperimentano con la musica folk come un’importante fonte di ispirazione.