New chart helps fans keep track of folk music world

Enthusiasts will be able to find out more about their favourite artists and which releases are proving most popular.

Friday, 16th October 2020, 2:20 pm
Updated Friday, 16th October 2020, 2:22 pm
Fay Hield

The Official Folk Albums Chart has been created to bring out a monthly top 40 list based on sales of physical releases, digital downloads and streams.

The chart seeks to recognise the huge popularity of roots music across the country, putting in the spotlight artists playing traditional music of the British Isles, acoustic pop-influenced acts and Americana musicians.

With the postponement of live events hitting the industry hard, three online folk festivals have shown the appetite for enthusiasts to see their favourite artists perform, with the events organised by podcast Folk on Foot attracting 200,000 viewers and raising more than £250,000.

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Fans can celebrate the launch of the new chart this weekend by watching a streamed event from Home in Manchester put together by Manchester Folk Festival with a line-up bringing together four different countries.

The performers for the event on Saturday are Yorkshire musician Fay Hield (pictured), who sings tales of faeries, ghosts and the underworld, award-winning Scottish singer-songwriter Kris Drever who is known for his work in top group Lau, Irish duo The Breath and Welsh chamber-folk trio VRï.

The launch event on Saturday also includes the first publication of the new album chart, which covers sales for September.

It is hoped that by sending a monthly list of the best-selling releases on the scene far and wide folk and roots musicians will be able to raise their profile further.

To qualify for inclusion in the chart acts must have at least one UK or Irish musician in their line-up.

There has been regional input into the scheme with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority among the bodies acting as founding partners.

The celebration event, hosted by Mark Radcliffe, is on Saturday October 17 at 8pm. It is available to watch for free at English Folk Expo’s Instagram, Facebook and YouTube channels.

The Official Folk Albums Chart is published on the first Monday of each calendar month on OfficialCharts.com and at englishfolkexpo.com