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Newcastle’s country songstress tells Big Issue North she’s looking forward to the exposure a string of festivals will bring her this summer, and will even brave wasp stings for it. She plays Beverley Folk Festival (17-19 June).

How would you describe your sound?
Americana with a folk/pop feel.

Tell us what you’ve been up to since last summer?
After a successful first year as a solo artist, I have recently been working hard in the studio to release a new single and an album for 2016. I’ve also been organising my first UK tour and festival exposure for 2016, so lots to look forward to. It’s been a winding road. However the highway is now upon me!

What festivals are you playing this year?
I’m really excited to be playing this year’s Beverley Folk Festival, Cornshed Festival, Summertyne Americana Festival, Little Mountain Country Festival, plus a couple in the pipeline, so watch this space.

Who else are you excited to see at the festivals?
I’m really excited to see Gilmore & Roberts at Beverley Folk Fest, I had the pleasure of supporting them last year and they were fab, with great stories behind their lyrics. The Summertyne haven’t yet announced their line-up but I know there will be plenty to see as last year they had Emmylou Harris. I love seeing new talent and listening to new music – especially within this genre of music as it’s doing so well, so I shall be keeping my eyes and ears open for some great new music this year.

If you could curate your own festival what would the line-up look like with artists dead or alive?
Wow, great question. I would be booking Joni Mitchell, Johnny Cash, myself of course :-), Dixie Chicks, Ward Thomas, Paul Carrick, so a real mixture.

What’s your best festival memory?
Gosh, I have so many! Probably seeing Alanis Morissette at V Festival – she’s one of my all-time favourite lyricists and singers, amazing talent and a shame she’s not performing as much anymore. Legends live on and her album certainly does.

What’s in your festival survival kit?
A “small” bottle of Jack Daniels. Plasters because I always end up with a blister from all the dancing. Socks. A jumper because this country is always freezing no matter what the weather! Antiseptic cream because I always get stung by a wasp – happens everytime without fail.

Apart from music, what should the ideal festival have?
A great audience, lots of food and drink, the sunshine and, last but not least, great music for people to enjoy and sing along to. A busker to entertain you from one stage to the next, free giveaways/goody bags, whistles, horns, and flags! Festival flags are the best and represent UK festivals.

Antonia Charlesworth

Interact: Responses to Festival Q&A:
Chloe Chadwick

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