Love Folk Festival 2024

Join us at The Atkinson for Love Folk Festival; a celebration of traditional, upcoming and alternative folk music.

Headliners The Magpie Arc and Merry Hell are joined by Frankie Archer, NATI, Harp and a Monkey, Iona Lane and Chris Fox.

In addition to the main stage, Fatea will once again be hosting the Busk Love Folk acoustic stage featuring Elsi, Roary Skaista and Eleanor Dunsdon & Gregor Black.

Throughout the festival, the Studio and Theatre Bar will be offering a full selection of drinks and bar snacks, with guest ales from Southport Brewery.


Festival Tickets £50

Festival tickets are valid for all acts taking place Friday 9 & Saturday 10 February 2024. Lower level and balcony seating is reserved.


Friday 9 February 2024. Doors open 7:30pm.
8.00pm – Main Stage – Frankie Archer
8.30pm – Acoustic Stage – Elsi
9.00pm – Main Stage – The Magpie Arc

Saturday 10 February 2024. Doors open 12:30pm.
1.00pm – Main Stage – Frankie Archer
1.45pm – Acoustic Stage – Eleanor Dunsdon & Gregor Black
2.15pm – Main Stage – Chris Fox
3.15pm – Acoustic Stage – Roary Skaista
3.45pm – Main Stage – Iona Lane
4.45pm – Break
6.00pm – Main Stage – Harp and a Monkey
7.30pm – Main Stage – NATI
8.30pm – Acoustic Stage – Elsi
9.00pm – Main Stage – Merry Hell

Food & Drink

This year we are unable to offer a pop-up café in the Theatre Bar.
A Great Little Place café is open 10am-4pm on the ground floor.

Throughout the festival, the Studio and Theatre Bar will be offering a full selection of drinks and bar snacks, with guest ales from Southport Brewery.

There is a break in the festival programme 4:45pm-6pm.
The Pavilion and Crave Pizza are located directly outside The Atkinson on Lord Street.

The Bands

The Magpie Arc

The Magpie Arc is a cross-Border band out of Sheffield, Arran and Edinburgh featuring the multi-award-winning talents and wide musical influences of Nancy Kerr, Findlay Napier, Tom Wright, Alex Hunter and UK folk legend, guitarist Martin Simpson. Formed from the idea of bringing together a group of established folk musicians who would mix their song-writing styles and musicianship in a full-on electric band to create exciting new music and update the classic 60’s and 70’s British folk/rock sound, the possibilities of The Magpie Arc being something special and unique on today’s folk scene became obvious very quickly. / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / YouTube

Merry Hell

Multi award winning Merry Hell offer joyful, uplifting folk-rock, with a message for troubled times. Native to North West England, their energy and passion is complimented by their love of what they do and a desire to share hope and togetherness with as many people as are willing to listen. Through 6 albums and hundreds of gigs, they’ve offered voices of hope and beacons of light to anyone valuing both melody and positive humanity. / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / YouTube

Frankie Archer

Frankie Archer is fresh on the scene and shaking up genres and traditions, sharing the lesser told sides of stories, championing women, challenging perspectives and calling for a fairer future, all to a unique mix of synths, manipulated samples, drum tracks and earthy fiddle and voice. Frankie Archer’s imaginative and bold mash of electro alt-trad shows her Northumbrian fiddle roots, her deep love of electronic music and her immersion in soulful folk songs from the North East of England and around the world. Mark Radcliffe (BBC Radio 2) described her music as “Fascinating and Intoxicating”. / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / YouTube


In a quiet seaside town in the East of Scotland, Nati has been growing an army of global fans. 2022 saw her not only hit nearly 2million followers across social media platforms, but also hit the road supporting Tidelines, Newton Faulkner and Simply Red. After a successful run of livestreamed shows which meant that Nati could quit her 9-5 job and focus solely on music. Nati has been busy writing and creating original music with her first single set to be released in September, which she recorded with Rich Turvey, ‘Blossoms’ producer. Nati is joining ‘When Rivers Meet’ on tour in the UK in October followed by her own run of sold out shows in Scotland in November, with the iconic King Tuts selling out in a matter of hours. She is soon to announce more headline shows across the UK. This all comes after her first ever summer of festivals in the UK where she played, Cambridge Folk Festival and Secret Garden Party to name a few. Nati’s story is one that reminds you that dreams really can come true. Just 2 years ago Nati was playing guitar in her bedroom, with the aim of keeping herself entertained during lockdown after lockdown. What she didn’t anticipate was that she was also putting smiles on the faces of hundreds of thousands of people each week, building a community of who not only love Nati for her musicianship and dreamy vocals but also her huge, warm, inclusive personality which meant that her channels were lifting spirits all over the world. In a time where the world felt lonely, Nati was everybody’s friend.

Facebook / Instagram / YouTube

Harp and a Monkey

The work of Martin Purdy (vocals, glockenspiel, accordion, harmonica and keyboards), Simon Jones (harp, guitar, viola) and Andy Smith (banjo, melodica, guitar and programming) is imbued with a deep Lancashire sensibility that shines through in their beautifully crafted and sometimes spookyvignettes of life, love and remembrance. From original compositions to traditional songs, their approach is rooted in integrity.The outfit, who have been friends for more than 20 years, channel the ghosts of summers spent in municipal parks and winters walking on the moors. Ask them about their influences and they are as likely to cite Ordnance Survey maps and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as they are Chris Wood, Bjork, Ewan MacColl or The Oldham Tinkers. / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / YouTube

Iona Lane

Driven by awe and wonder of the natural world Iona Lane delivers poetic songs, with subtle musical touches and contemplative melodies that link unheard stories with the world we find ourselves in today. ‘Hallival’ is the long awaited debut album from Glasgow-based folk singer and songwriter Iona Lane. Having found herself fascinated by folklore and folk stories from across the UK ‘Hallival’ is inspired by natural landscapes, scientific discoveries, equality, human relationships and the supernatural, all tied together by a strong sense of place and a love for being in wild places – creating something truly special.

ionalane.comFacebook / Twitter / Instagram / YouTube

Chris Fox

A genre defying Folk troubadour Chris made rapid progress through the UK folk and roots scene with his song writing, utilising a variety of styles across the roots lexicon of traditional & contemporary folk, Americana, Country and Blues. Audiences are enthralled by his rich vocals, complex guitar playing, and loop pedal alchemy finding Chris to be humorous & thought provoking in equal measures. His naturally laid back, unostentatious style creates the perfect ambience for an intimate and inclusive live experience drawing listeners in with tales of both the everyday and the unexpected. / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / YouTube

Festival Partner

The ‘Busk Love Folk’ acoustic stage is proudly sponsored by Fatea. Established over 30 years ago, the indie organisation features music from across the acoustic spectrum.

Here are Fatea’s selected artists for Busk Love Folk 2024:

Eleanor Dunsdon and Gregor Black

On between Frankie Archer & Chris Fox

Eleanor Dunsdon and Gregor Black are a Glasgow-based harp and percussion duo, who met during their postgraduate studies in Traditional Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2022. Blending their respective sounds of Scottish clarsach and Irish bodhrán, along with contemporary percussion and vocals, they form a creative new duo. Gregor draws on his background in classical and latin percussion to bring interesting and innovative ideas to his playing. Recently Eleanor has recorded with trad/covers project Luke Daniels & The Cobhers and currently performs with Irish alt-folk band, Ranagri.


Roary Skaista

On Between Chris Fox & Iona Lane

I’m a non-binary autistic folk singer-songwriter based in Oxford.  I sing traditional and original songs unaccompanied and accompanied with guitar, sometimes also using a loop pedal to create more complex soundscapes.  My songs blend a traditional folk sound of clear vocals and intricate guitar picking patterns with up-to-date, witty and poignant lyrics, challenging audiences on current issues such as mental health, neurodiversity, LGBT+ rights, gender equality, and the environment.  From emotive yet well-researched environmental songs to raucous audience participation numbers about lesbian pirates, my music is sure to go down well with a diverse range of folkies



On before the evening performances

Having spent my early days sleeping in a baby carrier under tables, at gigs my parents helped put together, I naturally ended up being mad about music. Consequently, I have been playing guitar and singing for as long as I can remember. In 2019 I had my first break and played on the main stage at Ely folk festival, now I am looking for more opportunities to perform and gain experience. While folk is my primary genre, I enjoy an eclectic mix and draw influence from all sorts of musicians. Some of my favourites being, Kate Rusby, KT Tunstall, Xavier Rudd and the Good Lovelies, who are largely to blame for my singing and playing (thank you). As I think about the future, my excitement for what’s to come is immeasurable.


Refund Policy

Line-ups are correct at time of purchase but may be subject to change.
Please check our refund policy before booking.

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