Superb folk bands perform at Burgess Hill Summer Festival’s opening night

Jim Causley
Jim Causley

The opening night of Burgess Hill Summer Festival features a double-bill of award winning folk music at the Martlets Hall.

The event takes place on Saturday, June 4, and features five highly talented, award-winning singers, musicians and songwriters in a combination that is unlikely to be repeated in Sussex.

Becki Driscoll and Nick Wyke

Becki Driscoll and Nick Wyke

The evening starts with Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin. Winners of the BBC Radio2 Folk Award for Best Duo in 2014, Phillip and Hannah have come a long way on their musical journey.

In 2009 Phillip, one of the finest slide guitar and harmonica players in the UK, moved into a tent in South Devon after returning from India where he had studied Indian classical guitar.

In Devon, Phillip teamed up with fiddle-singer Hannah Martin and they immediately recognised that they had a musical connection. It was while busking at the Sidmouth Folk Festival in 2011 that they encountered Steve Knightley (Show of Hands) who invited them to accompany Show of Hands on a nationwide tour, culminating with a show at the Royal Albert Hall in 2012.

Since 2012 they have not looked back as a duo, receiving a number of awards, including Best Folk Act (2012) South West Music Awards, Best Duo (2013) Spiral Earth and Best Duo (2014) BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

The second half of this unique night features Jim Causley in a trio with ace fiddlers Nick Wyke and Becki Driscoll, also all Devon-based.

Five-time BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominee Jim Causley is passionate about traditional song, particularly from his native West Country. His recording debut came in 2005 as part of Martyn Wyndham-Read’s song links project and his first solo album in 2006 received a nomination as at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for Best Newcomer. He picked a further nomination in 2007 as one-third of Devil’s Interval, which toured with Waterson:Carthy for seven years. Jim then teamed up with the rebellious ceilidh band Mawkin to form Mawkin:Causley, a combination known for its lively and energetic gigs. He has recorded with Show of Hands and toured with Steve Knightley and Kate Rusby.

Tickets are available from the Martlets box office on 01444 242888 or via

This year’s Burgess Hill Summer Festival takes place from June 4-12, with 67 events to amuse, entertain and inspire audiences.

Highlights of this year’s Festival include an evening with Des O’Connor, a tribute to one of pop’s greatest bands with Re-Take That and many opportunities to try new activities and get creative.

Click here to download a full programme.

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