Established in 1978, the September Festival is one of the oldest community music and arts festivals in the country. It builds upon the town’s rich cultural heritage and connections with the visual and performance arts.
Over the years there have been many famous faces connected with the festival: Steeleye Span appeared at the Guildhall, while George Melly lectured at the Royal Cinema. Gradually, painting and poetry events joined the music performances.
The Town Council is proud to support the festival and host festival events in our venues and spaces.
Guildhall Line Up:
Sunday September 12 8pm – Molly Hocking and the Bubble Band £16
St Ives’ own Molly Hocking, 2019 winner of ITV’s The Voice, will headline the main venue at her home town’s St Ives September Festival with her fantastic new backing band. With huge support from Cornwall and around the country, at just 18 years of age Molly won The Voice – and a recording contract which saw her rendition of ‘I’ll Never Love Again’ go straight to No.1 in the iTunes singles chart. She also supported Celine Dion in London’s Hyde Park but for more than a year performance opportunities have been put on hold because of Covid lockdowns and restrictions. Her emotive single ‘After The Night Before’ came out last year with Molly finally unveiling it as she made a delayed televised return to The Voice as guest star on the live semi-final show. Molly has kept busy between London and St Ives and she said: “I’m in and out of so many writing sessions and studios. I just love it.”
Tuesday September 14 8pm – Flats and Sharps £16
The four-pice blugrass outfit, who started out busking on the streets of Penzance have gone from strength to strength since wowing the 2017 St Ives September Festival. Delivering energetic, enthusiastic and spirited Bluegrass to audiences all around the world, Flats and Sharps have been performing their unique take on this music for more than eight years. Their shows include a wide variety of influences, from a fresh and modern outlook on foot-stomping Bluegrass material through to their powerful and well-crafted original songs, with beautiful moments everywhere in between. Their music perfectly blends strong harmonies and stonking solos, their incredible stage presence and energy create an evening that will have you laughing and singing along in no time. The band have made their presence known all around the world, including multiple tours in Australia, Europe and around the UK. Festival appearances include Nashville Meets London, Cambridge Folk, Isle of Wight, Larmer Tree – to name just a few.
Thursday September 16 8pm – Martin Simpson £18
Martin Simpson – listed in Gibson Guitars’ Top 30 Acoustic Guitarists of all time – is equally at home playing English traditional folk, American folk and blues and his own compositions. He has had the most nominations of any performer in the history of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, an astonishing 32 – 13 of those as Musician of the Year, winning that prestigious accolade twice. His own songwriting produced the poignant Never Any Good from Prodigal Son, 2007’s Folk Album of the Year. Martin continues to collaborate with a dazzling array of people from across the musical spectrum: Jackson Browne, Martin Taylor, June Tabor, Richard Hawley, Bonnie Raitt, Danny Thompson, David Hidalgo, Danú, Richard Thompson and Dom Flemons are among the great performers he has worked with. Every gig is a masterclass, giving rapt audiences passion, sorrow, love, beauty, tragedy and majesty through his playing.
Thursday September 23 8pm – Martin and Eliza Carthy £18
Folk music icon Martin Carthy and his twice Mercury-nominated daughter Eliza have both appeared at the St Ives September Festival before – but never together!
For more than 50 years Martin Carthy has been one of folk music’s greatest innovators, one of its best loved, most enthusiastic and, at times, most quietly controversial of figures. Trailblazing musical partnerships with, amongst others, Steeleye Span, Dave Swarbrick and his award-winning wife Norma Waterson and daughter Eliza have resulted in more than 40 albums. Whether in folk clubs, on the concert stage or making TV appearances there are few roles that Martin Carthy hasn’t played. Perhaps, most significant are his settings of traditional songs with guitar, which have influenced a generation of artists, including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. Eliza Carthy is one of the most impressive and engaging performers of her generation. Twice nominated for the Mercury Prize and winner of numerous other accolades, Eliza has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists including Paul Weller, Joan Baez, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Patrick Wolf and Bob Neuwirth.
Friday September 24 8pm – Fleetwood Mac Songbook £16
A tribute celebration spanning 50+ years of Fleetwood Mac’s stellar career! From the UK Blues of the ‘Peter Green’ era through to the multi-million selling West Coast rock of Rumours and the lush 80s production that was Tango In The Night – plus everything in between and after. Expect to hear Go Your Own Way, Don’t Stop, Little Lies, Dreams, Formula One theme song The Chain and many more in a hit-packed show. This popular Devon-based six-piece band have a big following in the West Country so make sure you don’t miss out.
Saturday September 25 7.30pm – The George Michael Story £25
The George Michael Story ‘FREEDOM’ Tour 2021, featuring a full live band with video screens supporting the show, including footage of George and interviews with the man himself. Expect to be taken on a musical journey of George Michael’s biggest hits in this celebration of his life and generosity, as seen on BBC & ITV.
Fully Accessible – flat access and lifts available.
Partially Accessible – Some slopes, steps and rough ground.
Not Accessible – Steps, rough ground and steep access. Not suitable for persons in a wheelchair.