Creswell Crags will hold its first ever online Festival of Folklore between 18-21 December 2020. Find out more here, in this update from Emma Quirke, festival coordinator: 

This midwinter Creswell Crags is launching an exciting program of music, magic and storytelling delivered digitally right to your home! Creswell Crags Midwinter Festival of Folklore began with an appeal in September to some fabulous creative minds for help in putting together material for an online showcase. What started out as a simple Twitter interest poll has blossomed into a creative partnership full of historians, storytellers, musicians, dream weavers and content creators, who together aim to bring some enchantment back into a world turned grey and dismal with the cares of 2020. Together we hope to banish the darkness of Midwinter and encourage the light of the New Year into our lives.

A view of the lake and gorge at Creswell Crags with a winter frost, the trees have bare branches

Creswell Crags in winter

Taking inspiration from our Witch Marks discovery, in Robin Hood Cave, the online Midwinter Festival of Folklore aims to explore themes around everyday beliefs, ritual, and superstition; to ask questions about how they relate to our ancestors and to us today. But the essence is a celebration of creativity and humanity’s inclination to tell stories, especially in the darkest times. Highlights of the Festival will include a Live session with Fabulous Folklore’s Icy Sedgwick, exploring our fascination with ghost stories and links with midwinter; folklore and ghost stories presented by the incredible storyteller and spoken word artist Adam Nightingale; recorded content from the fabulous folk of Whitby Krampus Run, a musical takeover by the Students of Red Tape Studios, and a performance by the multitalented Liam Vincent and the Odd Foxes, a Folk-Rock-Indie group whose performance is set to chase those Midwinter troubles away. There will also be talks by professionals from Creswell Crags, and a host of other content for you to enjoy

A stone wall inside a cave covered in inscribed symbols

Witch Marks in Robin Hood Cave, the inspiration for the festival

The project is also supporting remote student placements for five undergraduate students from Nottingham Trent University’s School of Arts and Humanities, who will be supporting with content creation and marketing.

Come and join us as we celebrate the Folklore, Mystery and Magic of Midwinter! The Creswell Crags Midwinter Festival of Folklore will run from 18 to 21 December 2020 – see the Creswell Crags social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) for further information, including the programme, as it is confirmed and publicised.

A woman in a red 'krampus' costume with horns and fur, wearing dramatic make up, holding a stylised white horse's head

Decadent Drawing, who organise Whitby Krampus Run and brought the Krampus to Creswell Crags in 2019, will be part of the festival

The event will be hosted online and content will be free to access, with sessions going live at pre-announced times throughout the weekend. Information on how to access this will be coming soon.

Although we are keen the festival is accessible to everyone, Creswell Crags is a charity and the majority of those involved have given their time for free to join in the celebration and help raise the charity’s profile. Therefore, we have launched a Crowdfunding page to support the event and every donation – whatever you can afford – will be deeply appreciated and help support Creswell Heritage Trust through coming out of lockdown into Tier 3 restrictions, and the winter low season, giving us hope for a brighter 2021.

A man in a green coat photographed in the midst of telling a story, gesturing with his hand

Gordon MacLellan of Creeping Toad. A storyteller, poet and artist who explores the relationships between people, places and wildlife, who will be part of the festival.

Anyone who is interested in being involved in the festival, and who has not already expressed an interest, should contact Emma – emma.quirke@creswell-crags.org.uk It is not too late to suggest content. However, please be aware that any pre-recorded content must be complete and submitted by 7 December at the latest.

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