about the festival
Hartlepool Folk Festival began in 2015 on Hartlepool's Historic Headland. The festival consisted mostly of churches and community venues, with singarounds and sessions in local pubs. In 2016 we began our partnership with the National Museum of the Royal Navy, which had recently taken over the management of the Historic Quay and HMS Trincomalee. We used the 400-seat Town Hall Theatre, a short walk away, as our mainstage concert venue until we outgrew it after 2017. Our main stage then became the 1200-seat Borough Hall on the Headland, where we present concerts to this day.
In 2020, the festival was cancelled due to the global pandemic. In 2021, due to a Covid spike in Teesside, we cancelled the main festival; instead we mounted a free outdoor family festival, aimed at local residents who were less likely to attend ticketed events. It was fantastically successful, and in 2022, thanks to support from Tees Valley Combined Authority, we brought the family festival and the main festival together into one exciting event.
The festival continues in this format in 2023, with all events, both ticketed and free, taking place in venues on the Historic Headland.