TICKET sales for this year’s Allen Valleys Folk Festival are far outstripping previous years.

It’s down in no small part to a stellar line-up of the best the folk scene has to offer.

The folk festival is one of the last music festivals of the year, but it remains a highlight of the North-East music calendar for folk fans.

Running from Friday until Sunday, acts will perform at various venues in Allendale.

The booking of Northumbrian folk legends, the internationally-renowned Unthanks has no doubt done wonders for the popularity of this year’s festival, but there’s far more than that on offer, as the festival’s chairman, Peter Aldcroft, explained.

“This year’s festival has something for everyone,” Peter said. “We open on Friday night with a full-blooded ceilidh from Hexham’s Hedgehog’s Skin and close on Sunday afternoon with a delightful set from The Unthanks.

“In between you’ll experience a range of talent from the lyrical originality of The Rheingans Sisters to the high energy dance rhythms of Saturday night headliners Me & My Friends and Turfu.

“We will also welcome Newcastle performance poet, Rowan McCabe, to broaden the artistic appeal of this year’s festival.”

This year marks the festival’s sixth anniversary, and it’s been steadily growing in popularity since it was formed.

Now though, the people behind the festival are attempting to give it a proper outdoor festival vibe, by getting the whole village involved – there’s even rumours the Allendale Dalek is a folk fan, and could make an appearance.

What’s not a rumour is the fact that the Allendale Brewery will be opening their doors to the public for the first time to launch the festival.

The free open day, which starts at 3pm will allow festival-goers to enjoy the first pour of the award-winning brewery’s new beer, as well as the chance to explore the brewery and meet the men and women behind some of the best beers to come out of the district.

To top it off, singer-songwriter Elle Sunderland, of Riding Mill, will be performing at the brewery from 5pm.

It’s not just the brewery that are getting in on the act, however.

The village’s three pubs – The Kings Head, The Golden Lion, and The Allendale Inn – are all getting in on the act.

On Friday, The Golden Lion and The Kings Head will both host gigs, with reggae band Diddley Squat and five piece The Jubilee Stompers performing at the respective pubs.

Following the gigs, The Allendale Inn is hosting a live folk session, with musicians encouraged to bring their own instruments and join in.

On Saturday, the music continues with performances from The Rheingans Sisters, Eabhal and Turfu throughout the day, along with a full programme of dance in the market square.

The dancing will include performances from Hexham Morris, Hexhamshire Lasses and Hadrian Clog.

On Sunday, George Welch and Christine Jeans will take to the stage, before The Unthanks arrive for their hotly anticipated set.

There’s also the now famous burning of the legendary Allendale Wolf in market square.

There’s also a selection of workshops that are put on on to give festival-goers and passers-by to try their hand at something new – from the ukulele and the Appalachian dulcimer to needle-felting and willow weaving.

Tickets are still available via the festival’s website.