Amaury Villain

It is with shock and sadness that we report the death of Amaury Villain, whom many will remember as the Accordionist with Brise Glace, from Montreal, who went down a storm at our 2019 Festival. Amaury was just 45 years old and we send love and condolences to the band, his friends and family.


Brise Glace in the Angel during the 2019 Festival

Brise Glace

RIP Jim Radford

We are saddened to hear of the passing of Jim Radford. He has been a stalwart supporter of HISF and a valued contributor to many concerts, workshops, talks and singarounds over the course of the Festival. We shall all miss him, his songs, both traditional and self penned, his stories, his wit and his personality. Sleep well Jim, we are sorry not to see you again.


Alan Whitbread: Order of Service

Owing to the current pandemic, only family were able to attend Alan Whitbread’s funeral. We are however able to share the order of service which may be of interest as it contains a fascinating insight into Alan’s history. (Please note that it is a large PDF file and may take a few seconds to load.)

A celebration will now take place on 27th March 2021 at the Fleece Inn, Bretforton WR11 7JE. Keep an eye on our usual social media channels, the newsletter and this website for up to date news.

Alan Whitbread_Order of Service

Alan Whitbread

As many of you will have already seen from our brief post yesterday evening, Alan Whitbread sadly passed away on Tuesday evening. He has been a supporter and valued performer at our Festival for many years, his knowledge, musical ability and rapport with his audience made him a ready favourite. He could always engage an audience, whatever the situation and he was always remarkably cheerful and optimistic, remaining so during his illness.And so we would like to pay tribute to him, here on this page. We appreciated being his friends!

Dominic Dowsey-Magog

We are deeply saddened to tell you that the lovely Dominic Dowsey-Magog died on Monday this week. A kind, gentle man and wonderful shanty singer he will be much missed by all who knew him.

Joe Stead

I’m sure many of you will already know this, but we just wanted to share that Joe Stead passed away on March 29th after a long battle with cancer. He has been to our festival several times in the past, singing with Kimbers Men and he will be sadly missed by all in the Folk world who knew him. RIP Joe x


Jack Forbes of Slow Loris

More sad news I’m afraid. Jack Forbes, singer, songwriter (notably of the very well known “Rolling Down the River”) and band member of Slow Loris, one of our most popular festival groups, died on Friday after a short illness. The short sentence above does not do justice to the huge contribution Jack made to the Essex Folk scene and far beyond and to all the various projects he has been involved with during his life. Suffice it to say he was a character, a lovely man and will be hugely missed.