A range of unique, up-and-coming folk bands and artists are set to take over one of south-west London’s premier pub venues as the four-day Folkfest returns, writes Erin Harding.

The Bedford, in Balham, hosts headliners including Ryan Keen, pictured, and Leddra Chapman who have both supported the likes of Ed Sheeran, as well as Matthew and the Atlas who supported Mumford and Sons on their US tour.

Other acts include Laurence Fox, competitors from the London Big Busk and Balham Ukulele Society.

Bookings and project manager, Lauren Stewart says: “Since its debut two years ago, the London Folkfest has exploded in popularity and we are hoping this year will be no different.

“The main aim of the festival is to introduce people to folk who wouldn’t otherwise listen to it.”

There are acts on three different stages at the Bedford, as well as performances around Balham.

Up to 30 acts will be performing and there is also the chance to discuss how to move forward in the music industry with professional panels. 

Stewart says: “In the past the panels have given advice on how to get into the music industry, this year they are focusing on how to progress within it.

“At the end of each panel session there is a ‘demo drop’.

"Anyone is given the opportunity to bring along a CD of their own music, 30 seconds of which will be played and the panel will give their feedback.”

On the Thursday two panels will discuss how to generate income within the music industry, Friday’s talks will deal with the use and emergence of new technology while Saturday offers new artists the chance to listen to ways to break into the industry.

All panels are free to attend.

Folkfest, at The Bedford, Balham, runs from Thursday, July 18 to Sunday, July 21.