Summer '21: Devon folk artist Seth Lakeman on the return of live music and festivals

  • Watch Jacquie Bird's report.

Devon folk artist Seth Lakeman has opened up about the challenges of lockdown for self-employed musicians - but he is optimistic about the return of live music.

Following the Government's announcement of its roadmap out of lockdown, musicians like Seth are hopeful they can return to festivals this summer.

One such event is Newquay's Boardmasters Festival. Camping tickets have already sold out - despite organisers still not announcing a lineup.

A cryptic post appeared on the festival's official Twitter page shortly after Boris Johnson revealed his plans to gradually ease lockdown restrictions.

Ticket-holders were told "see you at the beach" in what many hope is a sign the surfing and music event will be going ahead in August.

Ticket holders and musicians are hoping that this year's Boardmasters Festival will go ahead.

The optimism is a welcome change for musicians, including Seth, who have been unable to perform at live gigs since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

The folk singer lives in Yelverton, near Dartmoor. He told ITV West Country he hopes the easing of restrictions will mean he can start performing again.

“It looks like festivals are announcing they they are going to be running, so it’s looking more positive," he said.

Despite the drawbacks, lockdown has allowed Seth to write at least two albums.

But he has had to resort to using his savings to make ends meet, because self-employed musicians weren't eligible to receive furlough support from the Government.

He added: “For me, in this area of Dartmoor, I’ve discovered places I never thought existed and I think it‘s really inspired me enormously.”

The artist recently celebrated the 15th anniversary of his album Freedom Fields with a live streamed event online.

Returning to the studio, Seth said, was a "real reminder of how important it is for musicians to perform with one another".

"Because you play in such a different way. Honestly, when you’re performing on your own or writing on your own, you don’t have the same sort of energy, the same sort of vitality, the same spirit within you," he said.

"When you perform with others there’s a tendency to communicate in a way that is a language, you communicate with one another and the creativity, it flows without, it becomes something that isn’t really thought about."

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