Sunday – Folk Session

Every Sunday in The Golden Ball Garden Room the weekly folk musicians come from all over York to drink, play and be merry.

The folk night has been held at The Golden Ball for over 30 years, with hundreds of musicians coming and going over the decades. We are very proud to still host such a rich musicial tradition, and the whole pub is filled with music each week. There is an impressive vareity of instruments from guitars to double bass, violins, fiddles and slide guitars, something for everyone so come and join in, or just sit and have a quiet Sunday pint and enjoy the sounds!

Anyone is welcome to come and jam along with the group from 8.00pm every week, the atmosphere is easy going and friendly and no matter how full the session is, there is always room for one more.

Sunday Folk Session History

The Golden Ball Folk session really began in the Lowther some 40 years ago; this get together involved equal measures of songs and tunes. After the Lowther became unavailable other sessions sprang up, the Old Cattle Market was probably the main one, and this session mostly featured Irish tunes. Wanting to get back to a more mixed approach and enjoying singing as well, Gil Staplyton and Pete Hull started to play in the Ball.

About this time Frank Pallister and Burt Sawdon made their first visits to Appalachia and started collecting songs and tunes from Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina. On returning to the UK, Frank and Burt found these tunes very popular with the regular pickers. Frank published a book collection and Burt circulated tapes so that everyone could learn the pieces.

This was really the start of Old Time Americana music in York; the fiddle and banjo led tunes soon became the mainstay of the Golden Ball sessions, over 30 years ago. Over the years the session has evolved to become one of the most eclectic anywhere, it is not unusual for the Sunday evening session to include Old Time, Cajun, Irish, English, Scottish, Ragtime, Ballads, French, Eastern European and all manor of contemporary music.

The session is mostly string led but all folk instrumentation can be accommodated. Although it is probably not suitable for beginners, younger players are encouraged and are most welcome.

If you would like any more information please contact Burt, one of the folk night’s longest standing members, on

Sunday Folk Group