IO Fringe 28th June – 9th July Art, Community, Family, Festival, Fun, Local Music, Music on The Parsons Knows Local Music

International Organ Festival Fringe events run from 28th June to 9th July with the lead up to The International Organ Festival from 10th July. The IOFringe promotes the diversity of excellent local music from the St Albans district whilst also offering inspirational performance and participatory opportunities to complement the International Organ Festival. Brochure available here

Wednesday June 28

Fairground Organ A vintage Veretti Organ!
12 – 3pm. St Albans Clock Tower. Admission Free.

Harey Open Mic IOFringe
Special Your chance to get up and perform on keyboards/harmonica/accordion/stylophone… 8.30 – 11pm. The Hare & Hounds, 104 Sopwell Lane, St Albans AL1 1RL. Admission Free. If you wish to perform message at

Thursday June 29

The Phoenix Blues Band Featuring the distinctive harmonica of Ray James
8.30 – 11pm. The Farmers Boy, London Road AL1 1PQ. Admission Free.

Saturday July 1

The Live Music Project/PK Promotions Showcase Featuring Beth Hedges, Raj and Riverchild!
12 – 3pm. St Albans Clock Tower. Admission Free.

Wednesday July 5

St Michael’s Street Folk Evening
Traffic will give way to music and dancing on Wednesday 5 July when St Michael’s Street, St Albans will be closed for the 30th St Michael’s Street Folk Evening. After an overture by St Michael’s bell ringers at 7.15pm, Morris dancers and Scottish and Irish dancers will take over the street and the school playground from 8-10pm. Music will break out everywhere from 8-11pm, with Redbourn Folk Club in the garden of Kingsbury Manor, a traditional music session and The Ver Players Ukulele Band, at the Rose and Crown the Six Bells Allstars at the Six Bells and The Swanvesta Social Club in the churchyard. A special IOFringe addition will be Wheeze (see Tales From The Fringe).
8 – 10pm. St Michael’s Village, St Albans. Admission Free

Vintage Dance Organ
A 1928 Mortier Dance Organ! 12 – 3pm. St Albans Clock Tower. Admission Free.

Friday July 7

Folk at the Maltings Silent Sessions presents ‘The Volunteer Organist’
Join Silent Sessions and enjoy the elucidating tale of the organ builder Joseph Gabler, his pact with the devil and his eternal punishment, accompanied by music from throughout the ages performed on atypical instruments in an atypical style. Sit back as storytelling interweaves with glorious music … this is organ building as you have never heard it told before! 8pm. The Maltings Arts Theatre, The Maltings, St Albans AL1 3HL Tickets £10, students £8, under 16 £6, on the door or in advance, by booking online at or by phone on 0333 666 3366.

Saturday July 8

The IOFringe Garden Party
A selection of top class music in the beautiful surrounds of The Vintry Garden, next to St Albans Cathedral. Featuring The Carrivick Sisters, April Blue, ARC, Let’s Go Camping and New Roots 2017 Finalist Emma Risley! An afternoon of folk, bluegrass, acoustic pop and indie! 12 – 5pm. The Vintry Garden, St Albans. Admission Free “The Carrivick Sisters – formidable multi instrumental skills and songwriting” – Q magazine

Organ Concert with David Redfern
In 1983 David won the Scottish and ATOS ‘Young Theatre Organist of the Year’ and has his own Compton theatre organ at home. 7.30pm. The St Albans Organ Theatre, 320 Camp Road, St Albans, Herts AL1 5PE Tickets £10 per on the door. To reserve email: or call 03003 65 65 65.

London Lawyers’ Orchestra and Chorus in concert St Saviour’s Church
25 Sandpit Lane, St Albans AL1 4DF Bizet ‘Te Deum’, Dukas ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’, Gershwin ‘An American in Paris’, Poulenc ‘Gloria’ 7.30pm. St Saviour’s Church, 25 Sandpit Lane, St Albans AL1 4DF Tickets £15 (reserved) and £10 (unreserved).

Sunday July 9

‘Heroes Day’ at The IOFringe
A Community Music Event at St Albans Farmers Market. Featuring Starseedz & Friends, Cathedral Organ Scholar (and YouTube sensation) Nicholas Freestone, Number 7 Music Academy Papersnakes featuring Beth Hedges, Katie’s Jumping Fleas, The IOFringe Community Music Project (see below) and Special Guests! 10.30am – 2.15pm. Market Place, St Albans City Centre (near The Farmers Market). Admission Free

St Alban Organ Theatre
Musical Sunday Afternoon Informal Event and Demonstrations The St Albans Organ Theatre, 320 Camp Road, St Albans, Herts AL1 5PE 2 – 4pm. Tickets £7, adult, £3 child or £15 for a family ticket. or call 03003 65 65 65.

Film Club – Don’t Look Back
An IOFringe/St Albans Film Festival Presentation ‘Portrait of the artist as a young man. In spring1965, Bob Dylan 23, a pixyish troubadour, spends three weeks in England. Pennebaker’s camera follows him from airport to hall, from hotel room to public house, from conversation to concert.’ (IMDB) 8pm. The Pudding Stop, Christopher Place Shopping Centre, 6 The Colonnade, Verulam Rd, St Albans AL3 4DD. No need to book, turn up, take a seat, watch a film and eat good pud. Admission Free.

The IOFringe Community Music Project
Leading up to The IOFringe professional music facilitator Suzie Shrubb will work with students from Cunningham Hill School and the University of the Third Age to produce a piece for performance at “Heroes Day”!

Tales From The Fringe

The Carrivick Sisters

The Carrivick Sisters are one of the UK’s top young bluegrass and folk acts. Twins Laura and Charlotte perform their original songs and instrumentals along with a few carefully chosen covers on guitar, mandolin, fiddle, dobro, and clawhammer banjo. Their decade of national and international touring has built them a reputation for engaging and entertaining live performances with tight sibling vocal harmonies and multi-instrumental virtuosity. Having grown up in South Devon, an area rich in folk lore and legends, much of their original material is inspired by their local surroundings and history.

The 97 key Mortier Dance Organ

The case containing the organ pipes was made by the renowned Antwerp organ builder Th. Mortier. Built in 1928 as one of the 84-key Orchestrion series, the organ would originally have had a polished hardwood façade. In 1955 a new façade was made incorporating an accordion, saxophone and full drum kit enabling the organ to play popular music of that era. The music is in the form of fan-fold cardboard ‘books’ played through a device – termed a ‘keyframe’- mounted on the organ. After the present façade was added the organ was bought by Billy Butlin for the Pwllheli holiday camp in North Wales. There it remained until around 1970 when it was acquired by a showman and then later sold to the present owner.

Nicholas Freestone

Nicholas Freestone is Organ Scholar at St Albans Cathedral, accompanist to St Albans Bach Choir and organist for St Albans School, and is also active as a recitalist. He is a graduate of the University of Oxford, where he held the organ scholarship at Worcester College between 2011 and 2014. Nicholas’s rendition of David Bowie’s Life on Mars performed on the organ at St Albans Cathedral became a viral internet sensation, with millions of social media views across the world. His performance was described as “moving the internet to tears”.

Suzie Shrubb & The IOFringe Heroes Community Music Project

Suzie Shrubb is a musician working as a performer, director, educator and composer. She performs internationally on oboe and cor anglais as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. She can be heard on film soundtracks and albums including recently released Moving in the Dark by Dizraeli and the Small Gods and Ben Hopkins award winning film 37 uses for a Dead Sheep. Most recently Suzie made a guest appearance on cor anglais with punk legends The Membranes. Working with pupils from Cunningham Hill School and the University of the Third Age, Suzie will support these groups in developing an original song to be performed at “Heroes Day” on July 9.


Wheeze is an interactive self-powered (mainly by the audience) portable organ made from old vacuum cleaners, bellows, balloons, accordions and whatever else can be found. Sounds will include flutes, duck calls, whistles (but no bells!), bagpipe chanters, cuckoo clocks and more!