Sidmouth Fringe festival showcases exciting musical talent from Devon and Cornwall

PUBLISHED: 10:52 24 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:52 24 July 2018

Exeter singer-songwriter Sadie Horler performs at the Sidmouth Fringe and hosts the acoustic session on Monday

Exeter singer-songwriter Sadie Horler performs at the Sidmouth Fringe and hosts the acoustic session on Monday

Matt Austin

Small alternative festival in Salcombe Regis overlaps Folk Week and offers live performances from talented musicians across several genres

Guitarist Tom James performs at the Sidmouth Fringe on Saturday nightGuitarist Tom James performs at the Sidmouth Fringe on Saturday night

As Sidmouth gears up for Folk Week, anticipation is also growing ahead of a much smaller independent festival taking place nearby.

The Fringe Sessions, on Saturday August 4 until Wednesday 8, bring together artistes from all over the country to join some of the most exciting musicians from Devon and Cornwall, in an ‘alternative’ venue at the Thorn Park Golf Centre at Salcombe Regis.

The performers come from various genres, and the festival is intended to complement the traditional music and dance of Folk Week. It has won the support of the BBC’s talent-spotting team, BBC Introducing, who now host the sessions.

One thing that makes the Fringe Sessions special is their venue – an oak-framed barn, with an adjoining veranda and beautifully lit and decorated chill-out marquee. It belongs to local farmer ‘McBuzz’ who initially offered the use of the building for informal performances and open mic sessions during Folk Week; these proved so popular that the Fringe evolved into an independent festival, with its own campsite.

Rue provides jazzy soul vibes at the Sidmouth Fringe SessionsRue provides jazzy soul vibes at the Sidmouth Fringe Sessions

It begins on Saturday evening with vocal performances from Will Heggadon and Sadie Horler, both from Exeter; Sadie also hosts a series of acoustic performances in the marquee on Monday night, when there are no bands at the barn.

Also on Saturday night are guitarist Tom James from Falmouth and prog-rock folk band Haunt The Woods.

Sunday features alt-folk band The Stables, vocalist Megan Dixon Hood, the brother-sister duo Ardyn and boogie-woogie piano combo Henri Herbert and The Fury.

Tuesday night features the jazz/soul sounds of Rue, folk/pop Tugboat Captain, bluesy fusion The King’s Parade and anthemic pop band Outlya. Wednesday’s finale includes the 80s-inspired Steve & The Masquerades, jazzy We Are Leif, singer/songwriter Hattie Whitehead and folk-hip-hop band Coco & the Butterfields.

Plenty of reasons to smile at the Sidmouth Fringe Sessions: Picture by Lydia SadlerPlenty of reasons to smile at the Sidmouth Fringe Sessions: Picture by Lydia Sadler

For a full programme including the ‘Sweet Sixteen’ acoustic line-up for Monday, visit https://www.sidmouthfringe.co.uk/

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