Welcome to the biggest week in Sidmouth’s year, says FolkWeek’s Director John Braithwaite

John Braithwaite, Director, Sidmouth FolkWeek

John Braithwaite, Director, Sidmouth FolkWeek - Credit: Contributed

Start planning your FolkWeek now with this preview of its hugely varied and entertaining programme of events

Sidmouth folk week. Ref shs 32 17TI 1263. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth folk week. Ref shs 32 17TI 1263. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

This year’s FolkWeek is going to be a real blockbuster with terrific line-ups everywhere and excellent facilities to give the real festival experience and vibe that is Sidmouth.

Add in the seaside, the town laden with flowers and the fabulous coastline and, as Colin Irwin says, “There are festivals… and there’s Sidmouth. Still uniquely glorious and gloriously unique...”

For newcomers to the event and our regulars, we are delighted to have you with us.

With 750-plus events listed, there is everything you could wish for from a festival - it’s just deciding what to go to and when.

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This has been an investment year too with better access to facilities at the campsite, The Bulverton and the car park to improve your experience, as well as the usual superb main venues.

And that’s where you find a new range of fine ales from Wickwar Wessex Brewing Company of Gloucestershire.

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The Ham Concert venue is, as usual, the jewel in the concert crown with Folk Awards winners and nominees aplenty.

Bulverton Festival Clubhouse brings the raw excitement of the best bands in the country in a unique venue setting.

This year, there are even more special shows, particularly at the Manor Pavilion, but also around the Festival.

We are delighted to be back in the Kennaway Cellar bar with a full programme.

Rising stars always get a chance to shine at the Cellar Full of Folkadelia and there’s also plenty of new talent at English Folk Dancing and Song Society’s (EFDSS) Folk Rising Plus in the mornings at the Bedford.

If all that isn’t enough, you could just rush off to the pre-Festival shows, 250-plus workshops, the delightful Children’s Festival, Youth sessions, In The Tradition, ceilidhs, a huge folk dance programme, storytelling and a superb dance sides line-up.

With all this to see and take part in, you are going to need at least some sleep and decent footwear!

Sidmouth FolkWeek is working alongside Sidmouth Plastic Warriors to eliminate single-use plastics.

Our bars will be issuing only compostable ‘glasses,’ and refillable water bottles will be offered to our festival artists and available to purchase from the merchandise sales points.

New water refill points are being installed at the major venues and we encourage festival-goers to join the Warriors in their beach sweeps.

We recycle 100 per cent of our waste - which is collected and sorted off site.

The FolkWeek Festival is a massive undertaking which couldn’t happen without our many supporters, businesses, the three councils and partner organisations, including fRoots, EFDSS, Creative Scotland, Hobgoblin and Halsway Manor.

We are also particularly grateful to our local and new sponsors – thanks for your support. Making it all happen, however, relies on our 500 volunteers and the core team - so thank you, too.

Sidmouth welcomes our visitors to another wonderful FolkWeek.

We hope that you enjoy the festival and make the most of your stay here.

John Braithwaite,

Festival Director

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