A Celebration of Sidmouth Folk Festival is a special open-air event bringing a whole week of music, dance, street theatre and folk-fuelled merriment back to the Devon seaside this summer, from July 30 to August 6. It will offer an authentic taste of the renowned festival that folk lovers have known and loved since 1955, while remaining vigilant around ongoing Covid-19 restrictions and concerns. Powerhouse Devon singer songwriter Seth Lakeman, revered north eastern folk singer Jez Lowe, award-winning duo Jackie Oates and John Spiers, and traditional English trio Banter, join Show of Hands, Eliza Carthy Trio and Talisk to headline ticketed open-air evening concerts at Blackmore Gardens in the heart of the town.
Limited numbers of tickets have been issued so far for these concerts, but additional tickets may be available if and when government guidelines are updated. If individual shows are currently sold out, please check the website for additional ticket releases.
The nightly performances from 7.30-9.30pm will also feature Jack Rutter, Miranda Sykes and Hannah Martin, Granny’s Attic, Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage, James Delarre, and Tim Edey. They will be the icing on the cake of a sparkling menu of free daytime entertainment in the glorious outdoor venue of Blackmore Gardens – the ideal spot to gather safely with friends.
People will be encouraged to bring along a rug and camping chairs to enjoy events in comfort. Activities will be run in line with existing Covid-19 guidance, updated as necessary, and relevant precautions and health and safety measures will be taken to ensure everyone’s maximum enjoyment.
Mornings, from 9.30pm, will be dedicated to family fun with plenty of stage-led workshops and small group activities. From 12.30-5.30pm the gardens will host a delightful mix of concerts with folk favourites and rising stars, plus dance bands, street theatre and walkabouts to enjoy, backed up by a tempting variety of world food and drink, including local ales and ciders.
Familiar names include Jim Causley, The Shackleton Trio, Narthen, squeezebox upstart Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne, Ben Paley, Nick Wyke & Becki Driscoll, Saul Rose, Exmouth Shanty Men, Peter and Barbara Snape, and Reunion Lane. The English Folk Dance and Song Society will showcase promising music makers like Polly Paulusma, Zoe Wren, Tom Kitching, Katy Rose Bennett, Molly Evans, George Sansome, The Wilderness Yet, Holly Clarke and Jack Hogsden, while dance sounds come from Mrs Midnight’s ceilidh band, Bosun Higgs English Country Dance Band, Jigfoot and Next Slide Please.
Granny Turismo, the ever-popular old ladies on souped up shopping trolleys, will add theatrical capers to the mix, alongside bouncing stilt walkers Joy Magnet’s Beach Patrol, bee-themed Bumblina and Megabeast’s Treemendous characters.
The main hub for meeting, eating and drinking will be at the usual festival centre at The Ham, where main attractions will include Rusty Pig and Tom's Pies. At the Anchors Away Bar, lunchtime ceilidhs will be guaranteed to get everyone’s toes tapping.