Sidmouth FolkWeek 2018 (3-10 August) has announced its first round of headline acts along with releasing the first wave of great value Super Early Bird tickets – numbers strictly limited.
The long-running seaside festival of music and dance brings together a stunning selection of folk and traditional music – from big-name headliners to exciting new performers – all set against the beautiful Devon coastline.
Guests will find there’s something for everyone, with concerts, ceilidhs, workshops, youth and family events, talks, processions and displays, storytelling, and surprises around every corner. The amazing value All-In-One and Season Tickets now available can give you unlimited access to festival events from first thing in the morning until the last thing at night.
The popular Pre-Festival concerts this year feature the legendary Fairport Convention and the hilariously virtuosic Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.
The festival’s concert headliners in the Ham Marquee include the phenomenally popular Show of Hands with Miranda Sykes, the pure and distinctive vocal style of Cara Dillon, a truly global perspective on ancient Northumbrian traditions from Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening, gloriously powerful and melodic dance music from Blowzabella, multi-award-winning Scottish singer and songwriter Karine Polwart, a Before The Ruin 10th anniversary concert from Drever, McCusker, Woomble, innovative and exciting explorations of traditional music from the Gigspanner Big Band, striking arrangements and songwriting from African-Canadian roots star Kaia Kater, beloved and hilarious poet and songwriter Les Barker, stars of the next generation of folk musicians Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar, and, bringing together histories from Steeleye Span and Bellowhead, incomparable duo Peter Knight & John Spiers.
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Spend your days listening to some of the best performers on the scene in concert, with music from Alistair Anderson & Northlands, Stick in the Wheel, Gordie MacKeeman & his Rhythm Boys, Steve Tilston & Jez Lowe, Faustus, The Rheingans Sisters, Edgelarks, Pete Coe, Narthen, The Emily Askew Band, and a celebration of young musical excellence with the National Youth Folk Ensemble.
The Bulverton plays evening host to high-energy roots shows and dance parties, with performances and a few surprises in store from Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band, False Lights, Blowzabella, Police Dog Hogan, Elephant Sessions, Blackbeard’s Tea Party, Monster Ceilidh Band, and Vintage Cock And Bull Band. And for the real night owls, Betsy’s Lounge will be open late for music and song.
For those who prefer a more close-up and intimate atmosphere, Sidmouth FolkWeek offers many opportunities to see festival guests on stages throughout the town. Notably, the fRoots-curated Cellar Full of Folkadelia afternoon sessions include Ye Vagabonds, Tim Jones & The Dark Lanterns, Rock Of Eye, and Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne. Festival-goers can also see performances from John Kirkpatrick, Roisin White, Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar, Josie Duncan & Pablo Lafuente, Jez Lowe, The Rowsome Family, Steve Tilston, Pete Coe, Georgia Lewis, Ryan Young with Jenn Butterworth, Nick Dow, Jack Rutter and more.
Dancers will be spoilt for choice with ceilidhs and dances across multiple venues, with something for everyone, whether you’ve only ever tried ceilidh dancing at a wedding, or are a seasoned dancer looking for something to really get your teeth into. Look out for exhilarating dances with bands including the Old Swan Band, Playford Liberation Front, Banter, Polkaworks, Threepenny Bit, Whapweasel, and Diatonics.
This year’s busy Folk Dance programme means you can keep dancing from breakfast til bedtime, with the tried and tested formula of big mornings, gentle afternoons and fun evenings of folk dance. Look out for American dance workshops with Rachel Shapiro Wallace with Vertical Expression and Contrasaurus; English dance workshops with Madeleine Smith and Emma Wooders with Limehouse Cut and Stradivarious; Irish Set from Val Knight with Polka Pests; Scandinavian Dance from Megan Hatto with Bowjolie, Jane Austen Dance with Hannah Moore with the English dance musicians, and much more.
The belle of the evening ball is Stowford Rise where specials include a Playford Ball, a Scandi night, a Playford Electronica event with Sea-Green Incorrigible Music and Daisy Black calling, an Irish Set Night, and American with the callers and dancers from the week all contributing.
The festival also offers an enormous range of workshops, so whether you want to try out something completely new or improve your existing skills, you’ll find something to suit from the 200+programme, with tutors and guests who are leaders in their field. And remember, a Season Ticket gets you into any or all of these workshops.
As ever, FolkWeek showcases a range of British traditional dance styles in Processions, Meet The Teams and spectacular displays around the town and along the seafront, including the unmissable Torchlight Procession. Dance sides already confirmed include Hammersmith Morris Men, Sussex Junction Morris, The Outside Capering Crew, Wreckers Border Morris, Chiltern Hundreds Clog Morris, Belle d’Vain Northwest Morris and many more.
For a brilliant family holiday full of music, dance, and crafts, look no further than the Blackmore Gardens, with three workshop venues offering opportunities for all ages, family evening shows and big-name festival guests. And teenagers get their own dedicated programme of workshops and events with the much-loved Shooting Roots, including a collaboration with the superb Stream Of Sound youth chorus, this year exploring the underwater world of mythological selkies.
See the website for full line-up details and ticket offers: www.sidmouthfolkweek.co.uk
Photo Credits: Georgia Claire (Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening) | Lieve Boussauw (Blowzabella)