What a weekend that was! Sidmouth FolkWeek has seen full ‘house full’ signs up around town venues for its first festive weekend….and there are five more action-packed days to go, finishing on Friday 11th August with a spectacular Torchlight Procession and Firework Display.

The sun came out, the streets and seafront filled with smiling festival goers, dancers, musicians….and even some strange beasts were to be seen assembling in the 2nd Sidmouth Horse Trials!

Sell out shows included Sunday night with Festival Patrons Show of Hands in a wonderful West Country concert with the Lost Sound Dartmoor Folk Choir and Saturday night with mighty Australian vocalboom from Spooky Men’s Chorale. The Celtic Party Night with livewire Scottish acts Ímar and RURA was a total cracker. The folky future looks bright in their hands.

So, what’s coming up this week? Come and join in the fun with major concerts, folk dances, ceilidhs, smaller concert series, an amazing Children’s Festival and family shows, workshops, storytelling events, display dance…..and much more.

The main evening shows coming up during the week include:

Monday night at the Ham (8pm) sees brilliant musicians and free-thinking visionaries and, as Channel 4 has it, “quite frankly the best band in the world right now” Lau celebrate ten years of their thrilling performances together, with material from their back catalogue and new compilation Decade (The Best Of 2007 – 2017). The gorgeous voice of Siobhan Miller can be heard in support. Up at the Bulverton dance party venue, Welsh indie roots rockers Rusty Shackle take to the Monday night stage, supported by the old-time/Cajun swing of Jock Tyldesley & Vera van Heeringen.

Tuesday night sees a classy Sidmouth debut from virtuoso Welsh harpist Catrin Finch & Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita, and a rip-roaring 40th anniversary Oysterband show promises to be a belter up at the Bulverton.

Old friends and musical partners Ralph McTell & Wizz Jones hit the Ham stage on Wednesday night, whilst Peatbog Faeries tear it up at the Bulverton with their Highland party spirit. 

Thursday’s Ham show offers up the best in Irish traditional sounds from Dervish, and multiple Folk Award winner Daoiri Farrell, at the Ham main stage, whilst the driving energy of Dartmoor’s Seth Lakeman will electrify the Bulverton.

The final Friday night of the festival offers many treats. From the finale Ham concert with songwriting duo O’Hooley & Tidow, the lush Jim Causley Trio and young stars The Drystones, the Eurodance with Moirai at the Bulverton and the special Margaret Barry tribute show She Moved Through The Fair with Cathy Jordan and Colin Irwin.

The week reaches an emotional climax from 10pm with the spectacular Torchlight Procession wending its way along the Esplanade before the dramatic firework display finale.