With only a week to go, the Sidmouth FolkWeek team are getting pretty excited about the final countdown to this year’s event! Marquees are going up, colourful flags are billowing in the wind, suncream is being lathered on, and the atmosphere is building….

A favourite week of the year for so many visitors to the town and locals alike, the amazing programme of 700+ events, all wrapped up in a seaside holiday, makes it extra special. The 63rd year of the event, from 4th – 11th August, promises to be no exception with a cracking line-up and brilliant range of events. This is not just any folk festival, this is a Blue Plaque awarded festival….and for good reason.

Recently awarded its prestigious Blue Plaque as part of BBC Music Day, the 8-day seaside festival event in East Devon champions a diverse range of folk music, dance and song from grass roots tradition to cutting edge experimentation. The bulging programme caters for a variety of interests, including headline and intimate concerts, roots dance parties, ceilidhs, folk dances, Children’s Festival, storytelling, EFDSS’ Folk Rising Plus and Eye On The Future showcases for young talents, fRoots’ leftfield Cellarful of Folkadelia series, traditional sessions, intimate, informal concerts, spectacular dance displays, special theatre shows, talks, massive workshop programme, Sidmouth Horse Trials, the best in South West craft, drink and food…and the sea, sun and atmosphere of the this very special place by the sea.

Three brilliant pre-festival concerts set the mood for the week on Thursday 3rd August at The Ham with Fisherman’s Friends and Barbara Dickson and on Friday 4th August with Michael Morpurgo’s family show Where My Wellies Take Me!

During the week, revel in the delights of the most exciting names in the folk scene including the wonderful Show Of Hands, Spooky Men’s Chorale, Ralph McTell & Wizz Jones, Dervish, Lau, Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita, Yves Lambert Trio, Chris Wood, Leveret, Martin Carthy & Sam Sweeney, George Monbiot & Ewan McLennan, The Furrow Collective, Rachel Newton, Roy Bailey, Coope Boyes & Simpson amongst many others headlining the main concert venue at The Ham.

Festival goers will need to pack their dancing shoes for high-energy roots dance parties at the Bulverton with this lot in the driving seat! Peatbog Faeries, Oysterband, Seth Lakeman, RURA, Ímar, Mawkin, Rusty Shackle, Steamchicken and Moirai dish up some of the biggest nights out on offer! The night starts early at 7pm with early sessions, new Open Mic Sessions, great bar and catering deals, and then the adrenaline-fuelled main show, followed by a Late Night Extra ceilidh and an acoustic after-party session at the funky Betsy’s Lounge!  Stay all night long with a Big Gig ticket for only £6 more than a main evening show ticket!

And then, there are the amazing new musical discoveries to be made – both rising stars and sounds from the leftfield. For starters, check out Dublin’s Slow Moving Clouds, Senegalese griot Batch Gueye, psych-folk merchants United Bible Studies, young Haitian folk singer Germa Adan and gorgeous songwriting trio Alden Patterson & Dashwood…amongst many others.

Amongst the headliners booked to appear this year are: Seth Lakeman // Show Of Hands with Miranda Sykes // Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita // Ralph Mctell & Wizz Jones // George Monbiot & Ewan McLennan // Oysterband // Peatbog Faeries // The Spooky Men’s Chorale // Dervish // Lau // Martin Carthy & Sam Sweeney // Yves Lambert Trio //Chris Wood // Rura // Duncan Chisholm // Martin Carthy // Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker // O’Hooley & Tidow // Leveret // Michael Chapman // Roy Bailey // Coope Boyes & Simpson // John Kirkpatrick // The Furrow Collective //Rachel Newton // Daoiri Farrell // She Moved Through The Fair – The Legend Of Margaret Barry with Mary McPartlan & Colin Irwin //Theatre Ballads with Horse + Bamboo // Zulu Tradition // Ímar // Attila The Stockbroker // Mawkin // Rusty Shackle // Sara Grey & Kieron Means // Ange Hardy // Geoff Lakeman // Siobhan Miller // Crows // Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith // Jenn Butterworth & Laura-Beth Salter // Kaela Rowan Band // Jim Causley Trio // Will Pound & Eddy Jay // Chris Foster // Grace Petrie // Moirai // Slow Moving Clouds // Sheesham And Lotus & ‘Son // Alden, Patterson & Dashwood // United Bible Studies // Jock Tyldesley & Vera Van Heeringen // Batch Gueye // Cath & Phil Tyler // Sharron Kraus & Nick Jonah Davis // Kate Fletcher & Corwen Broch // Germa Adan // Thomas McCarthy and many more.