Renowned for the number, quality and range of workshops, hands-on participation has always been at the core of the Sidmouth FolkWeek. If you want to learn new skills or develop established talents, there is bound to be something for you to have a go at in our 200+ workshop programme! Dip in to taster sessions or commit to week-long series, perennial favourites or exciting innovations. Many series lead to showcase performances at the end of the week.
Amongst the workshop leaders are perennial festival favourites Sandra Kerr with the mighty Festival Choir, John Kirkpatrick with Festival Concert Band, Nick and Mary Barber with Big Band, Jo May with Percusstra, Will Lang with Bodhran and Kerry Fletcher with European Dance.
Bob Ellis is back with Well Known Tunes at a Steady Pace and Melodeon workshops for Relative Beginners plus Learning to Play By Ear.
Saul Rose leads Advanced Melodeon workshops and Paul Scourfield leads the Intermediate Melodeon workshops. Ed Rennie returns for Absolute Beginners. Gavin Atkin offers Duet Concertina and there’s accordion with Eddie Jay.
Fiddle series are led by John Dipper and Kirsty Cotter, as well as fiddle masterclasses from Sam Sweeney and Kirsty and more on fiddle from English String Band and Ed Caines. Philip Henry leads Harmonica and Slide Guitar. Terry Mann with Pipe and Tabor.
Then there’s Whistle, Old Time Banjo, Beginners’ Guitar and Balkan Music, Band Arrangements and Ceilidh Band. Sheesham and Lotus & ‘Son offer a unique Hamboning workshop.
Song-based series take in Paul Sartin’s ‘Workers’ Playtime’ – traditional songs of the British Isles arranged in parts for mixed voices, West Gallery Music with Mike Bailey and WGMA and Shapenote with Canaan’s Land. Then there’s Icelandic Harmonies with Funi, Marianne McAleer with Irish Traditional Song and Kieron Means with The Blues.
Storytelling workshops are offered by Ursula Holden Gill and Janet Dowling and there are plenty of Talks, Discussions and Presentations with Thomas Brooman, Chris Metherell, Steve Roud, Julia Bishop, David Randall, Katie and John Howson, Louise Jordan, Jim Eldon and Jack Worth.
Kerry Fletcher leads the European dancers, or join in with: South African Dance with Zulu Tradition, Irish Dance with Luascadh and Balkan Dance with Cathy Meunier and Hazel Young, Early Dance with Andy Richards, Irish Set with Val Knight, Sean Nos Dance with Emma Dyson and Northumbrian Clog with Lynette Eldon, Appalachian with JD & Folk. A wide range of English and American Dance (see Folk Dance page) are also offered as well as a variety of Ritual Dance Styles (see Display Dance page) plus Scottish, Lakeland and Dorset Stepping with Instep Research Team.
A Season Ticket gets you in to all, or any, of these workshops….as many or as often as you like.