Sidmouth Folk Festival 2022 – what to do, see, and when

Sidmouth is gearing up for its annual folk festival, from July 29 until August 5, where music will ring out from every corner of the town.

The torchlit procession to bring the festival to a close begins at 10pm on Friday (August 5), followed by fireworks.

The procession, along the seafront,  begins at Glen Road to the lifeboat station. It will take in the esplanade and go onto the beach, where the torches will be dipped into the sea – signaling the end of another folk festival.

Organisers of the Sidmouth Folk Festival 2022 have announced the full line-up of this year’s three-day event, which promises to ‘whisk music lovers off their feet’.

Join-in fun, ‘sensational’ concert performances, seafront music and a host of live entertainment are on the bill for 2022 summer event.

Back for the first time since 2019, the Bulverton area at the top of Sidmouth is ‘the high energy hub of the festival’ with jumping roots dance parties every night from 7pm through to the early hours.

A festival spokesperson said: “A one-stop shop for an action-filled night out, it’s got some of the most exciting artists in the folk world lined up to get the party started.

“There’s going to be hour after hour of dance floor action, with an outstanding main act and a fun-filled late night extra ceilidh.

“The evenings will kick off with early doors sessions and end with after-hours acoustic chill out sessions in Betsy’s Lounge.”

For the first time there is the chance to learn new artistic skills at Bulverton creative making sessions – festival-goers can learn how to make large-scale decorations for display on the ‘Welcome Arch’ and around the festival site, including green woodworking, kinetic sculpture and cold forming metalwork.

This year’s headline shows in the Ham marquee features folk music with Kate Rusby, Show of Hands, The Spooky Men’s Chorale, Eddi Reader, Spiers and Boden, the Yves Lambert Trio, Fara and Jez Lowe.

There will be pre-festival concerts from Steeleye Span on (Thursday, July 28) and The Fisherman’s Friends (Friday, July 29).

Other festival acts include Peatbog Faeries, Edward II, Blowzabella’s Euro dance sounds, singer-songwriter Grace Petrie, Australia’s Bush Gothic, Sheelanagig, Joshua Burnell Band and Kirkophany, the Silent Ceilidh with Urban Folk Theory.

Musical workshops, ‘intimate’ song events, folk dance, children’s activities, youth sessions, dance displays, processions, and more have been planned during the week, including learning the hurdy gurdy with Steve Tyler, Bhangra with Avtar Indian Dance, beginners’ tin whistle to singing with Sandra Kerr or the Spooky Men’s Chorale.

There are folk poems and original songs in Turkish, Kurdish, and Armenian.

For lovers of storytelling and spoken word, there are sessions with Rattlebox Theatre, Katy Cawkwell, Daisy Black, Louise Sherman and Janet Dowling, also comic verse and poetry sessions.

The Children’s Festival moves to new home this year in the Peacock Lawns where the marquees will host ‘a mix of old favourite workshops and activities and popular family evening shows’.

The Shooting Roots programme returns with workshops for 12 to 17-year-olds in dance, band, theatre, crafts, storytelling and spectacular singing with Stream of Sound.

  • For more information about the Sidmouth Folk Festival 2022, see here.

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