Now in its 61st year Sidmouth Folk Week is the event of the year for a lot of ‘folkies’, and this year it was bigger than ever.
The introduction of the new all-inclusive Bulverton-In-One (BiO) ticket for 18-25 year olds was particularly good value. It included a fantastic variety of events, such as the Late Night Silent Disco and Ceilidh (we danced wildly to Blur and then did a Ceilidh to The Beach Boys – there’s something for everyone y’know!) and I particularly enjoyed watching some great dancing from The Demon Barbers XL!
There was also the new Betsy’s Lounge for some hard-earned chill out time, pizza-eating and cider-drinking.
The Ham Marquee was bursting with folk at its very best, from established Sidmouth favourites like Show of Hands to younger acts like 4Square and The Tweed Project.
Even the complete meltdown of the sound system during Show of Hands’ set couldn’t dampen the atmosphere in the tent, with the band switching seamlessly to a couple of acoustic numbers whilst the army of volunteers ran around fixing the problem. These volunteers are the unsung heroes of Sidmouth Folk Week in charge of everything from technical to ticket collecting and everything in between.
The festival of course offers more than its main marquee events. The whole town is taken over with folk sessions and gigs. We enjoyed many an evening at The Anchor, a public house which proved a favourite amongst many Folk Week visitors. With a large courtyard, it was the perfect venue for lunchtime Ceilidhs and evening gigs.
The place was packed for the popular ‘Fip Folk’ group CoCo and the Butterfields and uber fans danced their hearts out to Threepenny Bit. The Keston Cobblers Club gig at Carinas was another highlight to our week (although we didn’t approve of the sit down environment). They did manage to get people dancing though and ended with a pleasant Fleetwood Mac acoustic cover.
Sidmouth Folk Week is one of the friendliest, most inclusive places that you could choose to spend a week of your August.
Booking for next year will be online soon! In the meantime check out Sidmouth’s YouTube channel here.