THIS year is the 50th anniversary of the first Woodstock festival, generally regarded as the inspiration for the UK’s summer music festivals – but the British folk scene can claim a much older event, Sidmouth Folk Week, celebrating its 65th anniversary this year, running from 2nd to 9th August.
This year’s brilliant line-up includes Richard Thompson, Cara Dillon, Martin Carthy, Seth Lakeman, Sam Sweeney, Flook, Julie Fowlis, Steve Knightley, the Spooky Men’s Chorale, Nancy Kerr and James Fagan, John Kirkpatrick, Lady Maisery and Belshazzar’s Feast.
There has been a folk festival in Sidmouth in the first week of August every year since 1955. There are concerts in marquees and a variety of venues around the beautiful south Devon resort, attracts tens of thousands of music-lovers with more than 700 events, appealing to fans of every variety of folk music.
With “an ear to the past and an eye on the future”, the festival features established stars and emerging talent; major concerts, roots parties, intimate sessions, ceilidhs and folk dancing, storytelling, fun family and youth-centred activities, hands-on workshops and spectacular dance displays. All this plus an always inspiring selection of crafts and food and drink from the South West.
Pictured: Richard Thompson and Julie Fowlis.