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Sidmouth Folk Festival

Sidmouth Folk Festival is a week long celebration of traditional music and dance that takes place every year in the heart of Sidmouth. It has been held in the first week of August since the 1950s and has become a real national treasure championing folk traditions with over 700 events, activities and workshops to suit everyone – no matter their age or knowledge of folk music.  

An incredible week of fun 

Sidmouth Folk Festival regularly attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year with top name entertainment, children’s activities and colourful dance displays taking place at a variety of locations around the town. Each year the line up shows the unique and broad appeal of the festival, so whether you’re just joining in for the day, or planning to stay for the whole week, there really is something for everyone.  

The Festival holds several dedicated children’s events making it the perfect family friendly activity. Head to Blackmore Gardens where you’ll find workshops covering music, crafts, circus skills, theatre, story telling and games in beautiful surroundings. Or simply stay in the town centre where you can catch regular performances, both big and small as well as Morris Dancing, parades and more! The festival ends in spectacular fashion with the traditional Torchlight Procession making its way down the Esplanade from Peak Hill and an awe inspiring Firework Display which brings the week to a close. 

The Sidmouth Folk Festival has its own designated campsite, a dedicated festival carpark and their own festival bus service so you never miss out on your favourite performers! Many of the hotels and other accommodation providers in the town also offer special rates for guests who are coming for the festival, so make sure to speak to them when making your booking. The official festival campsite can be found on Bulverton Road, just under two miles from the seafront. The site has its own box office and food areas, as well as running hot and cold water and a designated family area which is quieter. Located in the heart of the Sid Valley, the site has incredible views and the bus service runs at regular intervals from here to the town centre.  

A piece of Sidmouth’s history 

Not only is Sidmouth Folk Festival the oldest of its kind in Britain, but the 2017 festival in particular has made its mark on history. This particular edition of the festival was when the Festival was awarded its own Blue Plaque in recognition of its continuous cultural contributions to the town – live on BBC Radio Devon!  The station broadcast the unveiling of the plaque live from Connaught Gardens in Sidmouth as part of the BBC’s Music Day celebrations. The setting of Connaught Gardens was particularly poignant as that was the venue for the first evert festival.  

The plaque can be found at the Ham, where the Festival sets up its central hub each year.  

Information and advanced tickets for the next Sidmouth Folk Festival is available from the Information Centre on 01395 578627 or via email ticinfo@sidmouth.gov.uk Alternatively, they can be booked online at sidmouthfolkfestival.co.uk 

 Want to find out more about what’s on in and around Sidmouth? You can find details of other festivals and events here.