Sidmouth has a great range of fun, energetic ceilidhs programmed in 2023, with some brilliant bands lighting up the dancefloors. Dance all day, every day with ceilidhs and dances throughout the town.
Special thanks to the Anchor Inn, hosting two ceilidhs a day alongside their outdoor bar with a huge range of local beers and lagers.
A line-up of leading ceilidh bands from around the country includes:
BANTER: Simon Care on melodeon, Nina Zella on keyboards & vocals, Tim Walker on drums, percussion, brass, vocals & dance calling and, newly added from 2021, Mark Jolley on bass, fiddle, guitar & vocals. Four fine musicians whose roots are firmly in the traditional English genre, but who enjoy stretching the limits.
BROWN BOOTS BOOGIE BAND: Punchy & energetic dance band with Will Allen on melodeon and Martin Clarke on fiddle plus Will Chamberlain on piano and Paul Quarry on snare drum.
FLOWERS & FROLICS: The original line up of this seminal English ceilidh band who have been packing the dance floors for decades. Dan Quinn, Roger Digby, Mike Bettison, Ted Stevens, Bob King, Alex West. Look out for ‘An Hour With…’ show elsewhere in the week too.
NEW BEES: Jackie Allen (Token Women, Asha) and Gemma Shirley (TRADarrr) lead the tunes: their twin fiddle sound is a force to be reckoned with. Heather Horsley (Old Swan Band, Token Women) on keyboards, and Guy Fletcher (Tickled Pink, The Simon Care Trio, TRADarrr, The Morris On Band, Little Johnny England) on guitar, make the most exquisite rhythm section.
OUT OF HAND: Young, vibrant, energetic, 6-piece ceilidh band fast becoming a staple of the festival and ceilidh scene.
RELENTLESS: blurring the line between traditional and contemporary dance music and unceasing in enthusiasm, musical adrenaline and fun, a top line up of musicians including Will Pound, Nick Hynes, Rosie Butler-Hall, Dan Bones and Manny Grimsley.
STUMPY OAK East Anglian, dancefloor-packing band with an unusually large sound. Fiery fiddle, accordion and guitar are complimented by guitar sub-octaves and a stompbox.
TOKEN WOMEN the ‘Divas of the dance world’. This all female line up play Tuba. Trombone, Saxes and Clarinets as well as more traditional fiddles, keyboards and percussion. The music is an unusual and inspiring smorgasbord of tunes from around Europe.
WHAPWEASEL: This solid seven piece folk rock dance band have have been delighting and exhausting the folk dance enthusiasts for over 20 years and over that time notched up 7 albums of enthralling, turbo- charged dance music and the accolade of Dance Band Of The Year at the Radio Two Folk Awards.
Plus MRS MIDNIGHT’S, THE BARBER BAND, THE EFDSS WORKSHOP CEILIDH BAND and many more still to be announced.
NEW CALLERS’ SHOWCASE:
Shooting Roots organise the New Callers Showcase on Tue 8 August .Apply here
An opportunity for ceilidh callers never previously booked at Sidmouth to showcase their talents, and call with a top band. This year Shooting Roots will be MCing the event, building on the wonderful work of Michael Catovsky in previous years. We’re really excited to bring a varied and refreshing evening of dancing to the calls of some new faces, as well as offering an fantastic opportunity for up-and-coming callers to get experience at a major UK folk festival.