The bulging Sidmouth Folk Festival programme, filled to the brim with 700+ events for this year’s imminent 65th celebration, will be arriving on doorsteps any moment now. It’s time to get planning! Download the programme here.

Read on here to find out some of the latest developments and insights into some areas of the programme…

Please bear in mind that many of the Ham shows are selling very fast. Advanced tickets are very nearly all gone for three of these shows: the pre-Festival concert with Lindisfarne (Thurs 1st Aug 8pm), and Ham evening shows with Spooky Men’s Chorale (Sat 3rd Aug 8pm) and Richard Thompson (Solo Acoustic) (Thurs 8th Aug 8pm). We urge you to book very soon to avoid disappointment.

A year of special anniversaries! As well as celebrating our own 65th year, we are delighted to share the party hats and bunting with some very good friends also celebrating significant birthdays. The brilliant Shooting Roots, created in Sidmouth, for young people by young people, is hitting an incredible 25 years in 2019, as is the ever-popular Sandra Kerr’s Festival Choir. Also originating in Sidmouth, former and current members of the pioneering Token Women join together for a 30th year anniversary this week. And, taking over for a whole night, festival favourites Blackbeard’s Tea Party show their 10th anniversary stamina by playing a marathon evening show followed by a Late Night Extra Ceilidh up at the Bulverton!

And Blackbeard’s Bulverton Big Night Out is just one of many storming nights in store at the roots party venue during the week, with wall-to-wall dance floor filers from Anglo-French dance music masters Topette!! to popular folk-rockers Merry Hell. And, of course, local hero Seth Lakeman makes a welcome return, both as a popular guest and as a long-term festival fan.

Seth recalls:“I first started going to Sidmouth Folk Festival with my parents when I was 8 or 9 years old, and just loved the whole atmosphere of being at the seaside and absorbing all the music while going for a paddle, eating fish and chips and ice creams and camping! Later on, as my two brothers and I started to play music and perform, we’d hang out a lot in the pub sessions – learning and sharing tunes with friends. I loved growing-up in that feel-good festival atmosphere. It’s come full-circle for me because I now take my own children to Sidmouth and it’s lovely to have that feeling all over again.” 

Sticking with the local theme, we are delighted to be able to celebrate so much homegrown South West talent including Steve Knightley, who first came to the festival in 1969. His special show Fifty Shades Of Sidmouth (Sun 4th Aug 8pm) looks back over the last 50 years with songs and guests that reflect his own musical journey from beachside busker to Festival patron, with special guests. Even more stories, traditions and songs of Sidmouth are celebrated in Living By The Sea, building on its popular debut last year.

Over at The Manor, the legacy of the 70s film Dartmoor Entertainers is explored with flavours of a traditional night of merrymaking on the moor with contemporary  entertainers Mark BazeleyJason RiceJim Causley, Bill Murray and many more.

Get to grips with the programme now to customise your own best summer seaside festival experience.