Friday 8th March is International Women’s Day and The Sidmouth Folk Festival is celebrating the many women musicians, singers, dancers and educators who perform on its stages and across a diverse range of events for all ages.

Outstanding instrumentalists including the mighty Shee, flute-toting Sarah Allen (Flook), bodhran-beating Tania Buisse (Topette!) and guitar-picking ace Gwenifer Raymond all feature, as do exceptional singers and songwriters from many traditions including Julie Fowlis, Lisa O’Neill, Emily Portman and Çiğdem Aslan. Sidmouth’s ‘eye to the future,’ always guarantees exciting new musical discoveries and this year marks the first visits to Devon for Mama’s Broke, Burd Ellen and Amythyst Kiah.

The concert programme includes an abundance of exceptional women performers, with Julie Fowlis, The Shee, Nancy Kerr, Lisa O’Neill, Hannah James’ JigDoll Ensemble, Çiğdem Aslan, Emily Portman, Amythyst Kiah, Lady Maisery, Iona Fyfe, Rowan Rheingans, Mama’s Broke, The Askew Sisters, Rachael McShane & The Cartographers, You are Wolf, Alice Jones, Eileen O’Brien, Debs Newbold, Burd Ellen, Kirtsy Merryn, Gwenifer Raymond, Kim Carnie, Sheena Wellington, Hannah Rarity, Moirai, Kim Lowings, Laura Smyth, Jo Freya & Kathryn Locke, Nicola Beazley, Harri Endersby and Grace Smith 

And it’s not all about the centre stage! Dancers can look forward to some of the very best musicians and callers in Token Women, Diane Silver, Linda Game Trio, Hannah Moore, Megan Hatto, Victoria Yeomans, Kerry Fletcher, Amy Burton, Fee Lock, Helen Richards, Christine Dyer, Maggie Daniel, Jo Freya and Cathy Meunier

Expert (and hugely popular!) workshop leaders in an array of singing, dancing and playing skills include: Sandra Kerr, Sarah Matthews, Mel Biggs, Jacquelyn Hynes, Emily Askew, Kitty Greenwood, Kirsty Cotter, Rusty Wright, Mary Barber, Louisa Davies-Foley, Janet Dowling,Jo Harmer and Chris Coe 

Dance displays are always an essential ingredient of The Sidmouth Folk Festival. Amongst the impressive women dance sides appearing this year are Star & Shadow Rapper, Rivington Morris and Windsor Morris.

The Sidmouth Folk Festival is a truly unique, week-long celebration of folk music and dance , where everyone is equally welcome.