The Sidmouth Folk Festival (31 July – 7 August) has a long and proud track record of being a truly inclusive festival that welcomes and celebrates all. In celebration of International Women’s Day, we want to do some proud rooftop shouting about the talented women involved in making Sidmouth such a joy! As well as instrumentalists, singers, dancers and educators on a variety of stages and in diverse range of events for all ages across the festival, we want to shine a light on some brilliant professionals and volunteers working behind the scenes!

This year’s concert stage line-ups include some outstanding musicians and singers including established names like Eddi Reader, Eliza Carthy and Jackie Oates; rising stars like Brighde Chaimbeul, Fara and Rosie Hood Trio; voices from a variety of traditions including Olcay Bayir, Eugenia Georgieva, Mairearad Green & Anna Massie, Rachel Hair, The Local Honeys and some great sounds from the leftfield: Cinder Well, Quinie, Julu Irvine & Heg Brignall. Grass roots traditional voices and contemporary songwriters across the generations are all well-represented with Belinda Kempster & Fran Foote, Christine Kydd, Rowan Godel, Christina Alden, Holly Clark, Georgina Shackleton, Ruth Notman, Hannah Sanders, Zoe Wren, Barbara Snape, Moira Craig, Gemma Khawaja and Megan Wisdom. And catch some deft musicianship from some of the UK’s finest players, including Miranda Sykes, Nancy Kerr, Jess Arrowsmith, Hayley Keenan (Talisk), Jenn Butterworth and more.

We are also delighted to feature some very special shows featuring some outstanding performers, including Frankie Armstrong, Sandra Kerr & Kathy Henderson in My Song is My Own, the excellent Moirai’s Framed: The Story of Alice Wheeldon and Laurel Swift’s Travelling with Thomas.

We have some top callers and musicians leading folk dances and ceilidhs, including Brooke Friendly, Hannah Moore, Emma Wooders, Fee Lock,  Jane Bird, Frances Richardson, Ruth Ball, Chloe Middleton-Metcalfe, Helen Richards, Mollie Koenigsberger, Rhiannon Davies, Charlotte Rich-Griffin, Nicola Scott and Bridget Flett.

Popular workshop leaders offer an array of singing, dancing and playing skills include: Kitty Greenwood,  Kerry Fletcher, Sarah Matthews, Emily Askew, Jacquelyn Hynes, Kirsty Cotter, Hannah Cumming, Louisa Davies- Foley, Norma Mills, Cathy Meunier, Jo May, Janet Dowling,  Louise Sherman, Alex Fisher, Jannette Stewart, Jenny Read, Carol Monaghan and Mary Barber.

Amongst this year’s display dancers are some brilliant women’s sides including Martha Roden’s Tuppenny Dish, Compass Roses from North America, Boss Morris, Mortimer’s Morris and Sheffield Steel Rapper.

Behind the scenes, we also have some brilliant women organisers, from the Festival’s Artistic Manager Tash Daly to Ham Manager Jo Middleton.

Tash is a vital player in the year-round organisation of the festival, and as with many, has a long history with the event. “This will be my 24th year at Sidmouth, I started as a volunteer and was immediately hooked by the inclusive atmosphere, the variety of acts, all with the wonderful seaside backdrop. I work with our 100s of artists throughout the year to make the festival go as smoothly as possible.

Jo explains her role managing a team of 45 volunteers covering everything from venue logistics to health & safety. “This year will be my 21st year working at Sidmouth, having originally been recruited as Stage Manager/Artist Liaison as part of the ‘young team’ running the Bowd Marquee and Bulverton Dance Marquee. I was studying Arts Management degree course at the time, so Sidmouth was a great place to get real life work experience, which later lead to me getting a job working with music agents Adastra, then managing the Cheltenham Folk Festival as part of my programming role at Cheltenham Town Hall. Folk festivals are a perfect platform for the next generation of event managers to gain experience, working alongside so many friendly faces who are happy to show you the ropes and give you the responsibility you need to progress in your career. These days Sidmouth is one big annual reunion, with our amazing teams of stewards, talented performers and fabulous audiences all coming together to celebrate the unique world of Sidmouth Folk Festival. “

To be part of this amazing team, find out more here.

Come and join us to feel part of the celebratory mood at Sidmouth Folk Festival. BOOK NOW!