Where is the Festival?
The Festival is held in the Regency Town of Sidmouth on the East Devon Jurassic coast using a wide variety of seated & standing venues across the town. See What’s On for more venue information
When is the Festival?
The 70th Sidmouth Folk Festival will be held Fri 2nd August to Fri 9th August 2024. Tickets go on sale in December.
What type of ticket do I need?
In the current economic climate, with prices rising universally, our essential infrastructure costs, along with other soaring costs across the festival, have shot up well beyond inflation. Along with many other festivals and events throughout the country, we have had to make the tough decision to significantly increase ticket prices in order to be able to deliver an event at all in 2023.
We hope to provide options to suit different budgets. All in One season tickets remain the best option for those that want the flexibility to enjoy the festival to the fullest. A Week season ticket gives discounts on Ham evenings and access to all other festival events. There are also weekend and workshop only tickets, Day seasons & camping will go on sale in the New Year, plus event tickets are available for most shows (with priority given to season ticket holders)
Bulverton in One tickets include camping and access to all events at the Bulverton from morning to late at night. Visit Tickets to see which options best suit you.
Ticket offers : To help spread the cost for our loyal patrons, we have introduced payment plans. Choose Pay in 3 at the checkout and split your purchase into three monthly interest-free payments.
We have held the same big 25% discounts for festival goers under 25. There are also group discounts: buy 10 of the same week season ticket and get one free, or 6 for 5 for Bulverton in One.
Where can I stay?
There are a wider range of accommodation options from the Festival Campsite to hotels on the seafront. See Where to Stay for more information.
Thanks for all your festival feedback. We read it all and it forms a valuable part of the festival planning process each year. We are pleased to share that there will be improved siting of toilets, sinks and mirrors throughout the campsite and an improved design of the Campsite hub.
By popular demand there is a Stage back at the Children’s Festival. The Children’s Festival will stay at Peacock Lawn, with improved layout & refreshments.
Building on the success of 2022 the Craft & Music Village will once again be in Blackmore Gardens and there will be a new site for the acoustic stage, capacity has been increased and access to the Gardens improved.
Following their 2022 success The Bulverton Bar team will be back again at Betsy’s, with a great range of local ales & ciders. The Festival Offices will be back at Vicarage Road Primary School, on the Festival Bus route and walking distance from most venues.
Due to continued rising costs, we haven’t yet been able to implement all the improvements that we would have liked to but we keep all your comments in mind and aim to make further improvements as soon as we are able.
How does Ticket Priority Work?
By buying a Festival ticket, you have priority entry to events over people paying at the door up to ten minutes before the start of each event. Separate queues are usually formed at most venues to facilitate the priority for ticket holders.
Why do we have to queue at the Ham?
You don’t! People do queue in order to get to their preferred seating position in the venue but it is usually perfectly possible to just arrive 15 minutes before show time to get a good seat. We aim to open the doors 30 minutes before Ham concerts.
What about the other venues?
Some of the smaller venues are very popular and it is sometimes necessary to queue to ensure admission. We always try to open the doors as soon as possible to minimise queuing.
A very limited number of event tickets will be available for Manor shows dependent on the anticipated demand from Season Ticket Holders.
No dogs are allowed within festival venues* except recognised assistance dogs. Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome on the Festival Campsite, at The Hub, in Connaught Gardens, the Anchor Garden and in Blackmore Gardens.
*Please note the list of festival venues does include Peacock Lawn and the Blackmore Gardens Marquee.
What if I have mobility issues?
If you are disabled or have mobility issues please direct all your access related enquiries to ‘email@example.com’. Please note that free Personal Assistant tickets (previously called ‘Carers’ tickets or ‘Disabled Helpers’ Ticket’) are bookable via the website. These are collection only and the appropriate evidence of entitlement (see the ticket page for details) will need to be produced when collecting from the Box Office.
The accessibility area of the campsite is now available to pre-book – simply contact firstname.lastname@example.org after purchasing your ticket. The positioning of wheelchair & mobility scooters at the Ham has also been improved. Any queries about access at the festival, please contact the same address. We welcome all suggestions.
How is the festival organised and who runs it?
The Sidmouth Folk Festival is organised by Sidmouth FolkWeek Productions Ltd which is a non-distributing trading company. There are two Company Directors John Braithwaite and John Heydon, neither of whom are paid for their work for the festival. Three other members of the festival team, Alan Bearman Music, JudgeDay and Knight Time Music are contracted for their roles in Artistic and Marketing, Event Management and General Management respectively. Colin Trussell and Mike Norris are also part of the festival team as advisors.
Where does the Festival get its income and what happens to it?
Approximately 70% of the festival’s income comes from ticket income. The balance is made up of trading and catering income, craft and music fair, merchandising, grants, sponsorship, collections, programme adverts etc. Any surplus achieved is invested in the festival. No dividends are paid to the company directors.
So what is the Children’s Festival all about and who is it for?
Well firstly, the Children’s Festival is not just for children, it gives whole families the opportunity to join in some activities and also to enjoy a superb range of evening Family Shows together. The week’s programme of workshops and activities is carefully organised to allow youngsters of different ages the best experience possible with the workshop leaders focusing their activities to match the abilities of either 4 years and under, the 5-7 year old range or children over 8 years. Some workshops are progressive and run for the week developing children’s confidence and leading to a final performance. Other workshops are more of a drop in nature. Children can choose whether they attend every session or just opt for one or two so they can have time to do something different on other days (perhaps featuring the beach or ice creams!). All in all, the Children’s Festival is a great place for families to meet with other families, have a great week of fun and friendship and start your child’s love of the festival.
What are fringe festival events and who runs them?
Fringe festival events are part of The Sidmouth Folk Festival experience, complementing the main festival but not organised by it so Sidmouth Folk Festival is not responsible for it. Some of the venues where Fringe events take place including Dukes, the Middle and Main Bars of the Anchor Inn, The Swan Inn and The Volunteer Inn are active supporters of the festival. Collections at these venues are an important part of the festival’s income.
“Sidmouth Fringe Sessions” is not part of The Sidmouth Folk Festival.
What about the Market Square?
For licensing reasons and in consideration of the Market Square shopkeepers, The Sidmouth Folk Festival only programmes the dance events that take place after 5pm each day. The street theatre that takes place during the day is not programmed by the Festival so it does not benefit from any of their collections.
What about the Esplanade?
East Devon District Council control trading on the Esplanade and benefit from the income generated, not the Festival. The Festival negotiated larger dedicated performance spaces in 2016 in order to preserve the atmosphere generated by informal performance and programmed dance displays.
Looking for somewhere to perform?
There are two large Festival Performance space on the Esplanade at York Steps & opposite the Bedford Hotel. Apart from scheduled sessions by Festival dance teams, if you play acoustically, sing or dance, please make use of the opportunity these spaces provide. Buskers musicians, singers or dancers please note – all street collections, including the Torchlight procession, must be for the benefit of Sidmouth FolkWeek Ltd. Official tins are available at the Festival.
How can I identify which of businesses around the town actually support the festival?
Many of the town shops and businesses support the festival through sponsorship and advertising. These businesses display a Sponsor or Business Supporter poster in their windows and so are easily identified as supporters. They really appreciate your trade. Please do support them as well as Official Festival Traders displaying the Festival Trader poster on our sites such as Peacock Lawn and Blackmore Gardens. Please note however, that there are many stalls and trading areas that spring up during festival week taking advantage of the opportunity the festival creates. These have no connection to the festival, are not our responsibility and contribute nothing to the festival. They also take trade away from businesses that support the festival. Some areas including the Masonic Hall and the Seafront may look very much part of the Festival but aren’t! We ask our audience to help the Festival by spending with our sponsors, advertisers and official traders. Thanks for your support.
What does the festival do about recycling?
The Sidmouth Folk Festival has a dedicated team on site from the start of the event right through to the end of the dismantling phase working hard to provide additional waste bins, litter pick and generally ensure that the town keeps looking its best throughout the event. We provide lots of additional bins across our venues to ensure everyone can dispose of their litter responsibly.
We encourage use of the Festival reusable pint glasses, available at The Ham Festival Bar (run by the Anchor’s Away team) , Blackmore Gardens & The Bulverton (both of which are run by volunteers)
How can I get involved?
Volunteers are welcome throughout the festival, and in advance for local help.
See Volunteers for more information. Applications open in January.
Trading – we have opportunities for Craft & Music stalls and Caterers.