The Ham

Based where the River Sid meets the sea, The Ham is our main concert marquee venue, programmed with three top drawer headline concerts each day at the festival.

LINE UP AT THE HAM – three outstanding seated concerts each day

Heavyweights from the folk canon joining in the 70th fun at the Ham including the wonderful Kate Rusby, the impassioned English folk stylings of Spiers & Boden; the compelling writing and voice of Karine Polwart; perennial powerhouse folk-rockers Oysterband; master songwriter Ralph McTell; a celebration of song with the boofsome Spooky Men’s Chorale, and the fabulous pairing of The Melsons (Melrose Quartet & The Wilsons); a rare set from the exquisite and often-requested Chris Wood & Andy Cutting, plus many more stunning duos, from the distinctively tender O’Hooley & Tidow to the dazzling musicianship of Will Pound & Jenn Butterworth, the exemplary Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham and the achingly-beautiful The Breath. Also on the bill, five of the leading singer songwriters of their generation, (Chris While, Julie Matthews, Melanie Harrold, Helen Watson and Miranda Sykes) in Daphne’s Flight, first class trad.singer Fay Hield, traditional African harmonies and high-energy, athletic dance from Zulu Tradition, and our Festival Patron and acoustic/songwriting legend Steve Knightley & Friends, introducing Dream in Colors.


An All-In-One gives you access to all events and workshops for the whole festival. You can also get discounted tickets to the three Pre-Festival concerts held at The Ham on Thursday 1st (3pm & 8pm) & Friday 2nd August (3pm). Week, Weekend and Day season tickets give access to all events except the Ham Evening concerts (Saturday – Thursday) for the period of your ticket. These season tickets give a discount for Ham Evening concerts – on sale here.

A limited numbers of advance rate Event Tickets for daytime Ham Concerts are on sale here. 

See Terms and Conditions for full details.


The Ham is our main concert marquee venue, programmed with three top drawer headline concerts each day at the festival. The centrepiece for festival concerts, The Ham is close to Port Royal at the eastern end of the Esplanade. The Ham provides a comfortable seated-venue for three first class concerts each day – lunchtime, afternoon and evening. Most concerts feature a headline act playing 60-90 minutes plus a support act playing 30-40 minutes before an interval.

There’s a well-stocked Foyer Bar and dedicated toilets for concert patrons including disabled facilities. Outside the venue you’ll find the Ham Lawn which hosts the Festival Merchandise and artists’ CD stall. Circling the lawn, you’ll find a range of tasty food and drink outlets and a bar area with picnic benches. A great area to soak up the festival atmosphere!

Why Ham? The area of Sidmouth now called The Ham was previously a water meadow known locally as ‘The Marsh’. The name Ham is probably derived from the old Saxon word Hamm or Ham, meaning water meadow or settlement surrounded by water.

Ham Field, which originally included land now occupied by the swimming pool, car park and cottages in Riverside and Mill Street was a peaceful and attractive area, where cows grazed and violets grew.