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SIDMOUTH: Folk week taking shape for diamond anniversary

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Plans for this year’s Sidmouth Folk Week are beginning to take shape, with a number of special events and attractions planned to mark the festival’s Diamond Anniversary.
Folk Week takes place this year from August 1st-8th, and organisers have announced a host of special commemorative events to celebrate the landmark 60th year.
An Anniversary Concert will be held in the Ham Marquee with The Copper Family and special guests, before Ralph McTell, headline act at the 50th anniversary festival, returns for a pre-festival performance.
Festival patrons Steve Knightley and Martin Carthy have also been added to the bill, with a Family Ceilidh Party also lined up in Blackmore Gardens.
In addition, the festival will be celebrating the best of the next generation of musical talent by welcoming a number of young artists for special performances, as part of the English Folk Dance and Song Society’s “Folk Rising Plus” section of Folk Week.
Sarah Coxson, from Alan Bearman Music, who has been involved in assembling the Folk Week line-up, said: “This year we have been focused on trying to make sure it is a proper anniversary for everybody who comes to the festival.
“We have been talking to lots of different audiences and we have secured some real coups in terms of the acts we have booked to play.
“We have tried to strike a balance between revisiting old names and faces but also with an eye on the future by showcasing new talent.”
The festival at Sidmouth began in 1955 as an event for social dancers, and 60 years on the Connaught Gardens will once again be filled with dancers, as well as a special dance with festival veteran Les Barclay.
Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham, Oysterband, Cara Dillon, Yves Lambert Trio and Kathryn Tickell & The Side are among the other names already confirmed to play at the summer event.
Festival Director John Braithwaite said: “This year will be one of the most colourful and exciting festivals yet – it will be even bigger and better than the 50th anniversary.
“We have something special planned in each area of the festival and we still have a few more events to announce.
“In particular this year we want to encourage people from the town, as well as visitors, to come and enjoy the festival.
“The 60th anniversary is about reflecting on what we have achieved but it is also a good time to look forward – there is no reason why Folk Week cannot continue for many years.”
Early bird tickets are available until March 31st and there are concessions for students and children under 18. For more information visit


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