The Broadstairs Folk Festival returns this summer for a week of traditional folk music, dance workshops and Kentish ales

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Enjoy traditional folk music in a traditional seaside town when Broadstairs Folk Week returns in August.

The week-long festival will feature music from over 400 artists and things to do in the city, with free outdoor stages, pub gigs and ticketed events all playing their part.

Broadstairs Folk Week hopes to make its triumphant return on a grand scale in August. Photo: Tony Flashman

The much-loved music event made its post-Covid comeback last year, but on a much smaller scale than in previous years. However, this summer, festival organizers plan to bring the full festival back with a bang.

The lineup is extensive and ranges from big names to emerging artists.

Festival headliners include Lindisfarne, Show of Hands, the Longest Johns, the Spooky Men’s Chorale, Spiers and Boden, Sharon Shannon, the Magpie Arc and Tim Edey.

The folk legends of Lindisfarne headline the <a class=festival this year. Photo: Gren Sowerby” data-root=”/_media/img/” data-path=”F52IRHY4S6YPX33HROL0.jpg” data-ar=”1.60″/>
The folk legends of Lindisfarne headline the festival this year. Photo: Gren Sowerby

Greener artists such as Erin Mansfield, Loshn Klezmer Trio and Foot Down will also perform to crowds of potential new fans.

While many visitors come to sing and dance all week long, there’s also plenty to do when the musicians are off stage tuning their instruments and warming up their vocal cords.

Faversham Shepherd Neame Brewery has partnered with the festival and will have a bar next to the outdoor bandstand, overlooking the sea, where punters can sample their favorite local ales such as Whitstable Bay, Spitfire and Masterbrew.

Sample beers from Britain's oldest brewer as this year's festival sponsor.  Photo: Shepherd Neame
Sample beers from Britain’s oldest brewer as this year’s festival sponsor. Photo: Shepherd Neame

Three of the city’s Shepherd Neame pubs will take part in Broadstairs Folk Week. The Royal Albion, Neptunes Hall and Wrotham Arms will all host live music, as well as pub food, drinks and a lively atmosphere.

“Folk Week itself continues to evolve, as does what we do for it,” says Wrotham Arms graduate Jackie Lawson. “We still do a lot of live gigs. I love it! Folk Week has a great vibe, and it’s so nice to see all the regular Folk Week followers come back every year.

The Wrotham Arms will be just one of many Broadstais pubs with live music during the busy week.  Photo: Shepherd Neame
The Wrotham Arms will be just one of many Broadstais pubs with live music during the busy week. Photo: Shepherd Neame

There will also be a full program of dancing and ceilidhs – traditional Irish or Scottish social gatherings with music and dancing – at the Sarah Thorne Theatre.

Throughout the week, visitors can take part in English folk dancing workshops, with workshops in English folk dancing, Cajun dancing and Appalachian clogging.

Elsewhere in the city, there will be plenty of activities to take part in, such as African dance, drumming and guitar workshops, ukulele lessons, sea shanties, poetry readings and the Band in a Weekend project where young people can bring their instruments and create their own groups.

Learn traditional English folk dancing at festival workshops - or just watch and clap on the sidelines.  Photo: Tony Flashman
Learn traditional English folk dancing at festival workshops – or just watch and clap on the sidelines. Photo: Tony Flashman

The festival’s colorful parade, which sees Morris festival dancers, performers and mascots jumping down the High Street, also returns this year after being suspended in 2021.

Right next to the Bandstand in Victoria Gardens you will also find the Music and Crafts Fair. The free fair will host stalls selling gifts, arts and crafts, vintage fashion and more.

Inside the fair you will also find food and drink vendors including Pork and Co, Great British Cheese Company, Olive Hut, Granny Sally’s Fudge, Sawley Kitchen and Jack Hamilton’s Bar, which is run by festival volunteers.

While in town, you can also stroll down to the sandy beach, take a break at one of Broadstairs’ seafront bars and restaurants, and visit the town’s independent shops.

Visitors to the coastal town can expect to dance and sing in the streets as crowds celebrate the return of the festival.  Photo: Tony Flashman
Visitors to the coastal town can expect to dance and sing in the streets as crowds celebrate the return of the festival. Photo: Tony Flashman

Broadstairs Folk Week will welcome visitors from Friday August 5th to Friday August 12th.

Entrance to the festival, including the bandstand, fairground and a number of pub gigs, is free, but some titles and indoor performances are chargeable.

For more information and the full festival program, click on here.


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