Sidmouth Folkweek 2006

Click here to find out about the 2007 Folkweek

Sidmouth Folkweek being held between 4th to 11th August 2006 is the place to enjoy the best folk music, song and dance. Along with the Sidmouth Festival Crafts you can enjoy the skills and talents of people from around the world. The town is transformed into a theatre and street market for a week and visitors flock to enjoy the sights and sounds.

A couple of years ago the Folk Festival almost didn’t happen because of insurance issues. However, but adjusting and moving forward the organisers have managed to keep this wonderful traditional event going.

This year there are the usual visitors plus some exciting shows and concerts to enjoy. Looking at my Sidmouth Folkweek 2006 programme I can see some things that sound fascinating. For example on the first Friday there is a concert in the Ham Marquee by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain – this I’ve got to see. Tickets are £15 but cost less if you have a season ticket.

According to the programme the Ukulele Orchestra is a group of "all-singing, all-strumming Ukulele players. You may never think about music in the same way once you’ve been exposed to the Ukes' depraved musicology." The music from the Ukuleles will be complemented by the vocal talents of Niamh Parsons an Irish singer with a fantastic voice and reputation.

I love the names of the groups who play and sing at the Folk Festival they conjure up such wonderful mind pictures. For example on Saturday 5th August there’s a concert from a group called the New Rope String Band. The supporting artists are Ed Rennie and Jackie Oates and another act rejoicing in the name Wynndebagge – bag pipes and drums with a cheeky expression on the player’s face.

Just as there’s been every year for more than 50 years you will find ceilidhs going on in various locations and most days. And don’t miss the Budleigh Salterton Male Voice Choir, who will be in the parish church on Monday 7th.

Back on the unusual names for groups how about a ceilidh with Steamchicken or Mr Gubbin’s Bicycle?

A family affair

Don’t forget that the Sidmouth Folkweek is a family affair, so there’s plenty for children to do too. Singing, dancing and music workshops, crafts and music activities, have a go at making baskets, lanterns and corn dollies. When you’ve made your lantern then carry it in the torchlight procession on Friday night.

If you don’t fancy sitting still and listening to concerts and ceilidhs then go to the Bulverton marquee where you will find a roots dance party every evening of the festival. Have a go at one of the workshops and make new friends who share your interest in traditional skills. Try out your Morris dancing skills and learn to jig, on your own or with a partner, then take part in an end of Festival show to display your new found talents.

Finally, if you’re aged between 12 and 25 then you can take part in the EthnoEngland summer camp. Learn from the masters in an informal and relaxed way. The international tutors of music, song and dance will help younger musicians to learn and develop their skills.

Don’t miss the 2006 Sidmouth Folkweek it’s a really enjoyable East Devon event. You can buy tickets in advance from the official website or by phoning the box office on 01395 578627

Read about last year’s Sidmouth Folkweek

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