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Cajun, blues, gypsy, reggae and even techno line up at Broadstairs Folk Week 2014

'Folk music by the sea' is the big selling point for a coastal music bash that has been drawing crowds since 1965.

Broadstairs Folk Week, which starts on Friday, August 8, boasts some of the biggest acts on the UK folk scene.

Ten years ago a raw talent by the name of Seth Lakeman made his debut there before best-selling albums took him into the mainstream. Now the Devon singer is used to filling 1,000-seater halls around the country. A Seth Lakeman song has even featured in an episode of Coronation Street, being played in the background of the Rover’s Return!

Seth Lakeman
Seth Lakeman

Seth is back on the Isle of Thanet to give a concert on Sunday, August 10, at the Concert Marquee in Pierremont Park at 7.30pm.

Other headliners include Scottish supremo Dick Gaughan, while Steeleye Span’s Peter Knight pitches up with his own band Gigspanner. Folk award winner Bella Hardy, vocal harmonists the Moulettes and the Urban Folk Quartet will all have their turn to rock the 600-seater marquee, which will hold events every afternoon and evening throughout the festival.


Broadstairs Folk Week puts on plenty of free offerings for musicians, singers, dancers and families as well as the ticketed events.

The bandstand, Victoria Gardens, the promenade and the jetty all come alive with folk music and dance, as morris men and women, buskers, ukulele players and sea shanty groups descend on the town. Other diverse venues including pubs, restaurants, cafes, the Crampton Museum, Queens Road Baptist Centre and Broadstairs Sailing Club make up the variety of venues that host some 500 different activities during the week.

The Moulettes
The Moulettes

At the bandstand there is a non-stop programme of family-based, free entertainment throughout the week.

Arts and handicrafts go hand-in-hand with the folk tradition, so the festival would not be complete without the stalls in Victoria Gardens selling musical instruments, clogs, festival designer-wear and food.

Expert tuition

There are plenty of opportunities to learn new skills and to polish existing ones under the guidance of musical experts at Broadstairs Folk Week.

A spoon orchestra workshop rehearses during the week for a final concert on Friday, August 15, whilst banjo players, hurdy gurdy wannabees and even fans of techno and electronic music all have specific lessons on offer. Most of these take place each morning at the Charles Dickens School, which is the hub for season ticket holders and campers.

Visit www.broadstairsfolkweek.org.uk/workshops or call 01843 604080 for specific workshop information.

The Gong Scourers Morris troup at last year's Folk Week
The Gong Scourers Morris troup at last year's Folk Week

Five acts not to miss

40 Years of Song with Peter Collins at Queens Road Baptist Church on Saturday, August 9, at 5pm

Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra at the Pavilion on Monday, August 11, at 11pm

Moulettes, with the London Klezmer Quartet, at the Concert Marquee on Tuesday, August 12, at 7.30pm

Maggie Boyle and Paul Downes at Crampton Hall, Wednesday, August 13 at 5.30pm

A Day’s Work: A Folk Opera at Concert Marquee, on Thursday, August 14, at 2.30pm

Tankus the Henge
Tankus the Henge

Late night larks

Night owls are in for a treat this year with a programme that goes on into the early hours at the Pavilion. Acts include the likes of Elvis Fontenot and the Sugar Bees, Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra and Tankus the Henge. The Pavilion is hosting gigs starting at 11pm every day of the festival from Friday, August 8, to Friday, August 15.

A Folk Week spokesman said: “These shows which cross the boundaries of folk are open to the general public and not just season ticket holders. They kick off at 11pm and go through till 1am at a cost of £10.”


There is a Broadstairs Folk Festival office and shop in Albion Street where you can buy tickets for individual events, day tickets, week-long tickets and camping tickets to stay at the Charles Dickens School which has facilities and in-house entertainment.

The festival programme outlines full listings, prices, and information about the artists.

Visit www.broadstairsfolkweek.org.uk or call 01843 604080. Car parks are likely to be full and it is advisable to use public transport where possible.

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