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Broadstairs Folk Week will bring more than 500 folk music events to Thanet

There will be more than 500 folk music events over eight days for the 53rd Broadstairs Folk Week.

It began back in the 60s as a small English folk dance event in Pierremont Park and today sees groups from around the world descend on the Victorian seaside town in an extravaganza of colour, music and dancing.

Local boy Tim Edey returns to Broadstairs with Irish superstar Sharon Shannon. Tim has played all over the world with some of the biggest names in Irish music - Christy Moore and the Chieftains for example – and it's fitting that he shares the stage with one of his first influences. His finest number, Little Bird, was written for Shannon as a birthday present when he was staying with her in Ireland.

Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri
Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri

Matthews Southern Comfort will be remembered by many as a contemporary of Fairport Convention (Ian Matthews was a one time member) and one of the soft folk/rock bands of the late 60s and early 70s and they are also one of the highlights in the 600-seater concert marquee programme in Pierremont Park.

Folk Week also nods a head to mainstream singers from the pop world who fancy a gig in the more intimate surroundings of a folk festival. This year it's the turn of Kiki Dee who is in concert with guitarist, composer and producer Carmelo Luggeri.

The final concert of the festival features Scottish band Elephant Sessions. They are a dynamic dance band immersed in their Caledonian culture and origins.

Tim Edey
Tim Edey

Another major venue for Folk Week is The Pavilion on the Sands which has evening ceilidhs and late night events all week.

Hobo & The Hippies, Blackbeard's Tea Party, Tankus the Henge and the Backyard Rhythm Orchestra are amongst the diverse musical acts that grace the late night stage and a bargain season ticket for these gigs are on offer at £64 for eight evening concerts.

The younger element are catered for widely at Folk Week with plenty of activities for kids of all ages. One of the eye catching workshops is Band in a Weekend where anyone aged 10-18 can come along to three sessions to create a folksy, rootsy band which will ultimately perform on the bandstand in front of a large crowd.

There's also a AfroCariBritish Fusion workshop to create cool sounds with steel drums with three workshops, sevens to 14s, adults and family.

Many pubs will have a programme of performers while other venues include the Sailing Club, the Holy Trinity and Baptist Churches, The Old Curiosity Shop and Crampton's Museum.

Tankus the Henge will be performing
Tankus the Henge will be performing


Other main headline acts to appear include Police Dog Hogan, Blowzabella, The Gigspanner Big Band (featuring Peter Knight of Steeleye Span), Kathryn Tickell and Tilston & Lowe. The pubs all host some interesting bands including the Hot Rats, Green Diesel, Richie Triangle, Shedness and Doozer McDooze.


There are more than 500 events at Folk Week ranging from intimate folk club sessions in the Sailing Club to two major concerts each day in Pierremont Park. The Parade at 5.30pm on Saturday, August 11, will include more than 30 sides this year and the craft fair, bandstand and pub gigs all make up an event that takes over a year to plan.


Narthen (two thirds of Coope, Boyes & Simpson) in the concert marquee 2.30pm, Saturday 11; Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys, Kit Hawes and Aaron Catlow, plus Banter (Tuesday 14, marquee, 7.30pm). Backyard Rhythm Orchestra (Thursday 16, Pavilion 11pm); Sunday Sea Shanties by the sea on the jetty, 3pm; Under the Green Bough - The Kent Song Collective explore local history through songs. Crampton Tower Hall, Thursday 16, 5pm.

There will be some traditional sights in Broadstairs Picture: Tony Flashman
There will be some traditional sights in Broadstairs Picture: Tony Flashman


Broadstairs Folk Week runs from Friday, August 10 until Friday, August 17. You can buy tickets for single events, day, weekend and week-long, with or without camping. Book at broadstairsfolkweek.org.uk or call 01843 604080.


Folk Week stages interesting workshop initiatives for both young and old folk fans. Step Up & Play is aimed at younger folkies and is an opportunity to meet some professional artists and pick up tips. There are a range of workshops and include fiddle ensemble, ukulele, melodeon masterclass as well as Broom Dancing, sea shanties and a singer/songwriters' forum.

The Hobby Horse Club has kids' activities at 10.45am each day at the bandstand in Victoria Gardens.

There'll be dancing in the streets at Broadstairs Folk Week.Picture: Tony Flashman
There'll be dancing in the streets at Broadstairs Folk Week.Picture: Tony Flashman

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