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Broadstairs Folk Week brings live music, workshops and family crafts to town

By Angela Cole

It started back in the 1960s as a small English folk dance event and today sees groups from around the world descend on the seaside town of Broadstairs in a riot of colour, music and dancing.

The 54th Broadstairs Folk Week begins on Friday, August 9, with concerts, workshops, children’s entertainment, a craft fair and even a pop-up bar in Victoria Gardens.

For this year's main event, there will be no marquee in Pierremont Park this year so the main concerts will take place at the Pavilion on the Sands and the auditorium at the Queen’s Road Baptist Church.

Broadstairs Folk Week brings music out on the streets Picture: Tony Flashman
Broadstairs Folk Week brings music out on the streets Picture: Tony Flashman

Pubs, restaurants, cafes and coffee shops all host folk music events throughout the week and this year’s focus seems to be on up and coming stars.

The fun starts on Saturday with a Folk Week parade from Pierremont Park, with the chance to say hello to the new Folk Week giant, made for the festival by Dave Roberts.

Kitty MacFarlane will be at Broadstairs Folk Week
Kitty MacFarlane will be at Broadstairs Folk Week

Kitty MacFarlane, Gilmore Roberts and Granny’s Attic are all artists ‘on the rise’ while the established Sheelanagig and Jon Boden &The Remnant Kings should surely sell out.

Late night gigs at the Pavilion have always proved popular for the party going folk dancers who can enjoy Ushti Baba, Noble Jacks and local boy made good, Medway-based Funke & The Two Tone Baby.

Gilmore-Roberts will be at Broadstairs Folk Week
Gilmore-Roberts will be at Broadstairs Folk Week

There are also workshops for young and old folk fans.

Band in a Weekend is aimed at younger folkies to meet some professional artists and pick up invaluable tips. There are different workshops each focusing on various aspects of folk traditions.

The Hobby Horse Club has activities for kids at 10.45am daily at the bandstand in Victoria Gardens and magic and circus skills can be learnt at the campsite.

Folk week will kick off this week Picture: Tony Flashman
Folk week will kick off this week Picture: Tony Flashman

WHAT'S ON FOLK WRITER DOUG HUDSON GIVES HIS RECOMMENDATIONS:

On Saturday, Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings, at the Pavilion at 7pm; on Monday, August 12, Sharp’s Appalachian Harvest, Baptist Centre at 4.30pm; Thursday, August 15 Guitar Summit, (Tim Edey, Ben Walker, Thomas Abrahams) Baptist Centre, 2pm; and Truckstop Honeymoon with Jez Hellard & The Djukella Orchestra, at the Pavilion, 3pm to 5pm.

n You can buy tickets for single events, day, weekend and week long are also available, with or without camping. These can be booked online at broadstairsfolkweek.org.uk or by calling 01843-604080 using credit cards.

Information and box office is in the Albion Street Centre. Many events are free and spectators are encouraged to donate to collections. Parking is at a premium in Broadstairs though so visitors are encouraged to use public transport. Traveline has bus and train times at traveline.info or by calling 0871-200-22-33.

DETAILS

Broadstairs Folk Week runs from Friday, August 9 to Friday, August 16. Book and see the full programme at broadstairsfolkweek.org.uk

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