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Edgelarks at FolkEast Festival, 2022, playing on a stage in front of a large crowd.
Edgelarks at FolkEast, 2022

Folk Festivals Roundup, 2023

All the info you need to make your folk festival choices ahead of the summer.

What kind of festival-goer are you? Do you festival-surf throughout the summer, attracted to each extravaganza by the lineup, or have you been picking out the same spot for years? Whichever it is, you’ve probably started thinking about your festival plans already. To help you along, we’ve put together this handy guide to help you choose from best of the UK folk festivals this year.

Included in this guide, you’ll find…

Beardy Folk Festival

Beardy Folk Festival is a thoughtfully curated Midsummer music festival that showcases a fantastic lineup of contemporary and traditional roots-inspired music. The festival takes place in the private grounds and secret walled garden of the Hopton Court Estate in South Shropshire. Alongside world-class music, visitors can enjoy artisan street food, bars, trade village, workshops, talks, storytelling, and children’s entertainment such as circus workshops and woodland craft activities. Additionally, camping and glamping options for up to four nights with incredible views are available. Beardy Folk Festival promises a memorable experience of exceptional music, delectable food, and engaging activities in a stunning setting.

2023 lineup: Martin Carthy, Skerryvore, The Longest Johns, John Smith, Mark Radcliffe & Company, The Drystones, Alden & Patterson, Seth Lakeman, Filkin’s Ensemble, Merry Hell, and many more.

Is there dancing? Beardy Folk focuses mainly on the music, although you’re welcome to dance yourself silly as often as you like.

Dates: 15th-18th June, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Beverley Folk Festival

The picturesque market town of Beverley has been hosting a folk festival every year since 1983, featuring renowned performances by hundreds of artists and contributing to the thriving live music scene of the town. Despite the unfortunate cancellation of the festival in 2018, a group of dedicated enthusiasts organized an event under the name ‘Beverley Fringe’ to continue the tradition. With only three months of preparation, they successfully hosted the festival and were recognized with the ‘Outstanding Small Festival’ award by the Yorkshire Gig Guide. The festival has left an indelible mark on the town and its cultural legacy continues to thrive.

2023 lineup: The Magpies, Pavey Ark, Edwina Hayes, Katie Spencer, Emily Slade, Hannah Moule & the Moulettes, Ellie Pollard.

Is there dancing? Morris dancers have been known to shake a leg, and a Ceilidh night with Alterego has been announced.

Dates: 16th-18th June, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Broadstairs Folk Week

In the early 1960s, while the folk music and dance scene in England was enjoying a resurgence, there were no festivals to celebrate the traditions in the south-east. The late Jack Hamilton, known for his involvement in the growth of the Sidmouth Folk festival, founded his own festival in Broadstairs after discovering its beautiful seaside location. The first festival, called The Folk Show, took place twice a day in Pierremont Park and expanded to include workshops, dance events, and song venues. Over the years, Folk Week has used almost every available venue in Broadstairs and has evolved into an event that involves the whole town. The festival is made possible by the dedication of an army of volunteers and has a significant economic impact on the local economy. Despite challenges, including the cancellation of the festival in 2020 due to the pandemic, Folk Week continues to adapt and provide opportunities for everyone to enjoy the music, dance, and fun that have been celebrated since the 1960s.

2023 lineup: Lady Maisery, Seth Lakeman, Granny’s Attic, Home Service, Tim Edey, Harmonia, Angeline Morrison, Ranagri, Banter, The Jeremiahs, The Often Herd, Coracle, Will Page, Patakas, Honey & the Bear, Urban Folk Quarter, Jon Wilks, Katie Spencer, Nick Dow and many more.

Is there dancing? There are three big ceilidhs and one evening dance. We also counted at least 28 morris sides listed on the website.

Dates: 11th-18th August, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Bromyard Folk Festival

Since its humble beginnings in 1968 with just 150 tickets sold, Bromyard Folk Festival has grown into a popular event that attracts thousands of visitors every year. The festival’s primary objective has always been to promote and make accessible the rich and vibrant traditions of folk music and dance, and the event features an impressive line-up of local and national award-winning performers, as well as legendary folk artists from around the world. With a warm and inclusive atmosphere that caters to all ages, there’s an abundance of food, drink, and activities on offer.

2023 lineup: The Young’uns, Eliza Carthy Trio, Jim Moray, Kris Drever, Dallahan, Melrose Quartet, Jack Rutter, Christina Alden & Alex Patterson, Owen Spafford & Louis Campbell, She Shanties, Granny’s Attic, Maddie Morris, Ben Robertson, Frankie Archer and many more.

Is there dancing? Rapper, morris… you name it, they’ve got it.

Dates: 7th-10th September, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

The Cambridge Folk Festival

The world-famous Cambridge Folk Festival, running since 1965, is one of the UK’s largest, attracting around 14,000 people every year. It is known for its unique atmosphere and the eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary music, showcasing the finest American country, blues, and roots artists, along with acclaimed singer-songwriters, famous names, and world music stars. Held in the beautiful surroundings of Cherry Hinton Hall Park, it is a mere 15-mins drive from the centre of the city that bears its name. The Cambridge ethos is to celebrate and nurture emerging talent, with dedicated stages like The Den and The Hub providing platforms for young musicians. Cambridge Folk Festival has won several awards, including the BBC Radio 2 Good Tradition Award and the A Greener Festival Award.

2023 lineup: Arrested Development, The Proclaimers, Gangstagrass, Kate Rusby, Rufus Wainright, Angeline Morrison & the Sorrow Songs Band, Eliza Carthy & the Restitution, Fisherman’s Friends, Grace Petrie, the Daoirí Farrell Trio and many more.

Is there dancing? Nothing announced at the time of writing, but we’re sure that’ll change in the weeks and months leading up to the festival.

Dates: 27th-30th July, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Chester Folk Festival

Chester Folk Festival aims to promote folk music events in the Chester area and takes place every year on the last weekend in May in the village of Kelsall, located about 8 miles from Chester. The festival features a wide range of traditional and contemporary folk music, dance, storytelling, and workshops. There are also activities for children, food and drink stalls, and camping facilities available for visitors. The festival is a popular gathering of folk enthusiasts and a great way to experience the rich heritage of folk music in the region.

2023 lineup: The Churchfitters, Sherburn Bartley Sanders, Conservatoire Folk Ensemble, Keith Donnelly, Will Pound & Tim Edey, Pete Morton, Merry Hell, Virginia Kettle’s Rolling Folk, Ben Robertson, Jude Edwin Scott, Ellie Gowers, Monkey See Monkey Do and many more.

Is there dancing? Six dance bands and callers have been announced so far. The Bigswégan Concert & Ceilidh with Midswégan and special guests seems like the big ticket.

Dates: 26th-29th May, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Chippenham Folk Festival

Chippenham Folk Festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023. This community event celebrates folk music, song, dance, and arts. The festival hosts headline concerts in the beautiful historic St. Andrews church, featuring artists such as Cara Dillon, Le Vent du Nord, Benji Kirkpatrick, and a Paul Sartin Tribute Concert. Additionally, the festival features 59 confirmed dance teams and 75 music acts, promising a lively and diverse program. The festival is a wonderful opportunity for folk enthusiasts to come together and enjoy a weekend of music, dance, and celebration.

2023 lineup: Cara Dillon, Le Vent du Nord, The Wilderness Yet, Banter, Benji Kirkpatrick, Edwina Hayes, Geoff Lakeman & Rob Murch, James Delarre & Saul Rose, Abbey Thomas, Anna Tam, Coracle, Joe Sartin, and many more.

Is there dancing? With 59 dance sides lined up, you can bet your giddy aunt there’ll be dancing. A quick glance at their dance page is sure to get your legs watering.

Dates: 26th-29th May, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets


Cropredy Festival began in 1980 as a reunion concert for Fairport Convention in the village of Cropredy. The festival has grown in size from a couple of thousand to its current capacity of 20,000. It features a mix of folk, folk rock and other genres of music. The festival has hosted a diverse range of artists, including Alice Cooper, Robert Plant, Status Quo, and Steve Winwood, among others. Cropredy has always stuck to a one-stage idea, allowing customers to enjoy every performer. Additionally, the two pubs in the village host the Cropredy Fringe, which acts as satellite stages for the festival.

2023 lineup: Fairport Convention, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Toyah Wilcox & Robert Fripp, Merry Hell, 10cc, Fisherman’s Friends, Strawbs, The Young’uns, Wilson & Wakeman, Kiki Dee, Joshua Burnell, Beans on Toast, Gilbert O’Sullivan and many more.

Is there dancing? It’s mostly about the music, but people have been known to boogie.

Dates: 10th-12th August, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Dartmoor Folk Festival

Dartmoor Folk Festival has a rich history that dates back to 1978 when local musician Bob Cann conceived the idea of starting a folk festival to revive and preserve the traditions of Dartmoor, including its music, dance, song, and crafts. The festival’s first three editions were held at Wood Country House near South Tawton, and then it moved to its present picturesque location in South Zeal, on the edge of Dartmoor, in 1981. The festival has grown over the years, enabling the organizers to invite high-quality folk artists from near and far while maintaining a reputation for being a friendly and traditional festival.

2023 lineup: TBA

Is there dancing? Cogs and Wheels and Tinners Morris are at the heart of all things Dartmoor dance. Keep an eye on the festival website for announcements concerning the dance programme.

Dates: 11th-13th August, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Ely Folk Festival

Ely Folk Festival, a bijou weekend festival of folk and roots music, takes place in the delightful cathedral city of Ely. The festival offers a chance to experience exceptional folk and roots acts in an intimate and friendly environment. With on-site camping facilities, real ale bar, kids activities, ceilidhs, workshops, and music sessions, the festival caters to visitors of all ages. Morris dancing is also an important aspect of the festival, featuring morris performances, a Saturday morning procession through Ely, and dance workshops throughout the weekend. Visitors can expect a vibrant display of colour, sound, and skillful dance moves at Ely Folk Festival.

2023 lineup: The Gravy Train, Steve Warner, Edward II, The Willows, Sadie Comment, Banter, Blackbeard’s Tea Party.

Is there dancing? You won’t be able to move for morris dancers – all of whom, we should add, will be collecting for this year’s festival chartiy of choice.

Dates: 7th-9th July, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Fire in the Mountain

In addition to the magical setting in the Cwmnewidion Valley, Fire in the Mountain boasts a variety of attractions. Festival-goers can enjoy delicious, locally sourced food at the communal central kitchen, and there are workshops in singing, dancing, and other folk arts. Kids can have fun with face painting, treasure hunts, and circus skills, while adults can relax in the healing area with a sauna, river plunge pool, and contemporary therapies. And, of course, there is live music everywhere, with jam sessions, sing-alongs, and an acoustic marquee. Fire in the Mountain has quickly become know as one of the coolest little festivals in the country – a unique and unforgettable experience for anyone who loves folk music and nature.

2023 lineup: TBA

Is there dancing? Not in any formal manner. This is the kinda place where you dance like no one is watching. Some even claim to have seen fairies in action…

Dates: 1st-5th June, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Folk by the Oak

Folk by the Oak is a one-day festival surrounded by the leafy green parkland of Hatfield Park just outside of London. It offers an immersive experience of music, history, ancient oaks, bunting, and laughter. The Acorn Stage’s intimacy complements the open-air festival buzz of the Main Stage, bringing award-winning musicians and inspiring new talent to one memorable day. Caterers and craftspeople are hand-picked, and the festival boasts a dedicated family-friendly area. Jim Moray, a pioneer in folk music, is the festival’s patron and hosts each year’s proceedings. The festival supports a local charity, Willow, and to date – since launching in 2008 – it has raised over £100,000.

2023 lineup: The Waterboys, This is the Kit, Nick Mulvey, Lady Maisery, The Longest Johns, Nick Hart, The Wilderness Yet, with more yet to be announced.

Is there dancing? Look out for maypole dancing and fairy dancing.

Dates: 16th July, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Folk Weekend: Oxford

Founded by Cat McGill in 2013 to replace the Oxford Folk Festival, Folk Weekend: Oxford (FWO) prioritises community and accessibility. After taking a break in 2019, the festival planned to implement a new partnership model in 2020, but COVID-19 led them to move online. FWO pioneered online events that were later adopted by other organizations. McGill stepped down as Festival Director in 2020 to focus on Live To Your Living Room. Jim Driscoll and Rachel Williams followed in the role. The successful 2021 festival included two live-streamed events, and the 2022 festival returned to in-person, taking over the streets and venues of Oxford for a weekend of folk music and dance. Their relationship with Live To Your Living Room continues this year with a streamed gig live from Emily Portman & Rob Harbron’s festival appearance.

2023 lineup: Emily Portman & Rob Harbron, Three Acres and a Cow, Merry Hell, Milady Clare’s Musicke, Narthen, Balladeste and Fran & Flora.

Is there dancing? Is there ever! Oxford’s streets are flooded with morris dancers. Keep an eye on the website for a full rundown of sides, times and venues in the lead-up to the festival.

Dates: 14th-16th April, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets are available from each participating venue


A festival close to our own hearts, here at Tradfolk, as you’ll see from the work we did with them last year. A glorious shindig in the beautiful grounds of Glemham Hall, Suffolk, FolkEast has it all – amazing music, a little bit of woodland magic, extremely moreish food, its own pubs, and the sense that anything could happen. While they’ve yet to announce the 2023 lineup (keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks), we can confirm that we’ll be running the Tradfolk Sunday Takeover – curating one of the festival stages and presenting some of our favourite artists, all of whom work with traditional music. More news to follow…

2023 lineup: Announcing soon. Keep an eye on their social media.

Is there dancing? A whole tent full of morris dancers and ceilidh-wagers. Plus, dwile flonking – which sometimes looks like drunken dancing.

Dates: 18th-20th August, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Gate to Southwell

The Gate to Southwell festival takes place over four days, from June 29th to July 2nd. In 2021, the festival relocated to a picturesque lakeside parkland setting in Kirklington, located three miles from the previous location at Southwell Racecourse. Festival-goers can enjoy over 80 performances on three main stages, including a children’s stage and a workshop tent. The Lake Stage is the largest, set in a spacious open arena where attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs. Dance is also a popular feature of the festival, with daily ceilidhs and social folk dances. Southwell festival is known for its family-friendly atmosphere, with plenty of educational and entertaining activities for children and youth, including workshops, instrument lessons, street theatre, walkabouts, storytelling, and music.

2023 lineup: Raghu Dixit Project, Dog Show Sessions, Nine Below Zero, London Afrobeat Collective, Tom Russell, Martin Harley Band, John Smith, Martyn Joseph, Kabantu, Track Dogs, Hoth Brothers, Bonfire Radicals, Winter Wilson, Tarren, NoGood Boyo and many more.

Is there dancing? There are ceilidhs aplenty, and the morris dancing spills over into Southwell town centre. Eight sides are currently confirmed.

Dates: 29th June-2nd July, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Hartlepool Folk Festival

The 8th annual Hartlepool Folk Festival is a must-visit event on the UK folk festival scene. Set against the stunning backdrop of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, festival-goers can explore the historic quayside and even catch concerts on Europe’s oldest warship, HMS Trincomalee. It’s an impressive weekend packed with dance, stories, folk beasts, and heritage, as well as the semi-legendary Nick Hart wine-tasting evening and Cabaret Night. The festival boasts one of the best folk music lineups of the year, along with exciting workshops and family-friendly activities, right there on the Durham Heritage Coast.

2023 lineup: Lady Maisery, Spiers & Boden, Martin Simpson, Jim Moray, John Kirkpatrick, Angeline Morrison, Melrose Quartet, The Wilsons, Rattle on the Stovepipe, Chloe Matharu, Will Pound & Jenn Butterworth, Simon Costin, Damien Barber & Mike Wilson, plus many more.

Is there dancing? Whirling dancers, puppeteers, Eko the Sea Giant… it’s a dancey kinda place.

Dates: 6th-8th October, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Holmfirth Festival of Folk

The picturesque Pennine town of Holmfirth bursts into life during the annual Festival of Folk, which has been a beloved tradition for over 40 years and is set to celebrate its 45th anniversary in 2023. The festival prides itself on being community-based and involving local schools, talent, and businesses, all run by a dedicated team of volunteers. Visitors can expect a warm and welcoming atmosphere, as well as a diverse range of musical acts and performances.

2023 lineup: Jon Boden, Alice Jones, Muddy Summers and the DFWs, Granny’s Attic, Chris Fox and the Running Man, Harp and a Monkey with Mikey Kenny, Stuart Graham and Owen Spafford, lumhall, Good Earth Collective and The Hayes Sisters.

Is there dancing? There certainly is. Look out for the Saturday night ceilidh, with music by the fabulous Kettlehawk and instruction by the inimitable John Brown. Aside from that, the website currently lists 10 morris sides planning to attend.

Dates: 5th-7th May, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Jim Moray Festival

The Jim Moray Festival (#JimFest, surely?) will take place at Cecil Sharp House, celebrating the musician’s 21st year as a pro. With albums such as Skulk (2012), Upcetera (2016), and Sweet England (2003) to his name, he has transformed traditional songs into a cinematic experience that pushes the boundaries of the folk genre. His treatment of ‘Lord Douglas’ has become a must-learn for fingerstyle guitarists, becoming a folk classic in the process. This one-day festival will feature artists and events curated by the man himself, all leading up to a headline performance, so expect a fresh and progressive take on the tradition. We’ll see you there.

2023 lineup: Jim Moray and… TBA

Is there dancing? TBA

Dates: 17th June, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Leigh Folk Festival

Leigh is the UK’s largest free folk festival, attracting tens of thousands of visitors over four days. Celebrating a diverse range of music, performance, dance, comedy, spoken word, workshops and entertainment, the festival takes place within the beautiful Leigh Library Gardens and the 600-year old St Clement’s church. With over 125 free performances on ten stages and venues, the festival offers something for all ages. In addition, the festival hosts a series of intimate ticketed evening concerts that are truly special and not to be missed. Running for 31 years, the Leigh Folk Festival has become a highlight on the UK’s cultural calendar.

2023 lineup: TBA

Is there dancing? From ceilidh to colorful dancers, Leigh Folk Festival is all about traditional folk and alternative dance. Don’t miss out on the Grand Procession on the Sunday.

Dates: 22nd-25th June, 2023

For more info: Website | Free festival

Manchester Folk Festival

The Manchester Folk Festival is a vibrant, urban, multi-venue festival that takes place every October in the city’s Northern Quarter. Created by the English Folk Expo team, the festival brings together an eclectic mix of contemporary folk artists from diverse backgrounds. With a rolling program, festival-goers can move easily between venues, catching the very best in English folk and acoustic music over three days. New for 2023, the festival will feature more international showcases, workshops, and sessions, alongside traditional singarounds. The festival’s new hub and late-night club, Band on the Wall, will showcase the best emerging folk-influenced artists. The organisers claim it’s a mud-free festival that captures the spirit of a field – head to Manchester and find out for yourself.

2023 lineup: Hack-Poets Guild, The Young’Uns, Eddie Reader, Will Pound & Jenn Butterworth, Suntou Susso, O’Hooley & Tidow, The John Martyn Project, Niteworks, Merry Hell, Rangari, Bonfire Radicals, Oysterband and many more.

Is there dancing? This one’s mainly about the music, although a late night jig at Band on the Wall shouldn’t be out of the question.

Dates: 19th-21st October, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Moorforge Folk Festival

Discover the enchanting Moorforge Folk Festival, launching on 7th and 8th July, 2023. Curated by the charismatic and indefatigable folk singer, Johnny Campbell, this event offers a unique experience that focuses on folk music, folklore, traditional music and crafts. Set in a reconstructed Viking settlement, Moorforge boasts stunning views of England’s highest mountains, located between the Solway coast and the Lake District. The musical line-up features talented Folk artists from all over Britain, alongside fireside folk tales, intimate performances, and folk sessions. Camping on site is available, providing starry skies and folklore in the wilds of North-West Cumbria. Moorforge is a fair-pay festival, with ticket sales supporting the site’s maintenance and the well-being of artists and organisers.

2023 lineup: Curtis Eller’s American Circus, The Brothers Gillespie, Three Acres & a Cow, Mikey Kenney, Johnny Campbell, Lucy Huzzard and Hazel Thompson, Jennifer Reid, Steve Wharton, Gary Miller and more to be announced.

Is there dancing? It seems that they’re focusing on folk music, folklore, folk tales and general folk camaraderie. If someone were to throw in a folk dance, too, our bet is that nobody would mind.

Dates: 7th-8th July, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Moseley Folk & Arts Festival

Moseley Folk & Arts Festival returns to Moseley Park for its 17th year, well-known as Birmingham’s finest musical weekend. With a growing audience and glowing reviews, the festival strives to provide a diverse lineup of traditional, contemporary, and experimental folk and acoustic music. You’ll see unsigned acts alongside established international artists, making for an exciting and eclectic program. The family-friendly event also offers activities for all ages, and the independently run festival is put together with a passion for music, community, and friendship. This idyllic and intimate setting provides the perfect opportunity to see your favorite acts and discover new ones at the same time.

2023 lineup: Squeeze, The Saw Doctors, Wilco, Graham Nash, The Proclaimers, Blindboy, Gwenno, Robin Ince, Lou Sanders, Wild Rivers, Angeline Morrison, Tapir!, Chloe Foy, Elanor Moss, Crewdson & Crevanne, Rajasthan Brass Band, Old Time Sailors, Circus Raj, and many more to be announced.

Is there dancing? Youbetcha! Plus, we’ve heard rumours that a well-loved morris side may be hopping their way up to Birmingham…

Dates: 1st-3rd September, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

New Forest Folk Festival

The New Forest Folk Festival is held on a family-run farm near Romsey, Hampshire. The festival features a mix of traditional, contemporary, and experimental folk and acoustic music, as well as a family-friendly atmosphere with activities for all ages. The farm’s idyllic setting, surrounded by trees and featuring a gentle slope down to the stage and stream, provides the perfect location for the festival. Run by the Curtis family, it is a homely affair. Even the cattle were born on the farm, adding to the rustic charm.

2023 lineup: Ward Thomas, Little Johnny England, Jim Cregan, Gigspanner Big Band, Alan Hull Songbook, Old Blind Dogs, The Longest Johns, Gary Fletcher, Reg Meuross, Wilson & Wakeman, IOTA, Steve Tilston, Ken Nicol’s Lockstep, SilverBlues, Jigantics, Anthony John Clarke, Liam Vincent & The Odd Foxes, Winter Wilson, Green Diesel, Banter, Matt Black, Harbottle & Jonas, Southampton Ukulele Jam.

Is there dancing? Look out for dances by King Johns Morris Men.

Dates: 5th-9th July, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Orkney Folk Festival

The Orkney Folk Festival is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year with a packed programme of events featuring acts from around the world. The festival, which takes place in Stromness, Orkney’s west mainland, from May 25-28, will feature leading artists from the USA, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland, as well as 28 home-grown Orcadian artists. The programme includes 47 events in 18 venues across the county, including concerts, ceilidhs, clubs, workshops and family events. New additions this year include a Songwriters Circle, a largely standing event in Kirkwall’s Pickaquoy Centre arena and the inaugural Family Folkie.

2023 lineup: Capercaillie, Fara, Gnoss, Jenn Butterworth & Laura-Beth, Katherine Priddy, Kinnaris Quartet, The Kris Drever Band, Ross & Ryan Couper, Spiers & Boden, Saltfishforty, Stromness RBL Pipe Band, Thunderstruck, Mo Kenney and many more.

Is there dancing? Look out for dances by King Johns Morris Men.

Dates: May 25th-28th, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Priddy Folk Festival

Located in the heart of Somerset, Priddy Folk Festival is known for its stunning location high up on the Mendip Hills and its welcoming atmosphere, making it one of the friendliest folk festivals in the UK. The festival boasts an exciting and ambitious programme of both ticketed and free Fringe events, children and dance festivals, with a fantastic range of food and drink stalls, camping and an all-round friendly vibe. Priddy Folk Festival began in 1991 as a fundraiser for the local primary school and has remained volunteer-led and run ever since. With seven stages and venues, catering to both traditional and emerging folk scenes, the festival reinvests its profits into the community and promoting the arts.

2023 lineup: Old Baby Mackerel, The Jeremiahs, Tarren, Sykes Martin, Opa Rosa, Sam Evans, Bonfire Radicals, The Often Herd, Kabantu, Kris Drever, Honey & the Bear, Dervish, Bryony Griffith and Alice Jones, Fara, The Drystones, and many more.

Is there dancing? At Priddy Folk Festival, dance is a key element of the festivities, with an emphasis on Morris and display dance groups, as well as ceilidhs and workshops. The Dance Festival is located at the Eastwater Marquee and on the Square in the Market Field, and is free and open to all throughout the weekend.

Dates: 7th-9th July, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Purbeck Valley Folk Festival

Nestled on a farm along the scenic Jurassic Coastline lies the Purbeck Valley Folk Festival, a beloved event for music lovers of all ages. With loads of activities for kids, parents, and “old folkies,” this festival offers something for everyone. The festival boasts five stages featuring both local and international folk acts, along with Purbeck Rising, which showcases rising stars. Additionally, festival-goers can take part in workshops, craft sessions, poetry slams, healing areas, and more. What makes this festival truly unique is its compact farm arena, allowing for easy access between stages, and its stunning views of the Purbecks and Corfe Castle from the idyllic campsite.

2023 lineup: Newton Faulkner, Seth Lakeman, Sarah Jarosz, The Jeremiahs, Kathryn Williams, Michele Stodart, Faith I Branco, Hannah Moule and the Moulettes, Lady Nade, Maz O’Connor, Mishra, Filkin’s Ensemble, Honey & the Bear, Alden & Patterson, Adam Beattie, Katie Spencer and many more.

Is there dancing? Nothing currently advertised on their website.

Dates: 17th-20th July, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Sesh Fest

In its 11th year, Sheffield Sessions Festival, affectionately known as Sesh Fest, is a lively weekend that draws in hundreds of folk music enthusiasts from all over the UK and within Sheffield itself. The city boasts a thriving and diverse folk scene that is strongly participatory, from its unique village carols tradition at Christmas to the regular song and tune sessions, as well as the many morris teams that practice and perform weekly. During the Sesh Fest weekend, this scene takes over an entire quarter of the city, with various pubs in the Kelham Island area hosting sessions focused on different aspects of folk music and song. The Kelham Island Tavern, Shakespeare’s, and the Gardeners Rest are just a few of the venues that highlight the correlation between excellent beer and the likelihood of a folk event taking place. Sesh Fest is truly the festival where everyone gets to perform.

2023 lineup: You, if you like!

Is there dancing? It’s Sheffield. You can’t swing a hanky up there without swatting a morris dancer.

Dates: 7th-9th April, 2023

For more info: Website | Free

Shetland Folk Festival

The UK’s most northerly folk festival showcases some of the best international, British, and Shetland music the world has to offer. Run by a voluntary committee with the help of an even larger pool of volunteers, the festival prides itself on reaching even the most remote areas of Shetland. Concerts are held throughout the isles, featuring top-quality local musicians and visiting artists who are often amazed by the talent on display. The festival culminates in the Foy concerts on Sunday night, where audiences can enjoy performances from most visiting acts across three different venues. The acts are shuttled between halls by minibus, performing for around 15 minutes in each venue – madness, but it seems to work.

2023 lineup: Foghorn String Band, Kyla Brox, The Trials of Cato, Shane Cook and the Woodchippers, Valtos, Amy Paprianski, Eli West Trio, TRIP, Project Smok, plus many more.

Is there dancing? This festival is mainly about the music.

Dates: 27th-30th April, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Shrewsbury Folk Festival

The Shrewsbury Folk Festival is renowned for delivering the very best acts from the UK and around the world, showcasing both established performers and fresh, authentic talent. Alongside quality performances, the festival prides itself on bringing fun and diversity to the stage, always ensuring that artists and audiences have the best stages, marquees, sound, and lighting possible. The festival also offers a variety of events and entertainment for children and young people, as well as workshops and impromptu sessions for all ages. With free buses into town, a craft fair, a large car park, dance displays, and friendly stewarding teams, the Shrewsbury Folk Festival truly has it all.

2023 lineup: Billy Bragg, Leveret, Maddy Prior & Forgotten Lands, Melrose Ceilidh Band, N’Faly Kouyate, Oysterband, Spiers & Boden, Talisk, Topette!!, Whapweasel, The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican, plus many more.

Is there dancing? The Shrewsbury Folk Festival boasts a bustling dance tent, conveniently located at the heart of the festival site, providing a variety of entertaining activities for attendees to enjoy. Visitors can watch dance teams perform, bring along friends or make new ones during social dances, and hone their dance skills at workshops. They can also witness the playful mischief of the morris teams as they gather for their annual get-together.

Dates: 25th-28th August, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Sidmouth Folk Festival

Sidmouth Folk Festival should be recognised as some kind of national treasure. Beginning in 1955, organised by EFDSS, the gathering was initially a celebration of folk dance. It has since grown to include many more of the folk arts and is now known for its diverse programme, including some of the big names from folk music (traditional and non-traditional) that perform across several stages over the course of the first week in August. Along the way, Sidmouth Folk Festival has been known as Sidmouth International Festival, The Sidmouth Festival, and Sidmouth Folk Week. Visitors can expect over 700 events, stretching out across the length and breadth of the picturesque Devon seaside town, ranging from folk art workshops to Morris Dancing championships.

2023 lineup: Angeline Morrison, Barbara Dickson with Nick Holland, Blackbeard’s Tea Party, Brìghde Chaimbeul, Ross Ainslie and Steven Byrnes, Cerys Hafana, Dominie Hooper, Eliza Carthy Trio, Ellie Gowers, Fisherman’s Friends, Frankie Archer, Grace Petrie, Harp and a Monkey, Iona Lane, Jackie Oates, Jim Causley, Jon Wilks, Lady Maisery, Leveret, Lizzy Hardingham, Maddy Prior & The Forgotten Lands, Maddie Morris, Matthew Crampton, Owen Spafford and Louis Campbell, Patakas, Paul Sartin Tribute Concert, Sam Sweeney, Saltlines, Seth Lakeman, Shovel Dance Collective, Show of Hands, Talisk, The Folk Detectives, The Magpie Arc, The Unthanks, The Young’uns, Whapweasel, and sooooo many more!

Is there dancing? Sidmouth is home to the John Gasson Jig Competition, which is like the Crufts of morris dancing – you’ll see few finer displays anywhere in the land. There’s also the entire promenade packed to the gills with morris dancers, pubs overspilling with rapper sides, sword dancers coming out of every public garden… In short, yeah, there’s dancing.

Dates: 4th-11th August, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

St Neots Folk Festival

Celebrating its 40th year, St Neots Folk Festival is run by St Neots Folk Club, Cambridgeshire. Spreading over a three-day weekend, the highlight for morris aficionados is their Day of Dance, which falls this year on Saturday, 10th of June. Not that it’s purely for dance fans, of course – there are plenty of great musicians playing, too. Take a glance at the lineup listed below.

2023 lineup: Jez Lowe, Miranda Sykes, Jack in a Barrel, Suntrap, The Shackleton Trio, Anna Hester, Lynne Heraud & Pat Turner, Den Miller and a New Roots finalist to be selected in April.

Is there dancing? 12 traditional dance sides are listed on the website to take part in the weekend’s festivities, not least that fabled Day of Dance.

Dates: 9th-11th June, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Swanage Folk Festival

In the charming seaside town of Swanage, nestled along the stunning Jurassic coast of Dorset, a colourful spectacle takes place each year. Hundreds of dancers come together, filling the town with the sounds of bells jingling and sticks thwacking to the beat of excellent music. This is the Swanage Folk Festival, an annual celebration of music, dance, and community that has been growing since its inception in 1992. As the festival heads into its 31st year, there are even more bands, dance sides, and entertainers than ever before. The festival is self-funded and run by volunteers, with any surplus donated to local good causes. To keep the festival going, the organizers rely on the support of volunteers and donations. Over the years, the festival has grown from a simple celebration of dance to a full weekend of music and dance featuring big names in UK Folk music. The festival takes place two weeks after the August bank holiday, providing a perfect late-summer escape.

2023 lineup: Merry Hell, Kathryn Tickell & the Darkening, Sam Kelly & the Lost Boys, Honey & the Bear, The Carrivick Sisters, Janice Burns & Jon Doran, Kathryn Roberts & Seth Lakeman, Magpie Lane, The Salts, plus so many more.

Is there dancing? Aside from morris dancing in its various forms, Swanage Folk Festival has been known to host traditional folk dances from Bulgaria, Ireland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and the Middle East, making it one of the most international dance lineups around.

Dates: 8th-10th September, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Todmorden Folk Festival

Nestled in the picturesque Calder Valley of West Yorkshire, Todmorden Folk Festival is an annual celebration of traditional music that has grown in size and popularity since its inception. Taking place every May Day bank holiday weekend, the festival attracts visitors from all over the country, with excellent public transport links from Manchester, Leeds, Burnley, and Bradford. Spread out across the charming town, the festival boasts an impressive lineup of concerts, free events, and outdoor entertainment. As a volunteer-run festival, Todmorden relies on the support and dedication of its community, and welcomes anyone who wishes to get involved and help make the festival a success.

2023 lineup: Blackbeard’s Tea Party, Angeline Morrison, The Magpies, Michael Walsh & Quarehawk, Bella Gaffney, Good Habits, Kimber’s Men, and loads more.

Is there dancing? At least 15 sides and one giant will descend on Todmorden to dance this April. Ring them bells!

Dates: 28th-30th April, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Towersey Festival

From first-timers to seasoned veterans, Towersey Festival caters to everyone, young or old. Nestled in the stunning Claydon country estate, this four-day festival is packed with music, dance, comedy, spoken word, workshops, and more – all in a vibrant and inclusive atmosphere. Camping under the stars with friends and family, you can enjoy a variety of delicious food, real ale and cider, crafts, and games. Towersey Festival has been family-run since 1965 and is the UK’s longest-running independent festival. Its commitment to sustainability, discovery, and participation is admirable, combining to make create unique and magical experience.

2023 lineup: The Divine Comedy, Frank Turner, The Proclaimers, Nickel Creek, Spooky Men’s Chorale, Thea Gilmore, Flook, The Young’uns, Gnoss, Sam Sweeney Band, Leveret, Lady Nade, Tim Edey, Kirkophany, Merry Hell, Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage, Urban Folk Quartet, Granny’s Attic, John Kirkpatrick, Owen Spafford and Louis Campbell, Lizzy Hardingham, Joshua Burnell, Damien Barber, and many more.

Is there dancing? There’s a 12-hour ceilidh, ferchrissakes. Plus two other ceilidhs, plus all the dance workshops. Of course there’s dancing.

Dates: 25th-28th August, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Tredegar House Folk Festival

Tredegar House Folk Festival is an annual event that takes place in the beautiful grounds of Tredegar House, located in Newport, South Wales. The festival celebrates traditional folk music and dance from Wales and beyond, featuring performances from local and international artists. Attendees can enjoy a range of activities, including workshops, dance sessions, and storytelling sessions. The festival attracts a diverse audience, including families, music enthusiasts, and those with a general interest in Welsh culture. With its lively atmosphere, picturesque setting, and impressive lineup of musicians, Tredegar House Folk Festival is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the best of Welsh folk music and culture.

2023 lineup: VRï, Niamh Ní Charra, Barbara Dickson with Nick Holland, Kathryn Tickell & the Darkening, Phil Beer, Merry Hell, John Kelly, Bob Fox, Jez Lowe & Julie Matthews, Blackbeard’s Tea Party, Alaw, Will Pound and Jenn Butterworth and many more.

Is there dancing? The website boasts, “the finest, most colourful Welsh, UK & international folk dance teams you’ll ever see gathered in one place in the British Isles”, so there’d better be.

Dates: 5th-8th May, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Underneath the Stars

Underneath the Stars is held at Cinderhill Farm near Barnsley. The festival boasts an impressive line-up of emerging artists across a range of music genres, including folk, jazz, roots, bluegrass and Americana. Aside from the exciting musical acts, the festival also offers a range of workshops, arts, crafts and food stalls that showcase the creative talents of the Yorkshire region. Notably, the festival is child-friendly and even offers free entry to those under the age of seven. Founded by the family of renowned folk artist Kate Rusby, this festival is a must-see for music and art lovers alike.

2023 lineup: Scouting for Girls, The Shires, Kate Rusby, The Longest Johns, Newton Faulkner, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Skerryvore, Elephant Sessions, Lady Maisery, Angeline Morrison & the Sorrow Songs Band, The Often Herd, and many more.

Is there dancing? This one’s all about the music.

Dates: 4th-6th August, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Upton-Upon-Severn Folk Festival

Get ready for a folk-filled weekend at the Upton Upon Severn Folk Festival. Starting on April 28th, this lively event sees hundreds of music and dance outfits descend on the charming Malverns town for a weekend of traditional entertainment. Running until May 1st, the festival features an impressive line-up of concerts, ceilidhs, competitions, workshops, and displays from established names in the world of folk. Venues throughout the town, including The King’s Head, Bar 7, and the Memorial Hall, come alive with lively performances and events. At the centre of it all is a lively procession through the town at midday on Sunday, bringing together a weekend of morris and other dance displays.

2023 lineup: Martin Carthy, Skyes Martin, Richard & Jess Arrowsmith, The Wilderness Yet, George Sansome & Matt Quinn, The Time Bandits, Phoebe Rees, NYFTE, Holly Clarke and many more.

Is there dancing? Upton-upon-Severn absolutely heaves with morris sides over this busy weekend. Keep an eye on their website for lineup news, or to book your side in.

Dates: 28th April-1st May, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Warwick Folk Festival

This beloved event has been going strong for over 30 years and boasts an exciting lineup of ceilidhs, song and dance, workshops, theatre, crafts, and more for the whole family to enjoy. Year after year, festival-goers rave about the Warwick Folk Festival, and this year is no exception. The festival has a relatively new home at Castle Park, a flat greenfield site in Warwick town, with the magnificent Warwick Castle as a backdrop. This means all the principal venues and camping will be together on one site, while retaining the special friendly, family atmosphere that is synonymous with the event.

2023 lineup: This is the Kit, Chris Wood, Mànran, Michael McGoldrick and Family, Will Pound & Tim Edey, Benji Kirkpatrick and the Excess, Christina Alden & Alex Patterson, Filkin’s Ensemble, Ellie Gowers, Dominie Hooper, Maddie Morris, Ben Robertson, She Shanties, Suntou Susso Band, Jon Wilks, and many more.

Is there dancing? At Warwick Folk Festival, traditional dancing is not just a spectator sport – it’s an immersive experience! From lively ceilidh dancing to informative Morris workshops and processions, there are plenty of opportunities to join in on the fun. This year’s lineup of Morris sides includes Belle D’Vain, Customs & Exiles, Hammersmith, Hereburgh, Outside Capering Crew, Seven Champions, Whip The Cat, and Witchmen, each bringing their own unique style and flair to the festivities. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice looking to try something new, Warwick Folk Festival has something for everyone when it comes to traditional dance.

Dates: 27th-30th July, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Whitby Folk Week

Whitby Folk Week is a beloved celebration of the music, dance and song of the British Isles, held annually during the third week of August. Established in 1965, the festival has a rich history of bringing traditional music to the charming North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby. With over 100 concerts spread across multiple venues, including the Whitby Pavilion, the festival showcases some of the country’s most talented folk artists. With over 600 participatory events throughout the week, including dances, workshops, talks, parades and displays, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The festival also inspires young people to take up traditional music, ensuring the continuation of this great tradition.

2023 lineup: Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne, Damien Barber, Granny’s Attic, James Fagan & Nancy Kerr, Jess & Richard Arrowsmith, Jim Causley, John Kirkpatrick, Maddy Prior & Spud Sinclair, Maske Fisherman’s Choir, Matt Quinn & George Sansome, Melrose Quintet, Reg Meuross, The Fraser Sisters, Steve Tilston & Hugh Bradley, Steve Turner, Vic Gammon and many more.

Is there dancing? Yes, a huge amount. Keep your eye on their website for the full programme.

Dates: 19th-25th August, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Wickham Festival

Wickham Festival, located in the heart of Hampshire, is a popular 4-day music and arts festival that takes place every August. This highly-rated festival is known for its stunning rural location and relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere. With four stages featuring live music and a variety of entertainment options, Wickham has become a favourite amongst festival-goers for some time. It was even voted Best UK Festival for capacity under 15,000 at the Live UK Music Business Awards in 2015.

2023 lineup: The Proclaimers, The Saw Doctors, Mary Black, Fisherman’s Friends, Show of Hands, Toyah Wilcox & Robert Fripp, The Zombies, Eliza Carthy & the Restitution, Skerryvore, Barbara Dickson, Kathryn Tickell & the Darkening, Merry Hell, Track Dogs, Lady Maisery, NoGood Boyo, Fara and many more.

Is there dancing? This festival is more about the music… plus ‘Kilt Sunday’.

Dates: 3rd-6th August, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets

Wimborne Minster Folk Festival

This town festival, the largest folk festival in Dorset, has been going strong since the early 1980s. It is a vibrant celebration of music, dance, comedy, and art that is sure to delight all ages. With a record-breaking 70,000 attendees in 2019, it’s clear that this festival is a beloved annual tradition for locals and visitors alike. Featuring a vast array of concerts, a popular microbrewery, comedy shows, art displays, and family-friendly entertainment, there’s so much to see and do at Wimborne Minster Folk Festival. Head down there and try it yourself.

2023 lineup: Ranagri, The Joshua Burnell Band, The Trials of Cato, Brothers Gillespie, Fly Yeti Fly, Odette Michell and sooooo many more.

Is there dancing? Over 20 morris sides have already signed up, and there are ceilidhs and dance workshops gallore. No excuse for not hopping.

Dates: 9th-11th June, 2023

For more info: Website | Tickets