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News from the 30th Tenterden Folk Festival

The 30th Tenterden Folk Festival will run from Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th October with an exciting mix of concerts, barn dance, ceilidh, Morris dancing, craft fair and stalls, meet the guests and special events. The festival starts with the Thursday evening concert in The Tenterden Club which will feature Pete Coe, often described as a one man folk industry. Pete has had more than 50 years of music making on the English folk scene. His contributions include traditional song research, song writing in traditional style, the founding of several top folk bands such as The New Victory Band, Bandoggs and Red Shift, plus solo and duo performances, dance calling, recording, field research, local folk activism in Ryburn Three Step and teaching at various levels. The other guests on Thursday evening will be Sound Tradition, a folk group performing traditional songs in four-part harmony. Their repertoire is sung mostly a cappella, and musical influences include Peter Bellamy and The Young Tradition and other prominent English folk artists such as The Watersons, Maddy Prior, and Tim Hart.

Sound Tradition

The festival continues on Friday with a mix of concerts, workshops, song and music sessions in various venues and meet the guest sessions as well as an English Barn Dance with Kent’s own Swing the Bridge. Swing the Bridge is an experienced and energetic six piece folk rock ceilidh band comprising Pip Ives (Melodeon, Concertina, Banjo, Mandolin, Vocals), Gemma Gayner (Violin, Vocals), Ramona Egle (Violin, Whistles, Celtic Harp, Vocals), Geoff Sandiford (Bass Guitar, Banjo, Vocals), Neal Adams (Drums) and Martin Young (Guitar, Cittern, Vocals). The caller for the evening will be Pete Coe who will walk you through the dances so that you can enjoy them whether you are an experienced dancer or a first timer.

Pete Coe

On Saturday and Sunday we are joined by hundreds of colourful and lively Morris dancers and folk dance display teams from across the country. Some of the dancers are regular performers at Tenterden but we are also pleased to have some sides joining us for the first time. As well as Morris dancers you will be able to see Bulgarian, Slovakian and other European dance styles performed in the streets of Tenterden. Do not miss the sight of the procession of dancers at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. Also on Saturday and Sunday you can take in the craft fair and stalls, free music stage and dance stage on the Recreation Ground.

Brown Boots

The festival will also include a number of special events including “Shantyman”, a brand-new show featuring Keith Kendrick, Sylvia Needham, Drywood and Moose Rosser. Chris Roche talks about the life of Stan Hugill and sings some of the songs he is best known for. Morrigan take you “Around England for a Songsinging more of the songs of Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Squeeze boxes – they are not all the same, is a chance for festival guests to demonstrate the different boxes they play with some tunes, songs and chat. Sheila Park talks about the life and times of Harry Cox. Erin Mansfield from Foot Down will run a whistle playing workshop. There is also going to be a special Folk Festival exhibition in Tenterden Museum. A must to see. The list of events just goes on and on.

Tickets are available online or by post at The full programme will be available in late August.

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