08 September, 2009

Bideford Folk Festival 2009

We’ve just enjoyed our week long Folk Festival in Bideford. What a fantastic week. We get some big national and international names in the world of ‘folk’, but what makes the festival for me are the relatively unknown musicians playing and singing their hearts out in one of the many sessions which take place in the local pubs. These sessions often include known folk musicians and are used as training grounds for future rising stars.

Bideford is a buzz of song, dance and music during the week. We had innumerable groups of Morris dancers, traditional folk dance troops, from all over the country, with their lively, colourful costumes, sticks, bells and white handkerchiefs. Also some great Irish Dancing from 15 year old Niamh Boadle, Dartmoor step dancers and clog dancers cumulating in the Demon Barber Roadshow, Saturdays highlight.

Days started from 10.30am with ‘meet the performer’ type events and workshops. These events continued throughout the day and were joined by lunchtime concerts by local musicians ‘Lunch with a Local’, sessions sometimes lasting all day (just for the record one session started at 4pm and ended at 3.30am and covered three different venues).

There were workshops for children, workshops on playing various instruments from guitar to whistle to small pipes, workshops on various dances and workshops which produced the ‘Festival (dance) Band’, and the under 16 Folksprings Band, which both performed at the end of the festival.

The main concerts were in the evenings in four separate venues and this was followed every night with late night sessions in the campsite session tent which allegedly went on until daybreak!

The arts community are often involved in the festival either as musicians, stewards, organisers, artiste liaison or as myself the photographer. All of the photographs here and for the programme were taken by me and here’s a link the more so you can get a flavour of the Festival from my flickr site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/greengallery/sets/72157622184464235/

and a link to the festival's own site: http://www.bidefordfolkfestival.co.uk/