Bridport Folk Festival of Song and Dance is a dream come true

A dream comes true when Bridport hosts its first ever Folk Festival of Song and Dance this August.

From the late 1960s to the Millennium, Chris Deacon and others with a love of folk music have longed to hold a folk festival worthy of the town. And now it’s happening – make a date in your diary for 11-13 August. The festival is aid of the RNLI.

“Sometimes, just sometimes, dreams come true,” Chris said. “August will see the realisation of that dream when we shall be blessed with an excess of 50 acts. Many you may be familiar with, others less so, but collectively we have an array of folk talent that would grace any festival stage.”

Bridport Electric Palace will be hosting two of the events.

Folk legend Reg Meuross, an English singer and songwriter based in Somerset, headlines the festival and he’s at the Palace on Saturday 12 August, with support from Ninebarrow. 

Reg, who has agreed to be the festival’s patron, is a warm and engaging live entertainer, whose same easy-going feel informs his songs of love, longing and true life ‘stories’.

Reg’s clever and imaginative lyrics have earned him the title of Master Storyteller (PennyBlack Music) and led Mike Harding to introduce him onto the stage of The Royal Albert Hall as ‘one of the finest singer-songwriters this country has produced’. He brings to the stage a collection of extremely beautiful songs, performed with humour and depth.

He’ll also be running a Q&A workshop over the weekend, giving an insight into his songwriting.

Support for the gig comes in the shape of Ninebarrow, a multi-award-winning folk duo, who are impressing audiences across the country with their innovative and captivating take on the folk tradition.

Most recently, they were nominated in the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in the ‘Horizon’ category for Best Emerging Artist. Their latest album, Releasing the Leaves, was awarded five stars in both Maverick Magazine and English Folk Dance and Song Society Magazine.

On Friday 11 August, musical comedy genius Polly Morris will be on the Palace stage with her band. If you could imagine the love child of Bill Bailey and Victoria Wood, that would be Polly Morris. Her observational comedy songs about such things as supermarket shopping or the perils of e-mail, are songs with which you can instantly identify. These are peppered with more thoughtful acoustic numbers reminiscent of Karen Carpenter.

Polly will also be running a songwriting workshop over the weekend. Visit the Folk Festival website for more details: www.bridportfolkfestival.co.uk

On the Sunday, South Street will be closed for 24 dance sides – Morris, Clog, Rapper and Appalachian – who are attempting a Guinness World Record attempt of 160 dancers doing Bonny Green Garter. This will be followed by a street ceilidh.

Organisers are also looking for local trade stands and welcome charity stalls. Traders should contact admin@bhreventsolutions.co.uk and charities should contact folkbridport2017@gmail.com

In total, there will be six stages, 11 workshops and 71 acts, sessions in pubs and two ceilidhs.