Sidmouth Folk Week
31 July - 7 August 2009
Music lovers heading to Sidmouth for its annual folk week will be packing waterproofs because even though the majority of entertainment is in a town hall, pub or marquee, you'll still need some protection when you dash from one venue to the other.
It's certainly not the weather which attracts people to this seaside resort in east Devon, it's the musical talent and there's plenty of it.
Hundreds of performances are listed from well known folk family Waterson:Carthy to Devon folk favourite Steve Knightley and BBC Folk Awards 2009 winner for the Best Traditional Song and Horizon Award for best newcomer, Jackie Oates.
Fiddle player Jackie Oates moved to Exeter in 2001
The talented folk singer and fiddle player from Exeter has her roots in festivals like Sidmouth where she claims she has been to every year of her life.
And this year there's loads more for everyone to do and see. You can dance your socks off to the Oyster Ceilidh Band, while Toothless Mary will give your toes a taste of funk folk and disco!
There's an international flavour too with the likes of Paprika Balkanicus who hail from eastern Europe and play a heady mix of Gypsy music, or, warm up with some Latin American rhythms from Prego.
Greek singer-songwriter George Papavgeris brings together his heritage with his love of traditional English music, while stateside's Wendy Graham combines her Colorado dance repertoire with a special visit to the county.
For the younger generation there are workshops where you can learn how to dance, sing, play a musical instrument or make something crafty. Based in the centre of Sidmouth, Blackmore Gardens offers a safe environment for tots and teens.
Essex musos meet Devon singer in Mawkin:Causley
Ones to watch are this year's winners of the BBC Young Folk Musician of the Year, Megan and Joe Henwood. The brother and sister duo combine Joe's sax with Megan's soulful singing and cross continents with influences from Europe to Asia.
Also riding high on the festival circuit are Mawkin:Causley, a boy band with a difference. Mix Essex musicians (Mawkin) with dashing Devon singer (Jim Causley) and look what you get.
Jim is an excellent front man for this young band who have hit the ground running. You can't miss his Dennis the Menace jumper or his colourful shirts!
As well as all the usual shenanigans there'll be an abundance of Morris dancers and you may come across the odd sword or two with the likes of Aberdeen-based Gaorsach Rapper and Step as well as Smutt Rapper.
Sidmouth is a festival for all ages and aimed at people's love of music rather than their skill level and at the end of the week, it might have been wet, but folk still reigns!
For full listings see the link at the top of this page.