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Chippenham Folk Festival - 24-27 May

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This is the 48th Chippenham Folk Festival and after all these years, the festival still maintains its original core objective "... to be primarily a participatory festival promoting and presenting some of the best in English Folk Song, Music and Dance ...". It does this by presenting over 200 individual events and workshops, all in one weekend on the Spring Bank Holiday.

There are a large number of comparable folk festivals taking place each year. Each has a slightly different flavour. Chippenham Folk Festival has a unique brand and a wide geographic draw, mainly because of its focus on English traditions and its location within an accessible small market town.

Chippenham Folk Festival offers a balanced programme of music and dance. With the large number of events and venues the festival is kept at the human scale so everyone feels involved.

The Ceilidhs and social dance are the real 'engine room' of the festival - they seem to be non-stop from the Friday night until the Monday night. For Ceilidhs the festival always has a cracking line-up; for social dance there is a full list of internationally recognised leaders and callers. Many of the social dancers buy their tickets each year without even knowing the line up; they trust the festival to provide the best fun going.

The concert venues are small and intimate and encourage participation - they provide a folk club atmosphere and suit artists who can quickly establish a rapport with the audience. We book artists who are not just entertainers, but communicators - they draw the audience in. The concert programmes are put together with knowledge, forethought and experience.

In addition to the concerts, social dances and the Ceilidhs, we present one of the biggest gatherings of Display dancers. We have recently as many as 80 dance display teams over the week-end and they regularly perform in The Big Top tent in the Island Park which protects both dancers and audience from the elements. The early summer Chippenham heat-wave is legendary if not mythical!

Guests this year include Bill Jones, Bob Fox, Dave Webber & Anni Fentiman, Granny's Attic, Jack Rutter, Jim Causley, Jody Kruskal, John Kirkpatrick, Keith Donnelly, Magpie Lane, Mary Humphreys & Anahata, Melrose Quartet, Nick Dow, Sara Grey & Keiron Means, The Wilson Family, Tom & Barbara Brown, Tom Lewis, Winter Wilson, Keith Kendrick & Sylvia Needham and many, many more.

For more info see: Chippenham Folk Festival website