For the past 55 years, every 2nd week of August, Broadstairs transforms into its musical alter ego, namely Folk Week. In recent times this 7-day celebration of all things folky is a huge affair and brings thousands of people into the town for day and night celebrations. With accommodation at a premium, Beeches Holiday Lets offers the perfect solution if you’re tempted to spend some time sampling the fun on offer. With events happening around the clock, we are situated a few minutes by car from the high street, enabling you to dip in and out of the proceedings with ease.
Broadstairs Folk Week 2020 has had to take a breather due to Covid-19, but fingers crossed it will be back 2021. We are sure that the festival will boast a fantastic line-up of accomplished musicians and performers old and new. The ticketed venues are the Bandstand, Crampton Museum, Queens Road Baptist Church, the Sailing Club, St Peter’s Church Hall, the Palace Cinema and the beach-front Pavilion. Folk circuit stalwarts Breabach crown the line-up which includes amongst others the unique Belshazzars Feast and festival favourites The Leylines. Programmes and tickets are available in advance via the website or nearer the time at the Folk Week shop on Albion Street. You are advised to book in advance as tickets usually sell like hot cakes!
Alongside the perfomances going on in the bigger venues, the pub gigs provide endless free entertainment with guaranteed atmosphere. Get a seat early in one of the many bars and hostelries around Broadstairs for ringside action or simply pitch up where you hear the music and join the throng. The Tartar Frigate opposite the jetty will give you traditional folk week at its best, while the Albion Hotel holds fantastic open-air gigs where dancing on the tables is not unheard of. The Thirty-Nine Steps, only having transformed into a pub a couple of years ago, feels like it has always been there and makes for a welcoming stop-off. There are so many establishments to choose from you will have to try them all!
Broadstairs Folk Week wouldn’t be Broadstairs Folk Week without the many Morris sides that come down to perform on the streets throughout the festival. They arrive from far and wide and bring a reminder of ancient folklore roots and have been an integral part of Folk Week from the start. The festival now has a huge array of traditional world dance as well. Not only can you book tickets for various dance perfomances, you can also sign up for all sorts of dance classes to get into the swing of it properly. From Appalachian clog to Samba, there is always something for everyone. Add into this music and singing classes and you begin to realise what a fantastic festival it is.
For those of you who enjoy a bit of retail therapy, the craft tents on Victoria Gardens will satisfy your buying needs and are open throughout the week. The neighbouring bandstand hosts the daily Hobby Horse Club for children and later on in the day various shows give you an excuse to put your feet up and enjoy the performances. Last, but certainly not least, are Clarence the dragon and his Osses. Anyone who frequented Broadstairs Folk Week in earlier years will tell you all about the dramatic Torch Light Procession, made all the more terrifying for young and old alike by the mischievous Osses snapping away at unsuspecting onlookers. To this day they continue to play a much-loved part in the festival and if you’re lucky (or unlucky) they’ll even chase you down the promenade after your chips.
Without doubt Broadstairs Folk Festival is one of the main highlights of the town’s year and is something everyone should experience. Book early for the hot tickets or enjoy the pub gigs and outdoor performances. Whatever you decide to do, you won’t go wrong with Beeches Holiday Lets for self-catering, all mod cons stay.
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