Purbeck Folk Festival

Wilkswood Farm , Langton Matravers

23rd-25th August 2013

Purbeck Folk Festival

The Purbeck folk festival is situated in possibly one of the most picturesque locations along the Dorset coast, nestled in a valley amongst the beautiful rolling hills of the isle of Purbeck not far from the sandy beaches of Swanage.

Wilkswood Farm in Langton Matravers is usually a sheep farm but for four days a year the place is transformed into a small but perfectly formed Folk Festival. The Festival now in it’s fifth year is unusual in the fact that it is not just a mass of marquees in a large field, the organisers have made great use of every corner of the place gives masses of variety for the festival revellers.

There are 5 stages that accommodated a wide variety of different styles of artists from a solo singers with an acoustic guitar, to full blown bands with plenty of room to dance for the audiences. The festival is very much a family affair as there is also plenty to do for the children with Storytelling, an outdoor cinema, circus skills, and a great crafts area with all many different things to keep the youngsters entertained.

Purbeck Folk Festival

This year’s the weather has been more than kind with pleasant daytime temperatures and blues skies dominating proceedings. The festival attracts a host of artists from all around the world including Show Of Hands, Karine Polwart, Carrie Rodriguez, Sheelanagig, Disraeli & The Small Gods as well as a fine collection of local artists. A brand new item for this year is “Purbeck Rising” a artist contest which started online with fan voting which progressed with the top six getting the chance to perform in the Woods stage to battle it out for a place at the festival next year, as well as a slot at the sister festival “Folk on The Quay”. The six artists included Beth Johnstone, Tim Somerfield, The Jimmy Hill Billies, Kadia, Scott Simmonds & Bob Tracey and Big Tent & The Gypsy Lantern all who put in some fine performances in hope of the audience giving them their vote.


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There is never a dull moment at the Festival and I can honestly say no attendee will ever claim that they are bored, there is just so much going on. In the Duck Shed you will find the open mic stage were a host of artists just turn up with their guitar and perform impromptu sets, there are dances sessions, as well as more music than you could possibly take in. Heading up to one of the Barn Stages a world music style 11 piece band from Cornwall called The Klezbians perform in front of a huge crowd of smiling fans all thoroughly enjoying their energetic performance, along at the Fire Stage local acts “Willowen” and Daniel & The Lion” really impress with some pleasant harmonies and sing-a-long tunes.


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Whether you pop along for the day or go for the full on camping experience there is certainly something for everyone here, Purbeck is a perfectly safe environment to bring all the family and their is no denying what ever you are into you will have a great time.



Words, Pictures & Video By Dave Chinery (Chinners).

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