A great weekend of folk music in Kent!

Thursday 4 to Sunday 7 October

This is a regular event for me. I’ve been at every one of the 26 festivals so far! (Although I only managed half of it last year! See below *.) The only problem with being a regular is trying to think of something different to do each year!

Tenterden is a small town in Kent, between Ashford, Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells and Rye. It is very rural and, a hundred years ago, was very much the centre of the hop growing industry although it’s now quite up-market and a magnet for tourists looking for the quaint and picturesque.

The festival is the kind of festival I like – mainly traditional, mostly indoor venues, quite small rooms, PA not necessary in many of them, so you really get to communicate with the audience, unlike those huge outdoor events where they are just specks in the distance! And many of them are regulars too so you get to know them.

* What happened last year? My input was cut short by an accident at home. I did a very good, enjoyable concert spot on Saturday afternoon and then got a cryptic text message saying my wife, Sue, was on her way to the hospital! ‘…but don’t do anything until you hear more!’ I did a not so good concert spot that evening by which time I’d discovered that she’d tripped over in the street and smashed her wrist (and I mean smashed!) So I had to forget Sunday and get home as quickly as I could.

Stone Age Songs:

One of the things I was supposed to be doing was a song workshop called ‘Stone Age Songs’ – about how old the songs we sing are. I’m pleased to say I will be doing it this year and it will be better than it would have been last year because a lot more info has come to light. My Living Tradition article (it’s on the Archive page was based on it. )

I’ll also be doing a couple of concert spots, a ‘Meet the Artist’ and interviewing Julie Felix. That should be interesting, I haven’t seen or heard her for years.

Other artists involved this year include:

John Conolly (of Fiddlers Green fame), Julie Felix, Geoff Lakeman, John Bowden and Vic Shepherd, Mick Ryan, Pete Morton, Steve Turner and, from the younger generation Alice Jones, and Georgia Lewis, plus all the regulars and about a million morris dancers!

Centre point of the festival this year will be a performance of “Here at the Fair” Mick Ryan’s new folk opera featuring Mick, Pete Morton, Granny’s Attic, Alice Jones, Heather Bradford and Geoff Lakeman.

There are always plenty of music sessions and singarounds and a huge shanty session. There is also a craft fair and a festival fringe on the recreation ground where rockier, electric bands play.

For info and tickets see