Tenterden Folk Festival - The Jewel of the Weald
The festival takes place over four days with folk song, music and dance. Tenterden, situated in the ancient Weald of Kent, about 12 miles west of Ashford, is an ideal setting for this friendly, family folk festival. It features one of the widest High Streets in the country lined with historic and listed buildings, numerous friendly pubs, cafes and restaurants and green verges.
Events at the festival include an English Barn Dance, concerts, sing-a-rounds, music sessions, folk clubs, special shows, craft, music and street stalls, dance displays, procession, showcases, meet the guest spots, workshops, dancers and musicians on the K&ES Railway, events for children and much more besides.
Venues and public houses:
Festival venues include The Evans Bar and Moulton Hall upstairs in the Tenterden Club, St Mildred’s Parish Church, St Mildred’s Church Hall, The Town Hall, The Recreation Ground and the High Street, There will also be events in the bars of The Woolpack, The White Lion, The Vine and The William Caxton plus The Indulgence Cafe.
Welcome barn dance:
The English barn dance is a regular feature of the festival and is always very popular. As well as the barn dance there is often a chance to try other forms of traditional folk dancing.
The main concerts on Saturday and Sunday will be held in the Tenterden Club with smaller acoustic concerts, including concerts on Friday, being held in the Saddlery at The White Lion. There will be a special fundraising concert on Thursday in the Town Hall.
Sing-a-rounds and music sessions:
One of the highlights of Tenterden Folk Festival for many of the participants are the numerous friendly and informal sing-a-rounds and music sessions. With a choice of four town centre pubs there is sure to be a sing-a-round or session that suits your taste going on in at least one of these venues.
Workshops and meet the guest sessions:
TFF is a registered charity formed to preserve and advance public education and appreciation of folk music, song and dance as part of the living heritage. Therefore we offer you a chance to “Meet” some of the guests in informal sessions. We also offer workshops where you can hear about folk related topics or improve your own skills.
Tenterden is “the Jewel of the Weald” and over the Festival weekend it has even more colour and sparkle than usual as nearly 1000 Morris men and women and other folk dancers take to the streets of the town centre. The majority of teams are Morris dance sides of varying styles, from the Cotswold tradition and Black-faced Border style, to clog to garland dancers. The teams you will see will be both men’s, women’s and mixed sides and come from all over England. It’s not just Morris you will see as Tenterden is regularly host to teams performing traditional dances from Scotland, Ireland, England, Slovakia and the Appalachian Mountains of North America. There is also Saturday’s popular procession along the High Street.
Crafts, music and other stalls plus showcase events:
The craft fair and other stalls will be in a large marquee on The Recreation Ground, just off the High Street. The marquee will act as the venue for the popular music showcases and dance stages. There will still be street stalls in the High Street.