Workshops at the 2016 Folk Festival
Improve musical and other skills at our workshops. Images from the 2016 Folk Festival. Top left: Breton dance session with Hop'OP'Ops; Right: The essense of cartoons with Kipper Williams. Bottom: Bang a bhodran, with Peter Brand. All photos: Bob Griggs

Improve your musical and dance skills at our workshops, with some of the best musicians and teachers you'll find anywhere.

Each runs from 10.30am to noon. £5 entry except for 'Slow & Easy', which is free. Entry is included in the price of a full festival or day/evening concert ticket.

Wizz Jones is running an additional songwriting workshop, which will be Sunday 26th 12-2pm in the Churchill Bars. More details on this to follow.

You can pay at the workshop venue, or at the town hall box office.

Goods Shed is next to the Betjeman Centre, Southern Way, near library and Co-op car park, rooms are upstairs. At the top of the stairs, the small room is through the door on your left, and the large room through the doors in front of you.

Workshop Schedule

Town Hall

Goods Shed Small Room

Goods Shed Large Room



Cornwall Festival Harmony Choir with Thorn and Roses

Come and learn to sing in harmony in a supportive and relaxed atmosphere. All welcome, even if you've never sung in a choir before.

Participants at this workshop can also perform the songs learned at the start of Sunday's evening concert.

Song Writing with Keven Taylor

All welcome. For anyone who has ever wanted to or has tried to write a song.

No workshop: venue otherwise booked.



Slow and easy with Jimmy Manley & Flossie McDonald 'Slow and Easy Folk Sessions' are essentially aimed at beginners that can play a little bit. We play some of the standard folk tune repertoire but we get people to play at, initially, a slow and steady pace. It gives people a chance to gain experience and confidence in playing with others in an easy going and supportive environment.

Any and all acoustic instruments are welcome. Generally we ask participants to download the tunebook from but we do have a few copies available for use.

Song Writing with Keven Taylor

All welcome. For anyone who has ever wanted to or has tried to write a song.

Cornwall Festival Harmony Choir with Thorn and Roses

Continuing learning great acapella harmonies with Thorn and Roses, and preparing for the opening set of the Sunday evening concert.


Songwriting with Wizz Jones at the Committee Room at the Churchill Bars.

A chance to learn tips and techniques from the musician's musician, and Cornwall Folk Fest patron. More details to follow.



Cornish Dance with Carmen Hunt

Come and learn some great Cornish dances with a local dance expert.

Uke for improvers with Pete Ellis

Guitar with Brian Phillips

A workshop that will mostly concentrate on the principles of finger style guitar. Starting with a breakdown of simple finger picking and leading up to more complex styles. It will of course include a number of example tunes and songs.


Brian Phillips

Brian Phillips

FAR Stage, Saturday 25th August, 5:30pm
Guitar Workshop, Goods Shed Large Room, Monday 27th 10.30-noon

With a wide-ranging repertoire, covering folk, blues, ragtime and more, all from both traditional and contemporary stables, and even a self-penned song or two creeping into his wide and varied act, Brian is simply a man for all occasions.

A perfect combination for a good solo singer musician is talented musicianship, fine singing and presentation and a subtle touch of humour. With Brian, you get the set!Artist's Website
Carmen Hunt

Carmen Hunt

Cornish Dance Workshop, Town Hall, Monday 27th, 10.30—noon

Carmen Hunt first began Cornish dancing to stay fit, but soon the unique style of dancing evolved into an end unto itself.

From first learning in 2001, Carmen later found herself joining a Cornish dance groups, dancing at festivals and leading workshops. These days she dances with the Kemysk Cornish Dancers and the Scoot Lyskerrys.

Carmen is quarter Irish on her mother's side and born on a farm in Oxfordshire, England. She lives in Cornwall with folk musician and journalist husband Steve, and their son.

She's enjoyed dancing as a way to relax, have some fun and get some exercise. In her travels, she's picked up a range of styles, including African, Indian, Flamenco, Salsa, Irish, English, Scottish, Cornish, Breton, Manx and more, along with styles such as jive, jazz and contemporary. "I love the music and the rhythms," she says, "the similarities and the feel-good factor."

There are three forms of Cornish dance. The first are social dances, popular at feasts and special occasions. These include the "furry" dance, a processional dance which winds its way from one part of town to the other.

Cornish set dances come from manor hours in sets of two, three, four or more.

Finally Cornish step dances are where solo or sets of dancers "show off" or take a challenge. Carmen compares the discipline to the Scottish sword or pipe dances. "Typically scoots, clogs, taps or hard shoes are worn to make one hell of a clatter."

The future of Cornish dancing looks bright as she asserts young people are eager to join in any time Cornish dancers and musicians perform in the street. "In Perranporth, for example, there's a few hundred school children who join the annual procession and gather with their parents and grandparents for singing and dancing."Artist's Website
Keven Taylor

Keven Taylor

Songwriting Workshop, Goods Shed small room, Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 10.30—noon.

Keven Taylor is a singer/songwriter from the Bude area. He plays 12 and 6 string guitar, mandolin, and a mean blues harmonica. He is one half of the blues duo Bradders and Taylor, and a member of the Kew Jumpers Jug Band.
Pete Ellis

Pete Ellis

Ukulele For Beginners Workshop, Goods Shed Small Room, Monday 27th 10.30-noon

Pete Ellis heads up Lost-e-Ukes, formed in March 2014 as a beginners ukulele group. Most of the members started from scratch, with no experience of playing a ukulele. Now, after many enjoyable sessions spent learning songs and techniques, they have a pretty large repertoire of material to perform. In addition to their weekly meetings, they also perform regularly in public for various non-profit organisations and charities, and appear again at this year's folk festival.Artist's Website
Thorn and Roses

Thorn and Roses

FAR Stage, Friday 24th, 5.40pm
Hosting Singaround Session in The Ship, Friday 24th, 8-11pm and Sunday 26th 3-6pm
Running Cornwall Festival Harmony Choir workshops Saturday 25th Town Hall and Sunday 26th Goods Shed Large Room, both 10.30am-noon, plus opening slot at Roberts and Lakeman gig Sunday 26th 7pm

Thorn and Roses are a three-part mixed voice unaccompanied close harmony folk group performing traditional and contemporary material.

Slick delivery, joyful harmonies, great professionalism, plus a good injection of fun, they are Rowena Metters, Sylvia Fletcher, and Jinks Jenkin, who joined voices a number of years ago inspired by their mutual love of unaccompanied close harmony singing.

They are all accomplished singers in their own right, but since forming Thorn and Roses they have developed a style and presentation that has gained them quite a following in this country, with much interest from the Cornish communities of North America.

Last year Sylvia and Rowena, who have harmonised together since they were teenagers, celebrated 50 years as performers. They sound as fresh as ever — congratulations, you stars!Artist's Website
Wizz Jones

Wizz Jones

FAR Stage, Saturday 25th August, 2:10pm
Songriting Workshop, Churchill Bars Committee Room, Sunday 26th noon-2pm

There are few artists with more claim to being a 'musician's musician' than Wizz Jones. Inspired by Big Bill Broonzy, Rambling Jack Elliot, Alexis Korner and Ewan MacColl, he learnt his guitar licks from the likes of Davy Graham and Long John Baldry while playing in the coffee bars of London's Soho during the late 1950s.

He then busked from the streets of Paris to the markets of Marrakech during the early 60s, and later was cited by John Renbourn and Eric Clapton as an important early influence, thanks to his unique acoustic guitar style, an eclectic repertoire and a 'right hand worthy of Broonzy'.

Wizz Jones has been made an Honorary Patron of the Cornwall Folk Festival due to his long associations with Cornwall.Artist's Website

No guarantee can be given that any events will take place, or any artists will perform at a particular time, or at all. We will, however, make every effort to carry out the programme as advertised.

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