Cornwall Folk Festival brings top local, regional, national and international artists to the North Cornwall town of Wadebridge each August Bank Holiday weekend.
We are a town-based festival, started in 1973 and have just held our our 47thouting. Wadebridge is a small town, and we use its existing spaces and venues, all of which are within easy walking distance.
From around midday on the Saturday to Monday, we run the outside FAR Stage (behind Wadebridge Wines in Eddystone Road, PL27 7AL); nine varied acts each day from Cornwall and the South-West, with music from the traditional to alt-folk and beyond. There’s food, and we run a bar featuring local beers, ciders and gin, plus wines and soft drinks. This space can accommodate around 300 people, and entry is £5 per day per person, or £8 for families.
From Friday to Monday evening, we hold a main concert in the Town Hall, The Platt, PL27 7AQ. Most nights there are two acts, though we have three on Monday. Again, we run a bar featuring local suppliers, plus wines, but no food. These gigs are usually seated, and the seated capacity is 230 people. On the Monday night we will probably take away some of the chairs to create a dancing space as well. Tickets are £17.50, or £25 for Dougie Maclean (Sat 28nd). Half price for under 16s; free for under 5s.
In 2019 we added a new venue 80-seat for two evening gigs on Friday and Sunday: the Betjeman Sessions at the Betjeman Centre, Southern Way, PL27 7BX, each concert featuring two artists from the South West, plus one from Kent. £10 each concert; £5 under 16s. This was a great success and we’ll be running similar, intimate gigs like these at the Betjeman Centre in 2021.
From Friday onwards we organise sessions in local pubs and cafes. The Churchill Bars at the top of Molesworth St is our regular venue for evening clubs, and we plan to use all three main town centre pubs — The Molesworth Arms, The Swan and The Bridge On Wool.
Saturday to Monday noon to 4 there will be live music and dance troupes in Molesworth St and surrounding areas in what we call Shanty Street. In fact in 2019, these generic title covered performances in Molesworth St, Foundry Court and two new venues, Cafe Vittorios and The Salttbox.
And each morning we run a selection of music and dance workshops.
In 2019, we programmed over 170 hours worth of music, dance and workshops across all our activities. That’s just over the length of a week, squeezed into this perfect long bank holiday weekend in the lovely town of Wadebridge!
The festival is run by a team of around 12 volunteers and has always been run on a voluntary basis. We have been incorporated as a Community Interest Company since 2015 (Company Number 09516248).
We rely on the support of many local people, organisations and businesses, and budget to make a small surplus each year to ensure the longevity of the festival, to continue its contribution to the North Cornwall economy, and most importantly. to provide a place in Cornwall for people to enjoy great folk music of all kinds, to support the careers of musicians, and as a platform for aspiring performers and local and regional talent.
We also think we put on a very good festival! We’re gutted that we’ve had to postpone the festival in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but so look forward to meeting you all again in 2021!