Helping Mark the International Day of Peace

To mark the International Day of Peace, Bognor Philoxenia is inviting people to reflect on the meaning of peace. We’re pleased to be working alongside them with this project.

They will have an installation on the High Street during the weekend of our event, at which people will be able to contribute to an enormous – roughly eight times life size – dove by drawing or writing on hundreds of mini dove-shaped cards with their own drawings and reflections on peace.

The results will be used to inspire an ‘evening on peace’ later in the year.

‘Philoxenia’ means ‘friendship with strangers’ and the opposite of Xenophobia.
Bognor Philoxenia is a group of Bognor people from the UK, Eastern Europe and around the world, concerned with the
development of a common sense of community between people across national boundaries.
It is part of ACCORD: a Cross Cultural Organisation Recognizing Diversity.


A seafaring treat for the South Downs Folk Festival…

Broomdasher will bring a seafaring treat to the South Downs Folk Festival when they sing two songs that have been “gifted” to them by John Tams, especially for their performances at the Festival.

The 16-voice acapella group from London count John among their admirers and he suggests one of his songs which is in keeping with the venues where they’re singing, for them to arrange in their own traditional style.

So they will be premiering “How High The Price/ All Clouds The Sky” during their shows at The Regent Studio at 2.15 and The Sir William Hardwicke at 3.30 on Saturday 23 September.

“The songs are both about the perils of the sea and how badly deep sea fishermen used to be treated, and we think they’re poignant and moving,” say the group.

And they’ll know what John thinks of their arrangement, too, because they are supporting him at The Ram Folk Club in Thames Ditton on 15 September, when they’ll sing it to him and no doubt pick up some composer’s suggestions from him.

Broomdasher have enjoyed a whirlwind year since they first got together last September – and as well as supporting John, they are also supporting Coope, Boyes and Simpson at their last ever London gig, at New Cross Folk Club on 5 October.

Conceived at Cecil Sharp House, where they met, born at Moseley Folk Festival, where they made their debut, and now being nurtured by a clutch of notable artistes – Chris While and Julie Matthews, Roy Bailey and Ray Hearne are also “gifting” songs from their repertoires – Broomdasher have been sweeping up fans wherever they’ve performed.

And if you want to join them, they’re hosting a singing and harmony workshop for adults led by their renowned musical director Sally Davies in the Tent at Place St Maur next to The Regent Centre from 10.30 til 11.30 on Saturday, 23rd September.


Sussex Young Folk Competition – there’s still time to enter!

Sussex Young Folk contestants (the competition takes place on Sunday 24th September) are rolling in, but there’s still time to get involved!

If you’re a folk musician aged between 10 and 21 years living in, or near, Sussex this competition is for you!
For more details and the enter, please e-mail

This is Leowan, a 15 year old musician from Chichester, who has been playing guitar and singing for many years. She’s very passionate about music. Good luck Leo!

leo young folk

Festival Skills Programme

We’re delighted to be working in partnership with ‘Making Theatre Gaining Skills’ to run a skills course for local unemployed, as part of our 2017 event.

Our festival chairman, Roger Nash said: “We are very grateful to the Sussex Community Foundation for funding which will enable us to work with and involve local unemployed people in planning and running this year`s Festival. The September event is very much community based and takes over the whole of the Town Centre and being able to work with local people who need help to get them into the working environment is a opportunity which we are delighted to take forward.”

Hilary Strong from Making Theatre Gaining Skills added: “We have a lot of experience in helping unemployed people gain confidence and improve their skills; many of our participants progress into local jobs and we work closely with the local Job Centres to achieve this. A project like this involving a popular local event which attracts many
thousands of people to the Town is worth its weight in gold. Participants will not only learn about basic health & safety, but will also have First Aid training plus the opportunity to experience theatre and event management skills such as stewarding and dealing with the public. At the end of the course, successful course members will get a recognised `employability` qualification”.

The Regis Centre and Bognor Regis Town Centre Management will also play an important part in making the Skills Project a big success. Hazel Latus from the Regis Centre said: “We very much welcome this Project as part of the 2017 Festival and we will be helping in providing technical, back stage and front of house training for those involved.”

Town Centre Manager, Toyubur Rahman added : “Having these trainees as part of the Festival will be a boon to everyone involved, and with all the exciting Town Centre activities planned as part of this year`s Festival, I am sure they and we will gain a great deal from their involvement.”

festival training

We Have Winners!

Congratulations to Claire Wallace and her husband (from Bognor Regis).
They are the winners of our Full Weekend Ticket Competition – drawn on 2nd May.

Their prize? To win a sumptuous £50 meal for two at the New Bombay Restaurant, plus they have the opportunity to meet all of our top-class festival headliners over the weekend of the event.

We look forward to seeing you in September Mr and Mrs Wallace!

School Links Programme

We’re so happy to have the opportunity to bring a unique ‘School Links Programme’ to this year’s South Downs Folk Festival.

Festival Chairman, Roger Nash said “This is an excellent piece of news and will enable us to work with West Sussex Music, local primary schools and others, in an exciting music programme over the next few months on the theme “Songs from the Sea”, culminating in a special Schools Concert in Bognor`s Alexandra Theatre on Saturday afternoon, 23rd September.`

Emily Barden, Leader for Singing and Projects at West Sussex Music added “We are really excited about this new music project and after having contacted local primary schools, the first five to come back to us were `signed up`. The participating schools are: Nyewood Juniors, Rose Green Juniors, Southway Primary, South Bersted Primary and St. Marys Catholic Primary School. The Project will result in a massed choir of approximately 150 children aged 7-9, learning songs in a folk idiom, culminating in a spectacular joint performance at the Schools Concert. The experience will be at no cost to the children or schools, making it a totally inclusive opportunity, and is just one example of the ways West Sussex Music help schools develop their singing strategies and access to high quality music making. Friends and family will be able to come to the Saturday afternoon concert for just £5 per seat and
it promises to be a memorable day for everyone involved”.

Hazel Latus from the Regis Centre said “We are really looking forward to hosting our local primary schools as part of the Southdowns Folk Festival. The Alexandra Theatre is a superb venue for this type of event and we have the experience and facilities to make sure the Schools Concert is a big hit”.


Win a £50 meal for two at the New Bombay

Say hello to Raz and his father, who are now running the New Bombay (Bognor’s newest and oldest Indian Restaurant!).
The restaurant are giving a £50 meal voucher to the winners of our ‘Full Weekend Ticket Competition’, which will be drawn on 2nd May.
To be in with a chance of winning, simply purchase a full-weekend festival ticket by Monday, 1st May!

Many thanks to Raz and the staff at the New Bombay – the food here is flavoursome and wonderful – why not give it a try?
The Restaurant is at: 31a Station Road, Bognor, PO21 1QD. Tel: 01243 864038