Postponement of 2020 Southdowns Folk Festival

Whereas a few short weeks ago there was cautious optimism that this year’s Festival could go ahead, recent developments and growing uncertainty have meant that with enormous sadness, this popular event will be postponed until next year with the new dates being 16th to 19th September 2021.

Festival Chairman, Roger Nash said: “All the indications from Government are that social distancing will be in place for the foreseeable future in order to continue the struggle against Covid-19 and help protect the NHS. This makes it almost impossible to use our indoor Festival venues, both in terms of keeping audiences safe and the adverse financial impact this will have. Further, we cannot even be sure that these venues will be available by September plus Arun District and West Sussex County Councils are not allowing any road closures or events on their land at this moment in time. Therefore, in these unprecedented circumstances, we feel that postponement is the most responsible course of action we can take in order protect future festivals as well as fully protect our audiences, volunteers, performers, venues, suppliers and contractors.

We are `rolling-over` our entire Festival programme into 2021 and are currently talking with headline artists, other performers, stall holders, local authorities and our festival venues about appearing and hosting events between 16 and 19 September next year. We can confirm that we have had very positive responses from these discussions and we envisage that our Festival programme featuring Steve Harley, The Strawbs and Steve Knightly amongst others, plus the popular Ukulele Festival and the inaugural Americana Festival on the Pier will very much mirror what would have taken place this year with the possibly of one or two exciting additions. As before, there`ll be loads of free events, great Festival Markets, dance displays, Big Seaside Sing, Shanty Showdowns, sessions, free workshops plus more.

Festival outreach projects, in particular `Making Your Mark` free ukulele sessions and `Musical Minds` will continue over the next 18 months either online and at the right time, with a series of mini events and
concerts culminating at the 2021 event.

If you already have either a 4-Day Festival ticket, individual evening concert ticket or tickets for the Americana Festival, we ask you to be patient. You will be contacted by either the Festival organisers, the Regis Centre and WeGotTickets to ask if you would like to roll-over your tickets for 2021 which would be very helpful, or would like a refund. Festival ticket prices will remain exactly the same. If you have paid as a Festival Market stallholder, the market operators will be in contact, and once again, payments made can be rolled over to the 2021 event or refunds made.

Please be patient but any queries should be emailed to: southdownsfolkfestivalmarket@yahoo.co.uk. Rest assured, we will deal with your preferences as quickly as possible. In the meantime, stay safe and we look forward to coming back next year even bigger and better.

Coronavirus and SouthDowns Folk Festival

With things as they are in the current uncertain climate, we’re still working hard to deliver an excellent event this September, and are remaining positive.
We will continue to follow the guidelines set-out by the government in terms of large scale events and safety.
Many thanks for your continued support.

Financial Boost For The 2020 Festival

We have warmly welcomed a financial boost of £1500 from the Bognor Regis Business Improvement District (BID)
Cultural Fund and £3500 from the nationally based, Joe Strummer Foundation.

The additional funding from the BID will be used to fund the Festival`s Dance Programme plus the Big Seaside Sing and new for 2020, the ‘Shanty Showdown‘.

BID Chairman, Jason Passingham said “Our support for the Festival is based on its proven track record in attracting people into the Town Centre and creating a great atmosphere that people can enjoy and take part in if they wish in a relaxed and safe environment. The Festival really does reach out and involve the whole Town and brings a lot of new people to Bognor Regis which all has a very positive impact for local shops, hotels, pubs and other businesses.”

Monies from the Joe Strummer Foundation will go towards getting even more people involved in music through the platform of the Festival as well as extending the life of one of its outreach projects, `Making Your Mark` which has been running since June 2018 with the aim of combating social isolation by learning and playing the ukulele.

Simon Goodale representing the Joe Strummer Foundation said, “The Foundation is all about empowering people through music and the Southdowns Folk Festival and the ongoing `Making Your Mark` project has shown how this can be successfully achieved. We want to build on this success and get even more people from a whole variety of backgrounds and ages into and enjoying music, improving their skills and confidence thereby creating more positivity and a ‘can-do’ frame of mind”.

Festival Chairman, Roger Nash added “We are really grateful to the Bognor Regis BID and the Joe Strummer Foundation for their valued financial backing. This will enable us to improve and expand the September event as well as giving us a firmer financial footing to continue our musical outreach projects plus help create an even more positive image for Bognor Regis”.

Musical Minds – A Lottery Funded Project

We're thrilled to introduce a new project for the 2020 festival - 'Musical Minds - funded by the National Lottery Foundation.

The project has arisen directly in response to feedback and clear demand from the local community and in particular from
Radio Respect (an operational broadcasting CIC), Bognor Institute of Laughter and the Joe Strummer Foundation.

This project will give the opportunity to participants experiencing mental health problems, social isolation and learning difficulties, to be involved in owning, planning and executing important aspects of the organisational, musical and technical side of our expanding and popular Festival.

Radio Respect has the central aim of improving mental wellness amongst listeners and its volunteer staff. They currently broadcast via the Internet but will be applying for a Community FM licence for 2020. Bognor Institute of Laughter provide a vehicle for comedy writing and performance skills training to local people experiencing social isolation, often made worse by mental wellness problems. The Joe Strummer Foundation is a nationally known charity whose key aim is musical inclusion to anyone of any background but especially to those who are experiencing disadvantage because of mental health or social deprivation factors.

Using Radio Respect premises, training will start from April 2020, with event planning and organisation, social media skills and
necessary administrative guidance. As the project advances, a 2 Week radio programme schedule will be developed which incorporates the September Festival. This will highlight key people to interview, appropriate musical and comedy inputs and all necessary technical planning. During the Festival itself, there will be a dedicated Project Marquee situated next to the Regis Centre where Radio Respect will broadcast, carry out interviews and host the programming.

There will also be a small performance area in the marquee where the Bognor Institute of Laughter will perform specially written comedy performances which will be broadcast on the radio. The marquee will also stage a number of musical and instrument workshops for `hard to reach` people who would not normally take part or know about such events, so the project can be as inclusive as possible.

To get involved, in the first instance, please contact Roger, the festival director via rnash10@hotmail.com

2020 Tickets: Now On Sale

Festival tickets for our 2020 festival – both the Folk and Americana festivals – are now on sale via
We Got Tickets, via the post (download the booking form via our ticket page) and via The Regis Centre.

Perfect timing as a Christmas gift for the folk, Americana music-lover in your life, or simply to purchase as your go-to summer festival ticket of 2020.

Purchase 2020 Festival Tickets

Festival Markets 2020

Planning is underway for next year’s festival market; the markets are a wonderful and integral part of our event.

Please do send us an email showing your interest in holding a stall with us, and we will add you to our ‘reserve stalls list’ for next years market.

The email address is: southdownsfolkfestivalmarket@yahoo.co.uk

Our booking packs will be sent out in January 2020.

Many thanks.

A Play About Songs That Leave And Come Back Again

An event for friends of the South Downs Folk Festival…

When pioneers from the British Isles came to settle in the Appalachian Mountains they brought with them, in their invisible baggage, songs from ‘the old country’, which took on a new life amidst the new land.

Join the award-winning Little Bulb Theatre as they weave a tapestry both historical and fantastical in an unforgettable evening of story and song.

Told with sumptuous three-part harmonies and a (foot stomping) five-piece string band, you are invited on a journey of musical migration to the birth of what we now call Country Music.

“Boundlessly enthusiastic, insanely optimistic and inexpressibly charming” The Guardian on Little Bulb

A play about songs that leave and come back again.
Age Guidance: 11+
Friday 22nd November: 8:00 – 10:30 pm
Tickets: £15.00 via Mountain Music