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

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:

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

Sussex Young Folk Competition 2019

Want to enter our Sussex Young Folk Competition?
Or perhaps you know someone who does…?

Now in its 7th year, this highly popular event is for young folk and roots musicians, 8-21 years of age.

The Sussex Young Folk Competition 2019 takes place on Sunday 22nd Sept.

The winner is gifted a new guitar, plus a slot on the main stage prior to our Sunday evening headliners Lindisfarne – Official.

To enter, simply contact Roger, our festival director, for details:

Grant Awarded From The Sussex Community Foundation

We are delighted to have been awarded significant funding from the Sussex Community Foundation for our ‘Making Your Mark’ project.

Making Your Mark is our popular ukulele outreach project which is forms part of the 2019 Southdowns Folk & Ukulele Festival.

We were informed this week that our ‘Making Your Mark’ project was awarded a grant of £5,000 from the Frank and Lorna Fund at the Sussex Community Foundation.

With huge thanks to the Community Fund – your award will ensure the outcome of a wonderful and successful project.

Festival Chairman, Roger Nash said: “We are really grateful to get this award which will allow us the extend our popular ukulele based `Making Your Mark` project over the next 12 months to other areas of SW Sussex, as well as continuing in Bognor Regis.
We have been successfully running the project locally for over a year with good monthly attendances aimed at older people who might otherwise get a bit lonely. Currently, people who are part of this are practising enthusiastically to take part in the opening afternoon of the Southdowns Folk & Ukulele Festival in a special ukulele concert.
The monies awarded will also be used to engage professional music teachers both at the upcoming Festival and beyond plus pay for the purchase of ukuleles, project marketing and venue hire.
Over four days between 19 and 22 September, there are no less than 117 different performances and events covering the Bognor Regis Town Centre, Seafront, Promenade, Bandstand and Norfolk Street with loads of great free events in venues such as the Regis Centre, Place St. Maur, RAFA Club in Waterloo Square, the Claremont in Scott Street, The Lamb ( Steyne Street ) plus the Hothampton Arms in London Road”.

Ticket Competition Winners

Congratulations to Mike & Yvonne Hoggarth from Norfolk who are the winners of a £60 meal for two at Bognor`s acclaimed MEZZE Turkish Restaurant as part of our ticket competition for purchasers of 4-Day Festival tickets.


Festival tickets are going quickly, so if you haven’t booked yet, please don`t leave it too late.

Tickets via Southdowns Folk Festival Tickets