Ukulele Sessions

Learn to play the ukulele, or brush up on your skills – come join our Ukulele Sessions!

Following the success of our December ‘Making Your Mark’, our ukulele sessions return for 2022 on Wednesday 19th January.

Funded by the Sussex Community Foundation, Making Your Mark aims to combat social isolation and promote positive mental health by helping people to learn or brush up on their ukulele skills.

Our popular Making Your Mark returns Wednesday 19th January, between 10am and 12 noon in the Waverley Function Room on West Bognor Regis Seafront. Free car parking is very near by.

Making Your Mark is one of the reach-out projects of the Southdowns Music Festival.
For just £1, you can get all the tea and coffee you want! If you don’t own a ukulele, don’t worry as there will be some there for you to try and buy if you want to, and when the session is finished, you’ll be very welcome to stay on for the regular `Waverley Ukulele Jam` at the same venue between 1pm and 3pm.

Keep in touch by joining our mailing list: Southdowns Music Festival

Ukulele Sessions

Shanty Heads

Say hello to Shanty Heads!

The Shanty Heads Project was launched as part of our 2021 festival with an aim to help combat mental illness and stress through the medium of shanty singing with a mixed gender group of participants across the community.

Within the Arun district it has been well documented that we have a higher-than-average amount of deprivation and mental illness.

Clearly there are no quick solutions to this but Shanty Heads seeks to make a contribution to help improve what is happening in the area. By focussing on a specific and enjoyable experience, the confidence, self-image and social skills of those taking part should improve by creating a sense of achievement. This hopefully will be important to their future well-being and prospects going forward.

The intention is to run a set of free monthly shanty singing workshops through 2022 in Bognor Regis. Our thanks go out to Bognor Radio Respect Adapts Hub CIC and the Bognor RAFA Club who are two of the organisations that are fully supporting the project moving forward.

Launching on Sat 22 Jan 2022 at RAFA Club, Bognor Regis, 10.30 to 12.30pm.

Please email sdffshantyhead@gmail.com to register your interest for Sat 22 Jan, as we are limiting numbers to 20 people for the first session.


Grayshott Folk Club

Our friends at the Grayshott Folk Club have some wonderful shows in the pipeline.

On Saturday 18th December, for example, they have a Christmas Special with Melrose Quartet.

They say ~
After another year of upheaval and uncertainty, what we all need is an opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy a proper, old-fashioned, Christmas “do”. Who better to play for us, than Melrose Quartet?

Top Folk musicians Nancy Kerr, James Fagan, Jess Arrowsmith and Richard Arrowsmith will royally entertain us with their very special seasonal show, which they call “A Bright New Year” (I’ll drink to that!). The show will be based upon “The Rudolph Variations”, their full-length album that features a range of joyous seasonal songs, from traditional carols to contemporary wassails.

This will be a fun evening of music and song, dressing up, games with prizes, lots of choruses to join in with, and an award for the most memorable Christmas jumper.

Tickets £18. Available from Des O’Byrne on 01428 607096

Please keep an eye on www.grayshottfolkclub.co.uk for updates.

Free Ukulele Sessions

A very warm and welcome return for ‘Making Your Mark’.

Funded by the Sussex Community Foundation, Making Your Mark aims to combat social isolation and promote positive mental health by helping people to learn or brush up on their ukulele skills.

Our popular Making Your Mark returns Wednesday 17th November between 10am and 12 noon in a fabulous new venue – the Waverley Function Room – on West Bognor Regis Seafront. Free car parking is very near by.

Making Your Mark is one of the reach-out projects of the Southdowns Folk Festival, soon to be re-branded as the Southdowns Music Festival. Festival Chairman, Roger Nash said: “It`s great that Making Your Mark is starting up again, and November 17th will be the first in a series of regular monthly sessions at the new venue, and for just £1, you can get all the tea and coffee you want! If you haven`t got a ukulele, don`t worry as there will be some there for you to try and buy if you want to, and when the session is finished, you’ll be very welcome to stay on for the regular `Waverley Ukulele Jam` at the same venue between 1pm and 3pm.

Ukulele Lessons

Successful Funding Bid – Thank You Sussex Community Foundation

With huge thanks to the Sussex Community Foundation, which has awarded the Southdowns Folk Festival a grant of £4000 for future festival projects.

‘Your application to Sussex Community Foundation has now been considered and I am pleased to inform you that your project has been awarded a grant of £4,000 made up of funding from the Frank and Lorna’s Fund and the Inspire Fund at Sussex Community Foundation.’

We will be using the funding to create and manage a Shanty project which we will be launching at the festival this September.

Do check back, as more news will follow soon.

Win Tickets To Ports Fest

Win tickets to see The Longest Johns at Ports Fest next month.

Click on the original Facebook post (clicking ‘Last Friday’ or ‘See More’ will take you to the correct post) below, for details of how to enter.

This Bristol-based a cappella folk music band were born from a mutual love of traditional folk songs and shanties. Rocking maritime songs alongside more unusual reworkings and less traditional folk tunes, this male four-piece takes harmonies to new heights, whilst retaining just the right mix of quality and hilarity and delighting audiences wherever they go. As the face of the 2021 sea shanty revival with their track Wellerman, the Longest Johns are reaching millions of new fans across the globe.

Ukulele Celebration – A Huge Success

Sharing further photos from our recent Ukulele Celebration event.

Many thanks to all involved, and to all those who bought tickets to support our local music scene.

It was so fabulous to enjoy live music together.

Please keep any eye on our website and social media for details of our next events.

Merry Hell – Saturday Night Headliners

Merry Hell Headline Our Saturday Night

The brilliant, award-winning Merry Hell are now headlining on Saturday 18th September in place of The Strawbs, who have sadly had to pull out due to medical reasons.

Multi-award winning Merry Hell offer joyful, uplifting folk-rock, with a message for troubled times.
Native to the North-West of England, the 8-piece musical charabanc was built from the embers of the much loved folk-punk band The Tansads, developing a life and feel all of its own. Their energy and passion is complimented by their love of what they do and desire to share hope and togetherness with as many people as are willing to listen. Through 6 well-received albums and hundreds of gigs, they’ve offered voices of hope and beacons of light to anyone valuing both melody and positive humanity.

Alexandra Theatre | Saturday | 8.40pm