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The quirky Teignmouth Folk Festival includes singing & dancing

This year is the 15th Teignmouth Folk Festival, with top names from across the UK. Headline acts include Emma Sweeney, the Tannahill Weavers & Andy Irvine.
From north of the border to the tip of , visitors converge on the Teignmouth Folk Festival to celebrate British heritage and history in this traditional form of music. The festival takes place in June on the Summer Solstice Weekend and 2014 marks the 16th anniversary of this well-attended event.

Where to find the Teignmouth Folk Festival performances

If you want to be part of the Teignmouth Folk Festival, the three-day event kicks off on the third Friday in June and the weekend includes numerous events. Venues are as varied as the bands and folk singers themselves.

Most of the events take place at the , the and the Wotton Printer stage. Teignmouth Community School, Dicey Reilly’s, on the sea front promenade and the also host supporting events for smaller audiences.

The line-up for 2014 includes , , , and the . Halfway Harmony is also confirmed and is a singing trio from just down the road in southeast Cornwall. The group has been performing for pleasure since the early 1980s and their talent has taken them all over the world including France, Germany and Ireland.

Another top performer is , considered one of the greatest acoustic guitarists in the world. He has appeared on eight albums with bands and has three highly acclaimed solo albums, so Teignmouth Folk Festival attendees are in for a treat.

Previous attendees at the festival will confirm that the line-up of acts is always impressive. Past Folk Festivals have seen performers such as Spinach for Norman, Kathryn Roberts, Sean Lakeman, Blue Jewel, Steve Turner, Unstrung Heroes, Magpie Lane, the Kirkwood Brown Trio and many others.

Folk dancing in the streets!

The Teignmouth Folk Festival includes various types of folk dancing. Groups of visiting dancers perform traditional folk dances from the UK and the USA with lively displays of Morris dancing, Black Bess Border, Beltane and Appalachian dancing. The clashing of sticks and the colourful costumes liven up the normally quiet streets of the town. Many of the characters in the dances represent ancient spirits and show the dances’ ancient Celtic origins rooted in superstition and the belief in spirits.

If you come across an impromptu dance in the streets, be warned. The audience is usually roped in to take part, which makes it fun for everyone.

Many visitors attend for the full weekend and ticket prices include camping, with reduced rates for children under 14. If you are staying in a holiday cottage in the Teignmouth area or live nearby, you can purchase tickets per night.

Teignmouth has plenty to offer visitors

If you don’t know well, you may be surprised to find this charming town has so much to offer. Located on the estuary of the Teign River it has a beautiful sandy beach and is one of Devon’s oldest resorts. The pier, promenade and sizeable shopping centre are mostly on the flat which makes it easy to get around.

In between concerts and performances visitors can make use of the tennis courts, stroll the pier, play mini golf or take a dip in the outdoor swimming pool. Teignmouth is easy to reach by car from the M5, or by train as the coastal scenery is stunning.

Have you been part of the Teignmouth Folk Festival in the past? What was your impression of it? Folk music fans – do you know of other Folk Festivals taking place in the Westcountry? Be sure to add your input to our comments box below – thanks!

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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