Chippenham Folk Festival is an annual event which features the very best in English traditional music, dance, song and folk activities with all its related interests. It has maintained its principles over its 43 years and has a unique and distinctive brand. From modest beginnings the festival has grown to be one of the keenest supported in the country.
Many of the Chippenham attendees are repeat visitors from previous years, which is substantially higher than many other festivals
The Chippenham Folk Festival punches well above its weight and is regarded as one of the premier folk festivals in the country despite its tight budget limitations. It looks and feels like a much bigger budget production.
Every pound raised through ticket-sales, collections, donations etc is spent on the Festival; none goes towards salaries. The driving force is not profit-making - we know how much money there is to spend each year. We don't have to go for the 'safe' or 'money-making' options.
As the festival is sited right in the centre of the town much of the money spent its attendees does not end up in the festivals purse
When applying economic business principles to the event in the town it has been shown that the Chippenham Folk Festival puts about £1.5 million into the local economy every year but in return receives less than 10% of its annual budget in sponsorship and local authority funding.
There are a large number of comparable folk festivals taking place each year. Each has a slightly different flavour. Chippenham Folk Festival has a unique brand and a wide geographic draw, mainly because of its focus on English traditions and its location within an accessible small market town.
Chippenham Folk Festival offers a balanced programme of music and dance. With the large number of events and venues the festival is kept at the human scale so everyone feels involved.
The Ceilidhs and social dance are the real 'engine room' of the festival - they seem to be non-stop from the Friday night until the Monday night. For Ceilidhs the festival always has a cracking line-up; for social dance there is a full list of internationally recognised leaders and callers. Many of the social dancers buy their tickets each year without even knowing the line up; they trust the festival to provide the best fun going.
The concert venues are small and intimate and encourage participation - they provide a folk club atmosphere and suit artists who can quickly establish a rapport with the audience. We book artists who are not just entertainers, but communicators - they draw the audience in. The concert programmes are put together with knowledge, forethought and experience.
In addition to the concerts, social dances and the Ceilidhs, we present one of the biggest gatherings of Display dancers. We have recently as many as 80 dance display teams over the week-end and they regularly perform in The Big Top tent in the Island Park which protects both dancers and audience from the elements. The early summer Chippenham heat-wave is legendary if not mythical!
Chippenham Folk Festival is a unique and distinctive event that is run entirely by volunteers, The organisers and staff are all folk enthusiasts, many are local to the town or from surrounding areas. However the stewards and some of the regular staff come from all corners of the country to help pull together one of the best festival in the Folk year.
If you would like to join us please call us or email one of the organisers. We'd love to talk to you!
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