Tenterden Folk Festival takes place over four days including the first Saturday of October each year with folk song, music, dance, crafts and traditions.
Tenterden, situated in the ancient Weald of Kent, about 12 miles west of Ashford, is an ideal setting for this friendly, family folk festival. It features one of the widest High Streets in the country lined with historic and listed buildings, numerous friendly pubs, cafes and restaurants and green verges.
Events at the festival include an English Barn Dance, concerts, sing-a-rounds, song and music sessions, folk clubs, special shows, craft fair and street stalls, music stalls, free music and dance stages in marquees on the Recreation Ground, Morris dancers, folk dance display teams, dance displays, procession, street entertainers, showcases, meet the guest sessions, workshops and much more besides.
Venues and public houses:
Festival venues include The Evans Bar and Moulton Hall upstairs in the Tenterden Club, St Mildred’s Parish Church, St Mildred’s Church Hall and Glebe Hall, The Town Hall, The Saddlery, marquees on the Recreation Ground and events in the High Street, There are also events in The Woolpack, The White Lion, The Vine, The William Caxton, This Ancient Boro and and some other suitable venues.
Welcome barn dance:
The English barn dance is a regular feature of the festival and is always very popular. As well as the barn dance there is often a chance to try other forms of traditional folk dancing over the long weekend.
Concerts and special shows:
The main concerts and special shows are held in the Tenterden Club and the Town Hall with smaller acoustic concerts being held in the Saddlery at The White Lion and the Glebe Hall. There is a special fundraising concert on Thursday in the Town Hall sponsored by Around Kent Folk magazine.
Craft fair, music stalls, other stalls and also street stalls:
The free craft fair and other stalls will be in a large marquee on The Recreation Ground, just off the High Street. Marquee also act as the venue for the popular free music and dance stages. There will also be even more street stalls in the High Street.
Sing-a-rounds and song and music sessions:
One of the highlights of Tenterden Folk Festival for many of the participants are the numerous friendly and informal sing-a-rounds and song and music sessions. With a choice of four town centre pubs there is sure to be a session that suits your taste going on in at least one of these venues.
Workshops and meet the guest sessions:
TFF is a charity formed to preserve and advance public education and appreciation of folk music, song, dance, crafts and traditions as part of the living heritage. Therefore we offer you a chance to “Meet” some of the guests in informal sessions. We also offer workshops where you can hear about folk related topics or traditions or improve your own skills.
Tenterden is “the Jewel of the Weald” and over the Festival weekend it has even more colour and sparkle than usual as hundreds of Morris men and women and other folk dancers take to the streets of the town centre. The majority of teams are Morris dance sides of varying styles, from the Cotswold tradition and Black-faced Border style, to clog to garland dancers. The teams you will see will be both men’s, women’s and mixed sides and come from all over England. It’s not just Morris you will see as Tenterden is regularly host to teams performing traditional dances from Scotland, Ireland, England, Slovakia and the Appalachian Mountains of North America. There is also Saturday’s popular procession along the High Street.