The Leisure Society, Urban Folk Quartet, Po Girl, Peter Bruntnell, Alessi's Ark
Sidmouth Folk Fringe started out with just a few informal performances and open mic sessions during Sidmouth Folk week at the Thorn Park 'alternative' festival campsite.
The evening-only performances were set up by local farmer and Golf Centre proprietor 'McBuzz' as evening entertainment for the festival campers after a hard day of folkiness in the town.
It is held at the Thorn Park Golf Centre - some 30 acres of parkland surrounded by beautiful countryside within the East Devon Area of Outstanding Beauty - and centres around McBuzz's Barn, a handsome traditional oak-framed building extending into a large marquee.
The Event is still small but it has gained in popularity in recent years with both artist's and audiences who enjoy the friendly atmosphere and laid-back 'local vibe' being described as "An intimate celebration of our musical heritage featuring some of the biggest and newest acts in world Folk Roots music."
Although humble in origins the staging, lighting and sound systems are of the highest spec and all under the command of seasoned sound engineer and professional tour manager, Nick Hannan, who provides the right set up and environment for both artists and audience to flourish. Nick's experience and contacts within the music industry has also helped attract some very exciting acts. In 2010 locals were amazed and delighted when Newton Faulkner made an appearance as special guest and played to a packed sell out audience of a few hundred enthusiastic music lovers. So don't be too surprised if you bump into some very big names!
The Sidmouth Fringe coincides with the long established Sidmouth Folk Festival week but is completely independent and aims to complement the traditionally-focused folk music and dance performances held down in the town.
There are excellent locally-brewed beers from the Branscombe Vale Brewery (just down the road) and local cider served with a smile from McBuzz's Bar. Various food stalls cater for all tastes - including the return of popular Rasta Pasta Man!
Cheap camping (with showers) is available in the adjacent field (The golf course!) at £10 per tent per night.
A regular shuttle bus runs from Thorn Park into Sidmouth with a late night service. So you can leave your car at Thorn Park, spend the day in the town at the Sidmouth Folk Festival and get the bus back for the Fringe evening events!
Tickets prices have been pegged back to 'local rates' at just £13.00 for an evening ticket or £50 for all 5 nights with under 16s at half price (proof of age may be requested on entry). Due to licensing laws there are strict limits on numbers and every head counts whatever age!
2011 Line up
This years exciting line up kicks off with Ivor Novello award nominees and critically acclaimed - THE LEISURE SOCIETY fresh from the release of their second album 'Into the Murky Waters'.
The Urban Folk Quartet are back with us this year having taken the European folk scene by storm, taking their 'blinding brand of electrifying acoustic music across the continent, packing out concert halls and playing major festivals'.
We are delighted to welcome Peter Bruntnell who was described by Rolling Stone as "One of England's best kept musical secrets". His music has been described as "Acoustic driven folk based pop with just a hint of psychedelic that's all delivered in a very British fashion.'
We are also very excited that Canadian "urban roots" band Po Girl will be starting their 2 month tour of Europe here at McBuzz's Barn! The 4-piece band's style is derived from folk, country and jazz and their music has been compared with that of The Band, Hazel Dickens, Tracy Chapman, Natalie Merchant, Elizabeth Cotten and Norah Jones. It showcases melodies from instruments as diverse as banjo, clarinet, harmonica, dobro, accordion, gutbucket bass.
Other artists include Jim Jones, Lara Conley, Alessis Ark and Count to Fire with 'special guests' yet to be announced.