Get ready for a magical weekend as the Wessex Folk Festival returns to Weymouth on June 1st and 2nd! One of the few remaining free-to-attend folk festivals, the Wessex Folk Festival, is kindly brought to you by sponsors, Dorset Arts Council, We Are Weymouth Ltd and Weymouth Town Council. This event transforms Weymouth’s historic harbour into a vibrant stage for folk performances, street markets, and lively entertainment.

A Rich History

Weymouth's charming harbour, steeped in history, serves as the perfect backdrop for this beloved festival. Since its inception in the early 2000s by the Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and the Weymouth Folk Club, the festival has grown and flourished thanks to dedicated volunteers. Over the years, it has hosted legendary folk artists like The Oyster Band, Dick Gaughan, Vin Garbutt, and Martin Simpson.

Festival Highlights

The festival promises a bustling atmosphere with street traders, Morris dancers, and children's entertainers. Two stages will feature both professional and amateur musicians, while local pubs and meeting rooms will host music sessions and workshops. Here are some of the national performers gracing this year's festival:

● Steve Knightley: The renowned West Country singer-songwriter and former frontman of Show of Hands will perform and host a songwriting workshop, showcasing his latest album 'The Winter Yards'.

● Sam Kelly Trio: BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner Sam Kelly, along with two members of The Lost Boys, will bring their unique blend of Gaelic heritage and contemporary music to the stage.

● Urban Folk Quartet: With a cross-genre approach that blends Celtic, Afrobeat, Indian classical, funk, and rock, UFQ's high-energy performance is not to be missed.

● The Magpies: This transatlantic folk band combines sublime harmonies with exquisite musicianship, and their latest album has topped the Official Folk Chart. ● Banter: Known for their quirky twist on traditional English folk, Banter promises an entertaining and energetic performance.

● The Melstock Band: Named after Thomas Hardy’s fictional parish, this band brings historical folk music to life.

● Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer: Celebrated for their innovative and joyful performances, this duo has been a staple of the UK folk scene for over twenty years.

● Sam Grassie: At just 24, this talented musician blends traditional folk with world blues, bringing a mellow, psychedelic vibe to the festival.

● The Lost Trades: With flawless three-part harmonies, this Folk/Americana trio evokes the sound of the California folk scene of the late 60s and early 70s.

Local Talent and Community Spirit

The festival also celebrates local talent with performances from Dorset’s finest shanty groups, including the Wareham Whalers, who will present 'The Shout', a tribute to the RNLI’s 200th anniversary. Additionally, a host of local musicians and singers will perform on the Harbour Stage.

Festival Schedule

The festivities kick off in Weymouth's pubs on Friday evening, May 31st. On Saturday, June 1st, stalls will open at 10:00 AM, with music starting at 11:00 AM and continuing until about 5:30 PM.

Join the Celebration

Don't miss this opportunity to experience the rich cultural heritage and vibrant community spirit of Weymouth at the Wessex Folk Festival. For more information and to view the festival programme, visit or follow them on Facebook. Make sure to mark your calendars and join us for a weekend of unforgettable music, history, and fun!