Main Stage 2024

The Wessex Folk Festival is pleased to announce the Acts appearing on the Main Stage in Hope Square. The timings of the performers are available in the Programme to Download Here.

Steve Knightley

Renowned Westcountry singer songwriter Steve Knightley, former Show of Hands frontman, announces a ground-breaking nationwide solo tour—the first since the iconic band disbanded. Focused on promoting his latest album, ‘The Winter Yards,’ this tour signifies a profound shift in Knightley’s musical journey. The Wessex Folk Festival is very pleased to have Steve Knightley appearing in Hope Square


Banter are Nina Zella, Simon Care, Tim Walker and Mark Jolley. Four fine musicians whose roots are firmly in the traditional English genre, but who enjoy stretching the limits – in what a lot of people refer to as ‘the quirky Banter twist”.  Formed in 2015, due to a happy accident, they immediately realised their common love for traditional English song and dance and began to mess around with it.

The Magpies

Transatlantic folk band The Magpies combine sublime harmonies with exquisite musicianship and songwriting. Their latest album garnered over a quarter of a million streams on Spotify, a place in the Official Folk Chart Top 40 and a live session on BBC Radio 2. UK festival highlights include Glastonbury, Cambridge and Shambala and internationally in USA, Canada and Europe.

The Lost Trades

The Lost Trades are a Folk/Americana trio, based in the West Country, with a cool Laurel Canyon vibe. With a sound that is reminiscent of the California folk scene of the late 60s/early 70s, their three-part harmonies have been described as “flawless”, “spine tingling” and “magical”.

Wareham Whalers

The Wareham Whalers enjoy singing a wide range of shanties, songs of the sea as well as a number of songs about the sea composed by members of the crew . We adopt the style that sailors would have used nearly 200 hundred years ago when they were working. So we sing with no accompaniment and where appropriate put in the stresses that would have signalled a pull on the heavy ropes. Whilst singing we raise money for local charities which this year is the RNLI. 

Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer

Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer have been playing folk around the UK for over twenty years. The have a reputation for finding that artistic balance of simultaneously being tradition bearers and contemporary innovators. The play with a real joy of performing and a love of the genre and yet, you’re never quite sure what instruments they’ll play next.

Go Here for More Main Stage Acts