Pre-Festival Warm-Up Night in Weymouth Harbour Pubs 29th May

Wessex Folk Festival

Weymouth Harbour  30th and 31st May 2020

acts that appeared on the Stages in 2016

The Wareham Whalers

The Wareham Whalers have been rocking the boat with our powerful shanties since 2004. 
We sing Shanties as they would have been sung for work on board ship and for the rare moments of recovery down below. We aim to capture the strength of this music and ensure that there is never a dull moment when the Whalers are about!  

We support our local RNLI, and collect charity money for the Wareham and Purbeck Multiple Sclerosis Society

Acoustic Rooster
They are back. All the way from Bridport  - Chris Deacon; Lead Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, Alan Twelftree; Button Accordian, Banjo, Mando and vocals, Maurice Blogg; Bass and vocals Rob Malpas; Banjo and Mandolin, the Rooster are back with us again

Aidan and the Wildfires 

Aidan and the Wildfires are a Folk-Rock / Americana band from the UK. They are becoming widely recognised for their unique sound and energetic shows!

Alan Kirkpatrick and John Shaw

Alan and John have been playing together for 15 years,and have created a unique sound. John plays Appalachian dulcimers,whilst Alan specialises in open tuned guitars, and mandola.

Alan also writes songs which the duo perform. Their 3rd. CD, "I wrote this for you " was released last year

The duo thrive on songs with accessible choruses, which audiences can participate in, and include rousing traditional songs, American country material and some blues for good measure.

Blackwater County

Smashing their way into the UK folk punk scene since 2013, and with two EPs under their belt, BWC bring an energetic live show of stout quaffing, banjo breaking and tin whistle mangling original music. 

Bookings: Gav 07775 496 699




Bob Carter

Some years ago he swapped his Stratocaster for an acoustic and these days is regularly seen on the Dorset folk club scene and open mic circuit. His set might include a traditional folk tune, a blues or even a disco number!

Performing instrumental fingerstyle in a variety of styles (and tunings), Bob's been playing guitar since a time when he's sure he remembers having more hair and was a founder member of Scottish folk-funk-ska-reggae-jazz band the Tartan Amoebas in the early 90s.

Bow Legged Skeeter

The band was formed in late 2009 as a result of a number of informal jam sessions playing American Old-Time and Bluegrass music. The Founder members were lifelong Bluegrass singer/guitarist Richard Thrift, Bluegrass Banjo player Charlie Cole, Mandolin player and singer Pete Minkey and his partner and Charlie's sister Lindsey Cole who sings and plays Double Bass. Not long after deciding to form a band to play the music they all loved, Weymouth based Bluegrass Fiddle player Nigel Canter was asked to join and duly accepted.

Doc Clarke's Remedy

We are local musicians who enjoy playing folk and country music. Lynn Targett, vocals, guitar and banjo. Dave Bradford, vocals guitar and bass. Pam Dentith, vocals and guitar.

The Dorset Wrecks

Sing-a-long with our home-grown Dorset Sea Shanty Singers - right by the sea!   Dorset Wrecks were formed in 2013 when Bob Brown asked a couple of us in the Boot Inn if we would like to join him to sing sea shanties. It seemed a good idea at the time and our first gig happened when 5 of the initial 6 members sang on Freedom to support them at the Weymouth Barrel Rolling event in September 2013. Since then we hard 38 gigs in 2014, 41 in 2015 and 20 are booked so far for this year. We now have 11 members and we rehearse weekly at the Old Town Hall.We have sung at many events in Poole, Weymouth and Portland, and this year we are doing Camp Bestival and appearing in the Lions Show at Weymouth Pavilion. We have recently recorded a CD of sea shanties and songs of the sea, which should be on sale after April this year.

Ed Bleach

A regular on the open mic scene, Edd Bleach is a Weymouth based, male-fronted singer/songwriter. His stories about everyday life and unfortunate incidents are something that many people can relate to and are nicely packaged in his sing-along style melodies.

Hatful of Rain

Hatful of Rain are a Bluegrass/Old time influenced British folk/roots band based in East Sussex. They strive to combine powerful song writing with instrumental artistry - retaining a strong traditional feel.  Using the “single microphone” approach when performing creates an engaging audience experience - capturing the warmth and communal style of the music played. Founded in 2010 they have had recent success with airplay on Bob Harris & Mike Harding’s BBC radio2 shows, after signing to local label: Union Music. Second album ‘The Morning Key’ was released in May 2014 a highly anticipated follow up to their successful debut ‘Way up on the hill’.  2016 sees the release of their EP ‘Climb the air’ – 5 tracks of traditional material, chosen to reflect the influence of trans Atlantic folk music on the band’s musicianship and song-writing.

Members are:

Chloe Overton: lead vocals, guitar, mandolin and clawhammer banjo

Phil Jones: backing vocals, double bass and clawhammer banjo.

Fred Gregory: backing vocals, guitar & mandolin

James Shenton: fiddle.

Island Voices 

Island Voices Community Choir have been singing together since 2005. We sing songs that we love, and some of them are from traditional sources – from here and abroad, some new and some quite ancient; but much of our material is original and is about Portland. Various choir members past and present have written lyrics and composed melodies inspired by the island’s peculiar character, its quarrying and fishing, the wildness, the ever-changing beauty of light on stone . . .
Contact us on Facebook for information about joining or booking


Kadia performs a mixture of traditional folk music, Irish session tunes, original material and contemporary covers along with the occasional joke, multiple stories and general chatter during their shows. Kadia has made a name for themselves locally for their creative arrangements of traditional music also gaining plaudits for their unique takes on more modern contemporary music. 

The band is growing in stature and are now beginning to build a following outside of Dorset with the goal now being to increase footprint across the UK.

Kadia’s debut album, East of Alexandria has made it on to the Telegraph’s 2015 Folk Album of the Year list with tracks heard on various local BBC radio stations and the band have been invited to attend many private events and nationally recognised festivals.

Louise Jordan

I am a folk singer and songwriter from the New Forest in Hampshire. Whilst I continue to perform songs from my four recordings I also have a project 'No Petticoats Here' which shared the stories of remarkable women who lived during the First World War through song. I previewed the first set of songs at Salisbury Arts Centre on 30th September 2015 and I will continue to develop the project until I tour with the show in 2016. Further information about the project, including a trailer featuring clips of songs from the preview performance, is available on my website:

The Million Dollar Bash 

We are a band who celebrate the music of both Bob Dylan and The Band with a bit of Woody Guthrie.We play in a unique style and put our own twist to the songs we play from these great artists,adding a blend of enjoyment and artistry. 


Formed 8 years ago with people who had been dancing for many years and the team have added two new members in 2014. We dance at Folk Festivals, Fetes and other events bringing high energy & high speed dances backed up by our band. Some highlights of 2013 were dancing at Tredegar Folk Festival and our 1st Appearance at Wessex Folk Festival.

Nick Parker and the False Alarms

Glastonbury (UK) based Nick Parker was 13 when he first picked up a guitar and tried to string together a few chords. By 14 he had put down the guitar and picked up the mandolin. Not least of all because he wanted to be in his brother, Ant’s band and they needed a mandolin player. ...........(read the rest on their website)

Paul Openshaw

Ever popular at Wessex Folk Festival, Paul Openshaw and friends will entertain you in their own inimitable way

Said the Maiden (thanks to Elly Lucas for the picture)

Said The Maiden are Jess Distill, Hannah Elizabeth and Kathy Pilkinton, three friends who discovered a mutual love of folk music when they reunited several years after spending their school years together in St. Albans, Hertfordshire.  From tentatively performing a few songs at their local Redbourn Folk club in 2012 the group soon secured support and headline slots at folk clubs and festivals around the country which in turn have led to opportunities to support many fantastic artists including The Fisherman'sFriends, Jim Moray, Megson, Martin Carthy, Sam Carter, Hannah James and Sam Sweeney, and Clannad.  They were also honoured to join legendary fiddler Dave Swarbrick in 2014, and released their debut album 'A Curious Tale' in June of the same year. Said The Maiden was awarded Bristol Folk Festival’s prestigious Isambard Folk Award in 2015, and as a result opened for folk super-group The Full English at the 2015 Bristol Folk Festival.   Said The Maiden are self-releasing the EP which was officially launched on 10 January 2016.

Find out more at

Steve Dan Mills

American singer songwriter Steve Dan Mills was the co-founder of Speed Limit 35, one of the first folk rock bands in the American South. He has been enjoying a solo career since the mid 70's and has performed at the Kerrville Folk Festival, London Folk Festival, Belfast Nashville Songwriter's Festival and more. His music has been described as "the real thing, sensitive, moving, cathartic and healing." He couples his very powerful vocals with acoustic guitar and harmonica. His masterful story telling, based on his rich and challenging life experiences, lays the groundwork for each song in a most engaging manner. He elicits tears and laughter and instills hope in his audience. He has recently moved to London and has begun performing in folk clubs throughout the UK. 

The Rumblestrutters 

The Rumblestrutters bring you feel-good blues, jazz and ragtime of the Prohibition era. The band’s vivid evocations of the music of the 1920s and ‘30s has earned them a reputation as one of the most authentic and popular roots bands around, with highlights including stellar performances at Birmingham International Jazz Festival and Gloucester Blues Festival. Songs of bootleg liquor, all-night parties and bacchanalia abound, tapped from a rich musical source. The Rumblestrutters bring you the authentic sounds of 1920s and '30s America!
Weymouth Ukuleleans
Have become a great favourite at Wessex Folk Festival over the last few years. Join in with the foot-stamping music and count how many Ukeleans we can fit on the stage again this year!

Thanks to Stephen and Helen Jones for this photo