Tenterden Folk Festival 2020 postponed
After lengthy discussions, and considering the latest government announcements, the Trustees and Festival Committee have reluctantly come to the decision that the 28th Tenterden Folk Festival, due to be held from 1st to 4th October 2020, should be postponed to 2021.  In making this decision we have considered the age demographic of many of our festival guests, regular audience members and volunteers as well as our responsibilities as festival organisers to keep everyone safe at the Festival.  Therefore the 28th Tenterden Folk Festival will take place from Thursday 30th September to Sunday 3rd October 2021. 

We have delayed taking this very hard decision until now in the hope that the future position regarding the Coronavirus pandemic and the necessary restrictions and recommendations regarding public gatherings and meetings would become clearer.  It now still seems unlikely to us that festival venues such as public houses, cafes and restaurants, hotels and other accommodation will be open as normal.  We have also considered the position regarding travel to the festival for those coming from longer distances and particularly two guests coming from overseas and their position regarding flights and travel health insurance.

We have heard from several Morris sides that in their view the whole season is now a write off as they have not been able to meet to practise and that some of their members would not feel safe attending any large gatherings this year.  Similar considerations also apply to the free events in the marquees where it may still not be safe for all the stallholders, exhibitors, Morris sides and performers to gather.

We also had to consider the financial implications of whatever decision we made.  We have  already incurred substantial costs including advertising, printing, hotel bookings for some guests and other costs and need to be able to avoid running up further costs in confirming bookings and paying for logistics such as marquees, stages, portable toilets, PA, etc. and then having to cancel the festival due to restrictions being still in place in October.        

We are pleased that many of the guests booked for 2020 have already indicated that they are able to join us for 2021 instead.

We may try to arrange some smaller special events between now and next year.  Look out for our future emails and tweets or check on our website for announcements in due course.

We will be contacting all guests, Morris sides, ticketholders, stallholders, suppliers, venues, funders and other supporters, etc. over the next couple of weeks.

We look forward to seeing you all as soon it is safe and possible to do so. 

Yours sincerely

Alan Castle BEM
Trustee and Festival Director 
On behalf of the Trustees and Festival Committee
2nd June 2020

The 28th Tenterden Folk Festival, due to be held from 1st to 4th October 2020, has been postponed to 2021.  See panel on left for full announcement


Tenterden Folk Festival 2021

Four days of folk song, music, dance, 

craft and traditions

Thursday 30th September to Sunday 3rd October 2021







  • Would you like to join our team of volunteers?

    A large number of volunteers are needed to run the festival and this is one of the most important roles.   Primarily it will involve monitoring door entry and selling tickets for the events, collecting money at pub song and music sessions where necessary, in the town centre and on the Recreation ground, helping on the camp site with arrivals, manning the Ticket Office and generally helping out where necessary.
    To find out more click on "Would you like to join our team" above


  • Youth workshops

    Tenterden Folk Festival has been awarded a grant to run a series of workshops on folk song, music and dance in schools in and around Tenterden. The Overstone Fund and Kent Community Foundation are funding this project.  The aim is to get the children and youths actively involved in singing, playing music and taking part in Morris dancing.     


  • Monthly song and music session

    We also run a monthly sing-a-round style folk song and music session  at The William Caxton on the second Tuesday of every month.  Click on picture to go to the "Tenterden Folk Club" page.


  • Around Kent Folk magazine

    AKF is now published six times per year by Tenterden Folk Festival. Your FREE guide to folk events in Kent, Surrey and Sussex and beyond.  Feb/Mar, Apr/May, Jun/Jul, Aug/Sep, Oct/Nov, Dec/Jan.


  • Honorary Patrons

    Jacqui McShee, singer with Pentangle and Take3, and Sussex singer and song collector Shirley Collins are Honorary Patron of Tenterden Folk Festival.


  • Festival procession

    Do not miss the procession of Morris sides and other folk dance display teams on Saturday at Tenterden Folk Festival.


  • Concerts, sing-a-rounds, etc

    Concerts, barn dance, sing-a-rounds, music sessions and workshops are a popular feature of the festival


  • Other cultures

    We include relevant groups from overseas and UK based groups performing music and dance from other cultures.  Pictured are 4 x 4 Bhangra Dancers from Kent.  Guests have come from Romania, Slovakia, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Gambia, South Africa, Asia, Australia, Canada and the USA.


  • Young folk

    We also aim to showcase younger folk singers, musicians and dancers. Pictured is a team of children performing traditional Slovakian folk dances.


  • Dance displays

    Tanglefoot Appalachian are regular visitors to the festival where they join around 60 other dance display teams and Morris sides.  There is a festival procession along the High street on Saturday.


  • Crafts and stalls

    Large marquees on the Recreation Ground are now home to the craft fair and other stalls as well as the free music stage and dance stage.  
    Street stalls also line the lower High Street.


  • Past guests

    Past guests at the festival are too numerous to list but have included many of the top names on the folk scene from Martin Carthy to Shirley Collins, John Kirkpatrick, Jez Lowe, Ashley Hutchings, Ian Campbell, Pete Coe, Roy Harris and many others.  Our policy is also to include many of the folk musicians who still tour the clubs, festivals and art centres. 


  • Visit Tenterden & Ashford

    Check out the new Visit Ashford and Tenterden website


  • My Tenterden Business Directory and Events Diary

    The My Tenterden Business Directory and Events Diary (What's On) for local business and the local community went live in June 2016. Free listings for community groups, clubs and societies. A fantastic new website for Tenterden, and a brand new Tenterden app. More entries being added every day.


  • Find us on social media

    Your can also find us on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Linked In
    Follow the links on our "Contacts us" page




                         Tenterden Folk Festival: promoting folk song, music, dance, crafts and traditions: Charity No. 1038663                

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