Whitby Folk Week

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Whitby Folk Week

Whitby Folk Week 2015 Dates – 20th to 26rd August 2015.

Seven days of dancing in the streets, music and singing in the pubs, concerts and dances until late into the night, and a whole lot more. Seven days of meeting old friends and making new ones.

Whitby Folk Week Opening Parade 2015

Whitby Folk Week Opening Parade 2015

Altogether, Whitby Folk Week is a compelling reason for ignoring the ‘Costas’ and heading to the north east of England in late August each year.

This long-standing celebration of the traditional music, dance and song of the British Isles has taken on the trappings of a tradition in its own right. With over 600 events covering workshops, concerts, singarounds, dance, sessions, street entertainment and the extensive ‘fringe’ events that blossom spontaneously. Folk Week is a festival that no lover of real music should miss.

Whitby Folk Week

Whitby Folk Week 2015 On Church Street

Whitby itself is filled with examples of our rich and colorful heritage. This picturesque seaport town has a greater concentration of visitor experiences per square mile than in many of the better-known tourist destinations. From the Jet workshop to the Dracula Experience via Captain Cook’s cottage and the ruined Abbey dominating the cliff tops above the town, there is culture and tradition in abundance. Folk week could not have a better setting.

For the ‘inner person’ there are many excellent restaurants, cafes and bars, real-ale pubs, and the best fish and chips in the northern hemisphere. And all this can be digested in the company of some of the finest musicians and singers in the British Isles.

Whitby Folk Week

Whitby Folk Week On Whitby Swing Bridge

Read more over on the official Whitby Folk Week Website

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Further Reading

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  1. Francis L. Chalmers September 21, 2011 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    I don’t suppose it will be long before SBC try to put a stop to this sort of thing under ‘elf and safety grounds.

  2. John Field December 15, 2011 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    Dates are 20-26 August 2012.

    And I’m sure SBC would love to see Folk Week move – just like their success in driving Musicport out of the borough….

  3. d December 18, 2011 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    What makes you say that John? It was MP that tried to blackmail everyone. They had an inflated view of their power and importance. Good luck to them if they think things are better off in a dump like Bridlington.

    By the way the folkies are skating on thin ice. Not because of SBC though.

    If they pick any more fights with the regatta there will only be one loser!

    Personally, I like folk week and welcome it but in a town like this they need to tread carefully.

  4. Rambling Sid January 18, 2012 at 9:58 am - Reply

    I’m an ancient Morris dancer
    And no longer will I roam.
    My boundless joy is now confined
    In this old folkies’ home.

    The doorsign reads “Dunjingling”
    And last time I attempted a “hey”
    I did myself a great mischief
    So I’ve had to call it a day.

    But I dance the zimmer frame polka,
    No greater mover excels,
    And Ethel and Gladys go ga-ga
    When I tinkle my rusty old bells.

    And in rare moments of ecstasy,
    As I shuffle through some of my sets,
    They remove their dentures and clack them aloud
    Like rhythmic castanets.

    Last Saturday night I was dancing a jig
    When me knees both began to buckle.
    “It’s more than your belt’s done these ten last long years,”
    Said Gladys, with many a chuckle.

    Though stung by her words, I had to admit
    Her observation was clever
    For brain cells come and brain cells go
    But fat cells live forever.

    Not that me knees were a problem
    The way that they are for so many
    In the days of my youth you could still obtain
    Two ape knees for just one old penny.

    My accordion’s beyond my control
    It sounds like the croaking of frogs
    And to stop me waking the snoozers,
    They’ve put rubber soles on me clogs.

    They’ve banned both the longsword and rapper
    Not through health and safety fears
    But because the cleaners were getting brassed off
    With picking up fingers and ears.

    At least you’re surrounded by friends,
    On the days when your recall is rotten,
    They help you invent some new memories
    To replace all the ones you’ve forgotten.

    When you look in the mirror and see
    That six pack, now drooped and inert
    Praise the Lord that your eyesight’s endured
    And be grateful that wrinkles don’t hurt.

    Life must go on, though I quite forget why,
    Though your days may be happy or sad.
    Considering the other alternative,
    “Dunjingling” is not quite so bad.

  5. Dave Heselton May 26, 2012 at 11:31 pm - Reply

    Some people in Whitby still talk about when my uncle rowed in the Regatta just after the war, the crew were drunk and they sunk the boat. Been a Whitby lad I understand what the Regatta used to mean to local people, but for me personaly I think its a load of trash these days. For Regatta 2012 I could use the same programme from 2002, and there would not be much difference.

    These days I earn my living from doing bed and breakfast, and when the two events clash the Folk Festival has priority for obvious reasons, I want customers for a week and not two or three days, and most people in the trade feel the same way, its a long winter and we have to earn money in summer when its there to earn.

    I am not anti Regatta, but clearly a lot of local people are against the Folk Festival and I am not one of those people, I am in favour of both events, but as far as bringing money into the town is concerned, the Folk Festival is No 1.

  6. Carmen A Sturdy May 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    I fully understand your point Mr Heslerton. On a purely commercial basis you must favour the event that will bring you most profit. But! don’t believe that the folk week will last for ever. The Regatta will outlast it. The folk scene grew and is now in decline. No wonder really, its not much of a spectacle for the audience.

    It will decline much as Goth week is doing.

    The Regatta is part of the town’s tradition and has attracted visitors for decades as well as providing sporting rivalry for the locals. Long may it continue.

    • Dave Eyre August 29, 2012 at 6:56 pm - Reply

      It would be good to hear how Carmen knows that the folk scene is in decline.

      Care to publish anything more than anecdotal evidence? In my experience it is just the opposite.

      More folk clubs are opening; more sessions are happening and it is one of the few areas of the record industry where sales of actual CD’s are growing.

  7. Rambling Sid June 5, 2012 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    Whitby, like New York and London,
    Is a city that’s not known to sleep.
    If it’s not drunken revellers, its seagulls
    And the strange, graveyard hours that they keep.

    Now Sidney the short, stomping seagull
    Was trying to get the steps right,
    Tip tapping away on the roof tiles
    In the long dreary hours of the night.

    And as Sidney strutted out his stuff
    He sang with great volume and tone
    In a voice whose beauty was hidden to men
    And perhaps known to God’s ears alone.

    Now Sid was a bird of nobility
    Who soared round the rooftops and ships
    Not skulking about with his cousins
    And looking for scraps on the tips.

    No, Sid was a diligent, industrious gull
    Who had always worked hard for his living
    Entertaining the trippers to Whitby
    In return for the scraps they were giving.

    Sid had found out it was folk week
    And to maximise all of his tips
    He was practising his Morris steps.
    It earned him more cold fish and chips.

    But Steve had little sympathy
    With this poor struggling bird
    And addressed him most unkindly
    With an extremely, front line, naughty word

    Then Terri reprimanded Steve
    With a tale she had heard from the priests
    Of the wonderful works of St Francis
    And his love for the birds and the beasts.

    “Let’s take him along to some workshops,
    The ones that don’t get too packed,
    And show him some real possibilities
    For a polished, professional act.”

    To the friendship rowing club on the night
    They took Sid along to the session
    Where the “here is one I wrote earlier” set
    Were indulging in doleful expression.

    Where the bar room miners and sailors
    Were competing in music and song
    To see who could be the most morbid
    And evoke the most tears from the throng

    There were stories of desperate cowboys
    Running in fear of their lives,
    Diseases, dead dogs and divorces
    And poor, drowned young fishermens’ wives.

    Before long the dirges and droning
    Began to get poor Sidney stressed
    By the time he got to the end of his crisps
    He was really feeling depressed.

    Sadly, Sid slid out of the Friendship
    With a length of old rope in his hand
    And hung himself, by the light of the moon,
    By the dark and the cold Whitby strand.

    But let’s not get morbid about it
    Indeed, let our spirits be high.
    Is anyone here feeling hungry?
    We’ve plenty of fresh seagull pie!

  8. Frank Stuart Ashton July 27, 2012 at 11:03 am - Reply

    Are the dates you have shown correct ?
    Normally the Folk Week is from Saturday to Friday of the week preceding the English, August Bank Holiday (this would make it August 18th. to 24th. this year). Your dates make it Monday to Sunday of the week preceding the English, August Bank Holiday (ie. August 20th. to 26th.)

  9. John Field July 29, 2012 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    Quite right, Frank, it is during the 18th to the 24th.

    And once again, the rugby club will be the best venue in town. This year, Whitby’s own Conquest Brewery has agreed to supply Broadsword to the rugby club in time for folk week. This is a one-off, as the brewery is being stripped out after that, and switching to a larger facility. And I’m told there will also be Theakston’s Lightfoot – so some excellent craft beers as well as great music in a folk-friendly venue.

  10. Malcolm Storey February 18, 2013 at 11:03 am - Reply

    The dates of Whitby Folk Week are fixed in the following way.

    It takes place during the last full week, Saturday to Friday before the English August Bank Holiday which in turn is on the last Monday in August each year.

    In 2013 the Bank Holiday is on Monday 26th August and therefore Whitby Folk Week occurs on 17th to 23rd August 2013.

    This information has been given many times to the Whitby Gazette, SBC, Whitby Town Council, Whitby Regatta (before it became a limited company) and many other organisations.

    Hopefully Real Whitby can take this simple formula on board and not need reminding every year!

  11. Rambling Sid May 13, 2013 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    Came at the early May Bank holiday weekend to look at the Moor & Coast. Saw plenty of seagulls!

    I’m Sid the Seagull’s daughter.
    Samantha is my name.
    I’m on a sacred mission
    To avenge my family’s shame.

    You’ve heard of how my father
    Was seduced by thoughts of fame
    As a Morris dancing seabird
    Which drove him quite insane.

    Now I screech and squawk throughout the night
    And clatter on the tiles
    And in the cool and darkened air
    It carries many miles.

    Unlike the modern banker
    Whose glory days are over
    I can put a large deposit down
    Upon a new Range Rover

    In truth I’m a regular crackshot (yes, crackshot!)
    And love to see some white
    Upon those lovely coloured cars
    All blasted with my …. errrm … droppings

    So if you’re Whitby born and bred
    Or just here for the day
    Be mindful of my mission
    Keep your car out of my way!

    Rambling Sid

    • David Moore July 20, 2013 at 11:44 am - Reply

      Rambling Sid, I have just read your 3 poems and thought they were superb. Thoroughly enjoyed them.
      Where can I find some more?
      All the very best from
      David Moore

  12. Rambling Sid July 22, 2013 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    Hi David,
    Thanks for that. You can catch more such nonsense on http://www.onlyinhull.wordpress.com
    Best regards,

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