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our principal
financial sponsor: Chippenham Borough Lands Charity (CBLC)
supporters: Chippenham Town Council Halogen UK - Borough Parade The Rise Trust The Association of Festival Organisers
Wiltshire Folk Arts
Instruments Stalls at the Festival

Festival Artists Line Up (A-Z)

Song & Music

"Welcome to the Concert and Song section."
As always we have a huge variety of artists. A really exciting development is that two of our top line guests have recently been honoured in the annual BBc Folk awards 2015. Nancy kerr won "Folk Singer of the Year" and The Young Uns were voted Best Group.
So there you have it - some of the very best in the folk world are playing at this years festival Brilliant! Our other top line artists are delivering quality music and song around the whole world butstill retain that honest, down to earth,"folk" feel. It is always our intention to produce a high quality, participative and sharing experience at the festival. Looking at this years list, we cant fail on that one.
Check out the artits info below and come and join us.


Welcome to the Chippenham Ceilidh Section, we're really pleased that this year we have yet another storming set of ceilidhs.
We've new bands & callers along with some really good old favourites returning.We think this we have created a really exciting programme of events.
Look at the listing below to see exactly what we're up to.
The NYFTE Ceilidh Band[ SAT ]

Social Dance

Welcome to a very full & exciting Social Dance programme, with around 60 events to choose from! The core programme comprises a balanced mix of English & American workshops & dances, plus workshops for musicians' & callers. Chippfolk takes great pride in our English dance heritage, so there is a very full programme of English Dance, including a Playford Ball. By popular demand, there will also be several Zesty Playford dances. American dance is also featured in all its forms. Contra dancing is still very popular, so there will be numerous high-energy Contra Dances throughout the weekend, including the ever-popular, high-energy Zesty Contra-Dance in the Sports Hall on Sunday – featuring Lisa Greenleaf and Wild Ride (NB: Wild Ride replaces (but comprises 2/3rds of) Stick Shift).

Specials: Lisa Greenleaf (USA) will be one of the callers opening the festival with a bang, so don't be late! Anne Daye, a leading expert in English dancing of the 17th century, who featured in the 2014 BBC TV programme "Dancing cheek to cheek", will lead three historical dance workshops. John & Karen Sweeney will show you how to waltz with pizazz. Les Barclay will lead three Running Set workshops. Irish Set Dancing workshops will be led by Maggie Daniel with The Perfect Cure Band. There will be Anniversary Dances to celebrate 50/50/40 years performing by Joe Hodgson, Weston CDB, and The Falconers respectively - congratulations to all ! There will also be a series of Callers workshops & Showcase Dance for new & existing callers, and I will be talent-spotting. The final dance in the Neeld Hall will be a "Wreckers Dance", as the builders move in the following day to begin redesigning the whole Neeld and Town Hall complex.

Venue changes for 2015: Social Dancing will continue to use the Sports Hall, Neeld Hall and Town Hall, but neither Stage Three marquee nor St Andrew's Hall (as they both had issues in 2014). New for 2015 will be The West End Club (just 9 mins walk from the town centre), which is a very large venue, but mostly carpeted; so we have hired a good-quality dance floor to lay on top of the existing dance floor and carpet. All venues will be provided with good-quality Festival PA and dedicated sound-engineers.

With the loss of Stage Three, all Ceilidhs will be held in the Sports Hall, which will impact on Social Dance events; so ALL Social Dance workshops will begin at 9:30am this year to accommodate this change, with the beneficial side-effect of a longer lunch break!

Festival Orchestra: Peter and Moira Gutteridge of Dampiers Round will be leading the Festival Orchestra workshops again this year, culminating in the Festival Orchestra's "Big Band Dance" on Monday in the Neeld Hall, this year extended to 90 mins by popular demand, with the ebullient & inexplicable Pete Hendy calling (who at 6'8" needs no stage!).

Feedback: We are frequently told that Chippenham provides the best festival dance programme in the country; if you agree, tell your friends, if not, tell us. We need your feedback (good & bad) and suggestions, especially re venue changes, by email or via the web, to ensure that we keep improving & developing.

Story Telling

"Welcome to the Story Telling section."

Every year we have a series of storytelling workshops and performances. The lunchtime session is popular where you can take a story with you and share it with the host and other tellers.
As always we have the wonderful Ursula Holden Gill and a couple of others to assist you and encourage you to do a tale or two.
In addition we will have a Poetry event with our own Wiltshire "Bard" Andy Fawthrop with a chance to listen to one of his poems (good they are too!) and maybe do one of your favourites too.


Children at Chippenham have their very own festival area on Island Park. The Castle is Open each day, from 9:30 till 5:30 for under 12's. With a friendly team of stewards and full programme of professional artists on hand to make sure everyone has a great time.


Primary school children from local schools are invited to attend the festival on the Friday. Each child takes part in 2 workshops in the morning, then displays in the afternoon in front of the other schools.

Big Top Concerts

Welcome to the "Specials" section.
Here you will find details of some of the extra special events that we would like to you try out. The Big Top Concerts are usually based around a theme and this year we have THE TALE OF ALE (sat), A comedy special "You're Having A Laugh" (sun) and Mick Ryan's A DAYS WORK (mon).

One of the other special events include Brian Peters and Jeff Davis in "Sharps Harvest" a show exploring songs collected by Cecil Sharp
Sharp's Appalachian Harvest
In 1916, English songhunter Cecil Sharp ventured into the heart of the Southern
Appalachians and noted down sixteen hundred old ballads, ditties and fiddle tunes, many surviving from the 18th folk music collections ever made. Brian Peters and Jeff Davis tell the story of the hardships and triumphs of this heroic quest in music, song and words, illustrated with Sharp's superb photographs of the mountain characters who kept the tradition alive. This will be in the Cause on Saturday.


"Welcome to the Displays Sides section" The busy workshop programme is being finalised ranging from North West Clog, Cotswold to flat foot being run by our invited sides.
It is not too late to apply to dance as part of the busking programme. Our aim is to fill the streets with traditional dance sides - if your team wants to dance please contact displays@chippfolk.co.uk