Chippenham has evolved into what can best be described as a number of interlocking festivals cohesively celebrating traditional arts taking place at the same time.
• There is an extensive social dance programme
• A diverse concert offering
• A hugely popular ceilidh series including evening and free lunch time events
• A wide ranging display dance festival
• A vibrant family festival
The result of this is a varied programme allowing attendees to pick and mix to make their festival experience truly tailored to their personal interests.
The Ceilidhs and Social Dances are the 'engine room' of the festival - they seem to be non-stop from Friday night ‘til Monday night. The festival always has a cracking Ceilidh line-up with plenty of space to dance the night away; for social dance there is a full list of internationally recognised bands and callers.
We are also proud to present one of the biggest gatherings of display sides with as many as 80 dance sides performing over the weekend, busking at spots around the town as well as a daily showcase in the Big top, four public stages are scattered around the town. These dance displays are free, though donations to our bucket collections are welcome.
With a large number of events and varying sized venues. The festival is able to maintain a feeling of intimacy and attendees are able to participate and engage with the artists up close in many festival venues.
Chippenham Folk Festival has worked hard to retain our connection with the community of Chippenham by remaining in the town centre site. The town is small enough that you can enjoy an afternoon concert, grab dinner in a local restaurant and pop into the early evening contra before heading to a ceilidh. For those wanting a more relaxed evening you can rest your feet with late night stories at the end of the evening or head off to the pubs where tunes and song can usually be found.
Many of our returning attendees buy their tickets each year without even knowing the line up; they trust the festival to provide an energetic and exciting weekend with variety on offer, ensuring the whole family is going to have a great time.
Having built our unique festival community we are working hard to keep, and make new, links with the local community. One of our key features is our schools day were local schools attend workshops and produce an end of day showcase. Sadly this cannot be a public event.
Inclusivity is important to us. We work hard to ensure that all venues are as accessible as possible. Baby changing provision and accessible toilets are available in or near most venues, including on Island park The campsites have accessible facilities. Some larger venues have provision for hearing loops.
The team is happy to hear from you if you have any specific requirements that you would like to discuss.
How its run
The Chippenham Folk Festival is a Community Interest Company CIC not for profit run purely by volunteers.
From the festival Management team to our task force who build the festival and stewards who help it run smoothly, we draw from all walks of life bringing skills and expertise that money could not buy. If you would like to get involved in any way we would love to hear from you.
If you are enjoying our public events or are a ticket holder who would like to support the festival, there will be official collectors around the town and at the doors of public events as well as an option to donate to the festival online. As a relatively small and non-profit organisation the festival relies on the generosity of our attendees and supporters to meet the costs of running our beloved festival and appreciate any support you can offer.