The spirit of the Folk community will not be muted by the pandemic!

Well, what a weekend!

We know a virtual festival will never be the same as being together in the heart of Chippenham but rather than being a pale imitation, what a unique once in a lifetime opportunity to bring together communities in a celebration of folk.

We had over two hundred screens logged in to many of the events, and held buzzing workshops on management of your voice, fiddle, tune collection, clog stepping and morris jigs. Not to mention stomping ceilidhs, Contra, participative folk clubs, sessions and singarounds. There was truly something for everyone!

As well as the friendly faces of regular Chippenham attendees, we got to sing, dance and play with our new friends from Chester and their attendees. In our virtual festival world, the distance, time difference across the world and travel restrictions just melt away! An unexpected advantage of our inclusive virtual festival site was that we were joined not only by artists from overseas in the US but also participants from Portugal, Frankfurt and even Australia! 

Huge thanks go to the management team of both festivals, all the stewards and volunteers it took to pull this off, and especially to our tech team for helping us achieve our vision! Many of us have learnt more than we could ever have imagined about original sound, file formats and internet speeds!  Special thanks also to our artists who went above and beyond, letting us into their living rooms, kitchens, gardens and even the deck of a boat! 

With such an innovative approach and with the unknown terrain of the internet to tame we did have a few glitches and we thank you for your patience and understanding. 

The teams send a heartfelt thank you to all of you for giving this new experience a chance.  Your feedback has been phenomenal.  We have loved reading your comments in the events chats.  One attendee told us that joining the zoom ceilidhs has given her the confidence to dance again after feeling unable to attend dances after an illness; another shared that after offering a song at a folk club for the first time, they now have the confidence to participate in-person when events return.  It's not too late to tell us how you found our events.  Follow this link to leave us your feedback https://www.chesterandchippenham.com/feedback or Email info@chesterandchippenham.com.

Finally from the Chippenham end of festivities, the street market filled the high street once again. Feedback has been fantastic with attendees feeling safe and excited to be able to browse a variety of stalls.  Thank you to our Taskforce volunteers for donning their high vis to make sure all ran smoothly.