BARELY a week has passed since the hugely successful Fayre in the Square and Quayside Festival and Weymouth harbourside is all braced and ready to go again and host the Wessex Folk Festival.

Now firmly established in the folk calendar, the event, which takes place tomorrow and Sunday, June 2 and 3, attracts some of the leading names of the genre, and this year is no exception so expect to see an inordinate amount of banjos, beards and sandals loitering around the harbour.

There’s two stages, one in Hope Square and the other in Trinity Road, plus a host of sessions in many of the quayside pubs, including the King’s Arms, the Chapelhay, the Boot, Belvedere and Sailors Return.

For example, the county’s leading buoy band Dorset Wrecks will be hosting a course on how to sing sea shanties at the Sailors Return on Sunday from 3-5pm. You’d think they’d do it ear-li in the morning though, wouldn’t you?

Among the acts performing this weekend are grunge folk experts Wild Willy Barrett’s Roaring Touring, who have perfected a mash-up between a Parisian café’s chanson genoux levés (a knees-up, en français) and a Dublin hooley.

Norfolk-based Americana trio Alden, Patterson and Dashwood have been hailed by Radio 2’s Mark Radcliffe as ‘lovely stuff’, while Damian Clarke prides himself as the only touring performer who combines hammer dulcimer, hurdy gurdy and vocals. Some trick, that… Another treat to look out for are Gadarene who promise ‘ultra modern ancient tunes’ by combining 18th century English folk tunes with electronica and club trance beats.

They also include Lancashire clog dancing and Dartmoor step dance, which is a bit of a worry, frankly.

Talking of thing terpsichorean, the folk festival does tend to attract Morris dancers. There’s not a lot we can do about that, but just be aware and approach with caution, okay?

Most are quite friendly, in fact, some have even been known to breed in captivity, with the help of strong cider. But look out for the ones with big sticks. You can hear them coming from miles away with all those bells on.

All the timings and running order for the folk festival can be found in the programme which is available for just £2 from most harbourside pubs, the Pavilion and Revolution café.

All money raised goes towards funding next year’s festival, along with bucket collections, so be generous and dig deep please.

Till next time…



Hot Bacon, Tripod, Skint Imperials, Chloe, Tom and Jack on the Box (Spenstock, Weymouth Pavilion)

Ctrl Alt Del (Finns, Weymouth)

Glass Spiders (Park, Weymouth)

The Katz (Punchbowl, Portland)

Billy Solo (Wellington, Weymouth)

Skinful (Golden Lion, Weymouth)

Dave Griff’ s Open Mic (Gloucester, Weymouth)

Acoustic Session (King’s Arms, Weymouth)

Bring Me The Pistols (Royal Portland Arms, Portland)

Retro (Weymouth Working Mens Club)

Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Stacey Lou (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth)

Jolly Boys Outing (Lugger, Chickerell, Weymouth)

Georgie Broad (Black Dog, Weymouth)

Samantics (Ropemakers, Bridport)

Simon and Sally (Duke of Albany, Weymouth)


Alden, Patterson and Dashwood, Wild Willy Barrett’s Roaring Touring, Damian Clarke, Doc Clarke’s Remedy, Gadarene, Andy Grant Trio and many more (Wessex Folk Festival, various locations, Weymouth Harbourside) 11am to 6pm

Komakino (Finns, Weymouth)

Blind Harvest (Golden Lion, Weymouth)

Levena Johnson’s Whitney Houston Tribute (Gloucester, Weymouth)

Glass Spiders (Ropemakers, Bridport)

Lonesome Stampede (Tom Browns, Dorchester)

The Defibrillators (Wyke Regis Working Mens Club, Weymouth)

The Shakespearos (Hardy’s, Dochester)

Greg Agar (Star, Weymouth)

Sticky Jam Band (Weymouth Working Mens Club)

Replay (Centenary Club, Weymouth)

The Silhouettes (Lugger, Chickerell, Weymouth)

Darren H (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Martin Freed (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth)

Karina and Aaron (Conservative Club, Weymouth)

George (Bridge Inn, Preston, Weymouth)

Tequila Mockingbird (Wyke Smugglers, Weymouth)

Karen Kay (Black Dog, Weymouth)

Elvis Pete (Duke of Albany, Weymouth)

Monkey Jump (Bradpole Social Club, Bridport)

Dorset Wrecks (Boot, Weymouth) 3-5pm


Antoine and Owena, Gaz Brookfield, Jo Carley and The Old Dry Skulls, Lewis Clark and The Essentials, Dorset Wrecks, Emmay, Nina Garcia and The Tree Fellahs plus many more (Wessex Folk Festival, various locations, Weymouth Harbourside) 11am to 6pm

Matt Black (Park, Weymouth) 5pm.

Bitter and Twisted (Britannia, Portland) 4pm.

Tim Andrews (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth) 3pm and 8pm.

Richard Cooper, Wareham Whalers, Sheryl Lee (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth) From 3pm. A proper Sunday Session at the Duke.

Leanne Jackson (Black Dog, Weymouth) 4-6pm.

Tori Reed and Rick Foot (Ropemakers, Bridport)

Scots Dan’s Open Mic (Duke of Albany, Weymouth) 8.30pm.

Gut and Steel (George, Portland) 4-6pm.


Acoustic session (Belvedere, Weymouth)

Tim Andrews (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Songwriters Session (Tom Browns, Dorchester)


Leggomen (Boot, Weymouth)

Quaystage Folk Session (Pilgrim House, Hope Sq, Weymouth)

Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)


Wessex Folk Night (Sailors Return, Weymouth)

Open Mic Night (Royal Exchange, Portland)

Open Mic Night (Rock, Weymouth)

Tim Andrews (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)


Material Girl: Madonna tribute (Weymouth Pavilion)

Wingfaced Earth Figs (Royal Portland Arms, Portland)

Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Julie Lewis Jazz Jam (Park, Weymouth)

Traditional Tune Session (Cove House Inn, Portland)

Ukulele Sessions (Sailors Return, Weymouth)

Black Water County (Corn Exchange, Dorchester)

Sweetchunks (Finns, Weymouth)

Freezer (Sydney Arms, Dorchester)

Dead Man’s Clique (Park, Weymouth)

Acoustic Session (Victoria inn, Chickerell, Weymouth)

Billy Solo (Wellington, Weymouth)

Tori Reed Band (Royal Portland Arms, Portland)

Sammie (Weymouth Workies)

Darren H (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Cherry Pickers (Golden Lion, Weymouth)

Dakota (Lugger, Chickerell, Weymouth)