Southdowns Folk Festival


Richard DiganceA rich variety of music and fun for all the family

Southdowns Folk Festival – Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd September

Taking place in beautiful Hotham Park, the Regis Centre and other quality venues around the seaside town of Bognor Regis, this new festival revives the highly successful Southdowns Folk festival which ran in the 1980s, featuring some of the very top headline acts on the folk/roots scene. As part of the festival, a Sussex young folk performers competition is being planned with the finals taking place on the Bandstand stage in Hotham Park in the afternoon of Saturday 21st September. This competition will be open to folk musicians between 10 and 21 who live in Sussex or adjacent to Sussex. Besides others, one of the prizes will be to perform a 20 minute spot before festival headliners, Show of Hands. If you are interested in this exciting new competition or know someone who would be, e-mail or to get more information.

Show of Hands

Show of Hands

The festival has established names such as Show of Hands, musicians reformed again such as Home Service and a host of up and coming new talent. An example of these ingénus are Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar, the winners of the 2013 BBC Young Folk Performers award. And speaking of established acts, Show of Hands have been described as one of the strongest current forces in acoustic music, England’s finest and most popular roots duo and something of a ‘people’s band’.

Another established band is Legacy, one of the most popular Celtic bands around with a reputation for breathtaking sets of tunes coupled with great songs and awe-inspiring performances.

Many people were happy to see Home Service reform recently. During its relatively short life in the mid-eighties, the band produced three albums and headlined at major festivals. They toured extensively but were probably seen and heard by the greatest number of people when they provided music for the National Theatre’s highly acclaimed production of ‘The Mysteries’. This epic trilogy ran for many years at the National and Lyceum Theatres, was filmed for tv and reprised for the Millennium Celebrations.

Home Service

Home Service

Some of the other treats on the programme are the Bognor Big Bite Food Festival in Hotham Park, offering local food & drink with the emphasis on trying and tasting; art exhibitions and displays and children’s entertainments. Folk archive films are showing at the Picturedrome Cinema and there is a guitar workshop with Martin Street.

Visit for more on the festival and for full weekend and family tickets go to For individual evening concert tickets call the Regis Centre Box Office on 01243 861010 or go to and click on Southdowns Folk Festival. The Festival Box Office hotline number is 01243 820187 / 07751 594285.

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