🗓️ Thursday 17th – Sunday 20th August 2023
This family-friendly, intimate festival is set on a farm just outside Swanage and is one of the most popular events of its kind on the Jurassic Coast.
Kick back to the sounds of world and roots music, and dust off your dancing shoes for some toe-tapping traditional folk at the festival’s two annual ceilidhs.
The festival spans three (and a bit!) days with music across five stages – kicking off on the Thursday evening for a celebration of all things folk – and on top of great national and international musicians there’s also Purbeck Rising, which welcomes new, emerging and local talent.
As well as a great musical line-up, including Newton Faulkner, The Magic Numbers and Sarah Jarosz, expect a load of other festival favourites, such as children’s activities and craft workshops including candle-craft, origami and even tutu-making.
There’s a chance to make your own music at the busk station and flex your vocal cords at the open mic sessions, as well as have-a-go instrument sessions and music workshops.
Every year the festival has a themed fancy dress competition, held on the Saturday afternoon at the Fire Stage. This year the theme is the letter L.
And if you have a beard it’s time to start growing it and/or coming up with creative grooming techniques for the annual festival Beard-Off, with categories such as ‘Biggest, Bestest & Fullest’ to Most Creative. And of course, there’s girls’ and kids’ categories too.
And the ever-popular Purbeck Poetry Slam is back – to submit your entry, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Purbeck Valley Folk Festival features a fantastic mix of home-grown and international musicians each year, with music playing across its various stages all weekend long.
Here’s a small selection of highlights from years gone by…
Workshops & craft-making
Whether you’re staying for the whole festival or only have a day, the craft area is a must-visit.
Most activities are fun for kids and grown-ups alike and operate a cash or card donation system.
Try your hand at something new like raku-fired pottery, cyanotype craft or even blacksmithing, or get crafty with the children making your very own henna tattoos and tutus for your own, unique festival look, or put these pesky odd socks to good use by transforming them into a hobby horse.
As well as all that crafting, there’s loads of other things going on for kids.
Sit back and listen to a story, get your face painted, have a go at the circus skills area and lots more…
Food & drink
Start your day with some delicious homemade food on-site; stoke the engines for exploring with a great range of snack vans & refuel after working up an appetite at the ceilidh at one of the bars and various food outlets, which all stay open till late.
Find the best local cider to go with your stone-baked pizza, venison burger or vegan burger, or have a fruit-filled smoothie to accompany a sugary treat like donuts and crêpes.
For campers, there’s also a variety of breakfast stalls and of course the all-important freshly-made morning coffee.
Here’s a flavour of what to expect at this toe-tapping music festival in the heart of the Purbeck countryside:
See the full band line-up on the festival website: www.purbeckvalleyfolkfestival.co.uk/line-up2023/
Folk Festival folk
Whether you want to take part in the annual fancy-dress competition (2022’s theme was ‘The Letter A’) or just want to get your glitter on…or Viking horns…or whatever takes your fancy, you’re just as much the stars of the show as the musicians you’re supporting…
Tickets are available on a first-come-first-served basis, with early bird options and locals’ discounts for residents of BH19 and BH20 addresses.
There may be some tickets available on the gate, but this is a popular little Dorset festival, so booking in advance is the best option.
Earlybird weekend ticket prices:
- Adult – £135 (early bird)
- Youth (age 13-17) – £70
- Child (age four-12) – £30
- Adult – £60 – £65
- Youth (age 13 – 17) – £30-£35
- Child (age 4-12) -£15
Full festival details and ticket prices, including information on early bird savers and locals’ discounts, can be found online: www.purbeckvalleyfolkfestival.co.uk
Make a weekend of it by staying on the farm in the thick of the action.
You can camp for free with your tent, or add on a campervan or glamping option to your festival ticket.
- Tents – free/included in ticket price
- Campervans – one-off fee of £40
- Glamping (sleeps up to 4) – £250 (stay in a pre-erected bell tent, complete with bunting and fairy lights. Option to add inflatable mattresses)
- Luxury glamping (sleeps 6) – £350 (includes bell tent options plus inflatable mattresses, table and chairs)
Glamping booking contact
Email or message ahead to let the team know reserve your glamping spot:
- 07733 321377 (message via WhatsApp)
Nestled in the beautiful Jurassic Coast countryside underneath the dramatic backdrop of the Purbeck Ridgeway, both farm and festival are easy to find.
Postcode for SatNav: BH20 5HU
📍 Purbeck Valley Farm, Valley Road, Corfe Castle, Wareham
The festival is set on a rural farm between Corfe Castle and Swanage, but it’s really easy to find as it’s just off the main A351 Valley Road.
Purbeck Valley Farm is the first left after Corfe Castle village if you’re coming from Wareham way.
If you’re coming from Swanage it will be on your right just after leaving the village of Harman’s Cross.
The festival is well signposted and there’s plenty of on-site parking in the field.
The Number 30 Purbeck Breezer bus stops right outside the festival.
If you’re arriving from further afield, the London-Waterloo train line stops at Wareham – you can pick up buses or taxis from here.