Broadstairs Folk Week

9th - 16th August 2024

Location: Broadstairs, Kent


What is it? Broadstairs Folk Week is a week of celebrating folk music and creative arts across more than 500 events, and set in a perfect English seaside town. It’s great for families with a full children’s programme for toddlers to late teens.  There are lots of workshops in music, dance and song for all abilities in various venues; from Bollywood dance to banjo picking and ballad singing. The festival campsite is just 10 minutes walk from the town.

What’s it like?  Broadstairs regular Chris Panic (aka Prof Panic of Panic Circus) is a big fan.  Here he tells us all about it:

“I’ve been going every year since 2000 with a bunch of kids whose ages range from babies to about 18.  As it’s held in August, the weather is usually hot and sunny … I’ve also known it to be thunderstormy and windy, but the site copes well with that.  Every year I can I will be there.”

Broadstairs Folk Week is friendly, safe and secure.  Everyone acts like they are one big family.  This is a festival that people return to again and again.  It is Britain’s longest running folk festival and there are Grandparents, Parents, and children who have always come to it…. in fact I think I met a greatgrandparent in 2011!  It’s a real Family Festival… over 10 years I have seen the same families grow in involvement and confidence and skill.”

“The lineup is extensive and all over town in pubs, at the bandstand, in the ‘Concert Marquee’ and in the ‘Pavilion’ on the seafront.  The line up is always quite eclectic but with an emphasis on folk and world music.  This is a seven day ‘Folk Week‘ with all sorts of workshops for adults and children… There is always a great emphasis on participation…. Families come here year after year to learn more and more and to JOIN IN.”

“The campsite has a Bigtop venue for children, featuring the ‘Panic‘ team who supply children’s activities for 7 days. They concentrate on making themselves family friendly… occupying the children at times like early mornings and early evenings when parents are doing stuff like preparing for the day or preparing evening  meals and getting ready for the evening’s festivities. The Panic team operates from 9.00 till sunset with a break for lunch…..  as this is a long residency the programme is really varied and we are able to show how versatile we are.  Every evening ends with sunset stories from the Professor and his Coat of 100 pockets.  The culmination of the week is the ‘Show off your Circus Talent Show’ with full costumed cast and even more talent than usual.”

“The Children’s programme for the rest of the festival is extensive with workshops in all the folk arts plus Drama, Theatre… and Music. The Hobby horse club at the Bandstand and loads more ad hoc stuff happening…  AND all this happens in a classic southern English seaside resort with a beautiful sandy beach complete with Punch and Judy.”

My most memorable moment is usually the torchlight parade.  It’s a challenge, with  the Morris Dancers, Hobby Horses and Performers running a gauntlet of the whole town full of revellers from the Town Hall to the Bandstand.  Every year we have to think of something new to survive this… Last year after much debate we chose to present a troupe of penguins with remarkably surreal results!!…….. Next year, who knows?!!???????”

“My big tip for Broadstairs is book early… get to the campsite and bag your pitch as soon as you can….. but do be careful as some families ALWAYS camp on the same pitch year after year and you could upset someone!  And be prepared to join in and learn something.”


Site and Facilities: 

The campsite is very well organised with plenty of room.  The ground is flat and there’s easy access.  The campsite is on the Upton School grounds and it’s well serviced with showers and toilets, which are excellent, clean and adequate for the amount of people.

The campsite is fairly central and within easy reach of the shops and town but still well secure and well serviced by the excellent Gurka security team.

Phone cover is excellent.

Food on site is by the excellent ‘Moor and Coast’ team who do wonderful PROPER breakfasts and inventive insults and banter served with every meal.