25th - 28th August 2023
Location: Shrewsbury, SY1 2PF
Shrewsbury Folk Festival has a reputation for delivering the very finest acts from the UK and around the world, from new authentic artists as well as more established performers, in fun and diverse concerts. They aim to give artists and audiences the best stages, in the best marquees, with the best sound and lighting possible.
Loads of events and entertainment for children and young people, workshops for everyone, and both organised and impromptu music sessions.
Site, facilities and camping info:
This festival site copes well with “weather”.
Lots of options for where to camp Quiet /noisy/remote/close to action etc …. Whole site level with hardstanding roadways and you are able to drive to your site. You are never more than a few moments from a venue and where you can save places for friends and have your vehicles next to your tent or caravan.
Free buses into town, an excellent on-site shop, a craft fair, a huge free car park, dance displays, and Open Mic
Friendly, helpful, well organised stewarding teams.
Catering stalls and bars, proper flushing toilets and loads of showers.
Free on-site WiFi so you can skype if your mobile network let’s you down!
What about families?
Panic Circus has been at Shrewsbury Folk Festival every year with his own kids. We spoke to Chris Panic about what the festival has to offer families:
There’s always an eclectic mix of world music and folk in lots of good venues. It’s the most fun ever in the huge ceilidh /dance tent … there’s all ages stomping in there. I was most impressed by the huge amount of teens and youngsters REALLY enjoying the ceilidh vibe.There are an amazing amount of skilled children here.
We’ve been involved in the Kidz Programme since the early days when this festival was the Bridgenorth festival. There’s a huge ‘Making and Doing’ Marquee with a large skilled staff of makers/enablers.This year the lantern parade was awesome too – so many amazing results. It was a magic parade at dusk ending in the Market area (which is also the Kidz Zone and Village Green).
Panic Circus has been at this festival forever, so we find that there is a HUGE reservoir of skilled children and teenagers. And, as it is also at the end of the summer festival season, it means that for lots of families that have done a few festivals that this is the last blast of fun before the schools go back. This results in a field FULL of children hooping/unicycling/Diablo-ing /stiltwalking and teaching each other… because of the accumulated skills over the year – we almost don’t have to teach at all… they teach each other!
The FINALE “show off your skill show” is always the BEST of the summer and as always the kidz make us look SO good! A huge amount of unicyclists always arrive able to do it and lots of them with their own unis.
I think it could be made even better if the festival would increase the input for kidz as there were SO MANY of them this year. They could really have done with our 2-pole Bigtop this year because our 1-poler was always full to capacity. And also we needed more crew in the circus (almost as many as we usually have for Glastonbury).
Another thing that I think could do with improvement is that it would be good to have an “under 5’s” dedicated area so that there is a focus for the younger children. The Bigtop and Making Marquee can be a bit frantic for very little ones.Great for teenagers though: there is a large enthusiastic and involved subgroup of teenagers and young people.
Most memorable moments? Looking across the area in front of our Bigtop at the mass of activity and thinking “WOW, we did that and now they are doing it themselves!”. And also looking at the lanterns spiralling around the market area at dusk … it was magic. Excellent!
It’s also very safe… no lost children… no drongos… no theft … good stewarding. I’d give it a 9/10 for families.
– Chris Panic (from Panic Circus)
Find out more on the festival website: