Leigh Folk Festival is the UK's largest free folk festival, taking place from the 23 / 24 / 25 / 26 June 2016. Rather than drifting towards becoming another commercially driven, ticketed event, the team of volunteer organisers has doggedly held fast to the original grass roots, access-for-all ethos, and so the festival has retained its unique, eclectic and idiosyncratic atmosphere.
Music has the power to make us all feel part of something bigger than ourselves, while nurturing a true sense of community and local pride. The pastoral, village fete atmosphere of the Library Gardens and the bustling, waterfront location of Old Leigh are both fundamental to the spirit of the weekend, and offer a natural, unpretentious welcome to visitors in their thousands. Our Crowdfunder campaign aims to maintain the quality and diversity that Leigh Folk Festival so passionately embraces.
Taking place across a swathe of indoor and outdoor venues around Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, our much-loved event is unchallenged as the largest free folk festival in the country. And 2016 will form a significant landmark in our history as the 25th staging of an annual event which has captured the imagination of both local residents and visitors from across the world. More than 20 venues, 200 acts and 20,000 people are welcomed to Leigh-on-Sea each year.
Back in 1992, National Music Day was an initiative dreamed up by the improbable combination of Tim Renton MP and Mick Jagger, sparking a one day explosion of live music events around the UK, ranging from street corner busking to the Glastonbury Festival. Our local response was to stage a modest day of folk music and dancing, an occasion which proved so popular that it was repeated the following year, then the next, then the next…
Over the intervening period the Leigh Folk Festival has grown enormously in scope and scale, and now encompasses concerts, dance displays, ceilidhs, a centrepiece procession, workshops, open mic, kids’ activities, film screenings, comedy, street theatre, storytelling, busking, art and plenty more besides.
*Please note that the final designs may vary slightly from those displayed. Matt Boulter's beard may also be more impressive in real life.
Leigh Folk Festival has been free for the last 25 years, and we intent on keeping it that way. The festival takes place across four days, with more than 200 acts performing. Leigh Folk Festival since it's inception has been entirely organised, planned and orchestrated by a team of dedicated volunteers who invest thousands of hours of time each year to making it happen meaning that the time invested often happens at weekends and evenings.
As the years have gone on, Leigh Folk Festival has grown and developed, and the costs of putting a large scale event on increase, and new costs emerge. We rely entirely on donations, sponsorship or grant funding, and in recent years all three of these areas have become increasingly difficult markets.
This crowdfunding campaign will, if successful, go a long way toward ensuring that the 25th anniversary of Leigh Folk Festival is a huge success, and helping to secure future events over the coming years.
Leigh Folk Festival works with a budget somewhere in the region of £15,000 to £20,000. The money you contribute to the festival will help us make sure we have enough funds for this years festival, but also to help us secure future events too.
This budget goes on musicians travel expenses and some performance fees, hiring stages, sound equipment, van hire, insurance, printed materials, signage, generators, gazeebos, licenses and more.
We are hugely appreciative of everyone that supports our campaign, and to those who have helped us to create it in the first place. We ask that you spread the word that Leigh Folk Festival needs the help of the music community and amazing community in Southend. Take to social media, the streets, gigs and however you can to let people know to support the campaign.