Baring-Gould Folk Weekend and Song School

Sing Banner ceilidhtext Play banner Conkerstext


Folk weekend - Fri 21st - Sun 23rd October 2016

Song School - Mon 24th - Fri 28th October 2016

This intimate and family-friendly folk festival, hosted by Okehampton-based music organisation Wren Music, brings great local and national music and dance,and blends them with locally-sourced food and drink and an electric atmosphere to create an unforgettable weekend out for the whole family.

The Weekend is followed by the Song School, a get-away-from-it-all singing fest where communal support and encouragement combine to create an ideal environment for honing vocal and performance skills

Please click Here to book tickets.

Artists are yet to be fully confirmed for 2016, but please see below for our bookings so far!

2016 Folk Weekend Artists:

Gavin Davenport 

Gavin Davenport

“an uncommonly fine singer” fRoots


A finalist in the Fatea Awards 2013 for Male Vocalist of The Year and a winner of a 2013 fRoots Album of The Year position for The Bone Orchard, Gavin Davenport has in a few short years become “a major rising star of the folk scene” (R2 Magazine)

His bold, distinctive vocals, multi-instrumental skills wrapped around a unique, percussive guitar style and a knack for stark, contemporary songwriting unite the best of the oral tradition with a modern relevance and an incisive eye for detail. Gavin’s contemporary material draws on his deep knowledge of traditional material.


“bold, imaginative and ambitious” Songlines

  Sam Lee 1 

Sam Lee (Sunday)

Mercury Prize nominated Folk singer, song collector, promoter (of BBC award winning Nest Collective) radio host, TV personality, teacher and animateur, Sam's two critically acclaimed albums place songs he has collected first hand from the Gypsy Traveller Community at their heart with inventive arrangements bringing these ancient songs to life for the 21st Century. The Live band 'Sam Lee & Friends' perform unconventional and contemporary interpretations challenging all preconceptions of what ‘traditional folk’ should sound like.

Sam is also joining us for the first part of the Baring-Gould Song School


“You will be dumbfounded by Sam Lee with duck-egg eyes, a horseshoe smile and an honest, confiding baritone”
The Guardian




tom kitching 2

Tom Kitching

In a successful ten year career, Tom has worked with numerous singers and bands, including Pilgrims' Way, Gavin Davenport, Jon Loomes, Gren Bartley, and Albireo. He has tutored at Folkworks Summer Schools, and has lead numerous workshops around the country. Heavily involved in the dance scene, and veteran of over  1200 gigs, he stands at the leading edge of the English folk scene. His style is English at heart, whilst encompassing elements of many other traditions. It is a unique, vibrant style full of exuberance, energy and wit, yet capable of expressing extraordinary emotional depth.

Tom is this year's festival orchestra guest soloist


Mike Harding;

“Tom Kitching is one of the best English fiddlers ever – he plays with fire and gusto, energy, intelligence and feel – takes English folk music by the scruff of the neck and sends it off laughing and dancing and having a good time, The more I listen to this album the more it grows on me - Damn good stuff.”




Janet Russel

Janet Russell

From Buckhaven in Fife, Scotland, Janet Russell is one of the

finest voices in contemporary Scottish folk.

Steeped in traditional song but also fond of songwriting,

Janet stresses the unity of old and new songs.

We're really happy to welcome her back after a fantastic festival choir and her great performances last year!

Janet is this year's festival choir leader.


Sandra Kerr

Sandra Kerr (Sunday)

Sandra Kerr has had a long and distinguished career in folk music, beginning with her training in the acclaimed Critic's Group (1963-72 ), under the tutelage of Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger. Here she received a strong grounding in the folk arts, including song, instrumental music, folk and agit-prop theatre. In the late 70s and 80s she worked mostly in the media, where her writing and presenting skills were much in demand . She co-wrote and researched all the music for the much-loved TV series "Bagpuss" , currently enjoying a revival of cult proportions. The last decade or so has seen a slightly different emphasis in her work for, though she has continued to perform and record, she has become one of the most sought-after workshop leaders in the country. She offers a whole range of training programmes from voice production to traditional singing style, concertina workshops, training for teachers in the use of song and dance in early years education, and more.


Paul and Marilyn

Marilyn Tucker and Paul Wilson

Singing songs from across the spectrum of the English tradition, accompanied on accordion and guitar, Wren co-founders Marilyn and Paul star as performers this weekend.


"These guys are what Pete was all about!" - Peggy Seeger





The Folk Weekend is always family friendly, and this year provides something for everyone, with reduced price family tickets and a special family day on Sunday.

There will be song and music sessions for children and parents (and grandparents), a family ceilidh and even the annual conker competition!

The festival takes place entirely within the town of Okehampton, nestled on the eastern slopes of Dartmoor, giving easy access to the moor and all its wonderful views, amenities, walks and much more.

All the venues and events are within reasonable walking distance of each other and range from dances at the town’s Charter Hall, through acoustic concerts in the lovely Fairplace Church to snug sessions by the fire in the town’s pubs.

For more information, or to book tickets, please visit the Contact/Tickets page!


Concert Pub session
 all festival images copyright Dave Green 2013