A festival of traditional music and dance taking place on May 11th in the picturesque town of Whitchurch, Hampshire.

Limited tickets now on sale for our first year back.

The revitalised festival is set to make Whitchurch a hub for traditional arts.

Breathing new life into a not-too-distant tradition

Welcome to the Whitchurch Folk Festival, a heartwarming revival of a cherished tradition. This festival harks back to the original folk festivities that graced our town from the late 1970s to the early 90s, a period fondly remembered by long-term residents and those who grew up here. These events were more than just celebrations; they were a vibrant tapestry of community, art, and shared experiences.

The seed for this relaunch was planted by local folk musicians, Paul Sartin and Jon Wilks, who breathed new life into the Whitchurch Folk Club in 2017. Tragically, we lost Paul in 2022, a profound loss felt deeply by the community. In honor of his legacy, Paul’s friends and family united to turn the dream of a revived folk festival into a reality. We’re grateful for all contributions to the festival received from so many people; particular grateful thanks go to the Andover Museum Loft Singers, Magpie Lane, and the Sarah Morgan Foundation.

This year marks the inaugural relaunch of the Whitchurch Folk Festival. We are starting with a one-day event set in the heart of our picturesque town centre. It’s a celebration not just of folk music and dance, but of the enduring spirit of our community. We’re already looking forward to expanding this into a full weekend festival in 2025, envisaging a larger, more immersive experience in the lush fields surrounding Whitchurch.

Join us for this momentous rebirth of the Whitchurch Folk Festival. This event features a lineup of some of Paul Sartin’s favorite musicians and dance sides, a fitting tribute to his memory and his contributions to folk music. It’s more than a festival; it’s a gathering of hearts, a melding of old traditions with new memories, and a celebration of the enduring spirit of folk culture.

Who was Paul Sartin

Paul Sartin was a renowned English folk musician, known for his exceptional skills as a singer, oboist, violinist, composer, and arranger. As a member of Bellowhead, Faustus and Belshazzar’s Feast, not to mention the musical director of the Andover Museum Loft Singers, he was a key figure on the British folk music scene.

He lived in Whitchurch for two decades. He was not just a musician; he was a mentor, a friend, and a pillar of the local community.

Following his passing in 2022, the impact of his loss was deeply felt. His legacy, however, continues to inspire and resonate within the local community as well as the wider folk and music communities. Many many people have contributed to the relaunch of this festival via his Much Loved page. We thank them for their generosity.

The revival of the Whitchurch Folk Festival, an event that Paul so eagerly wanted to happen, serves as a tribute to his memory and his enduring influence on the town’s cultural heritage.