IT’S hard to believe that this summer will see the sixth edition of Lyme Folk Weekend.
What began life in 2013 as ‘The Late Summer Festival by the Sea’, has grown into one of the South West folk scene’s most popular events, and this year’s weekend, from Friday August 31 to Sunday September 2 is shaping up to be one of the best so far.
Sharing top billing at the Marine Theatre are three acts who will delight music lovers. First up on Friday August 31, a special one-off collaboration, curated by Ninebarrow, one of the most talked-about acts of recent years. The multi-award winning duo, otherwise known as Jon Whitley and Jay LaBouchardiere, will perform along with three of their own favourite acts - the brilliant Dorset trio Kadia, virtuoso guitarist Will McNicol, and superb a capella group The Teacups.
Saturday night is party night, and the Marine Theatre will rock to the exuberant sound of Merry Hell, one of the most exciting live bands to have emerged in recent years. Winners of both the Best Band and Best Live Band at the 2018 Folking.com awards, Merry Hell have been blazing a trail in the north of England with their high-energy, foot-stomping folk-rock, and are making a rare visit to the South West especially for Lyme Folk Weekend.
Bringing down the curtain on Sunday September 2 will be another unique concert, this time from one of the country’s biggest names - Show of Hands. Last year’s Lyme Folk Weekend ended with a memorable solo concert from Steve Knightley, the songwriting talent behind Show of Hands, after which the seed of an idea was sown. This year Steve returns with his partner in crime Phil Beer, to present a special one-off retrospective filled with songs from their early years together.
Steve and Phil began their remarkable musical journey 25 years ago here in West Dorset. Their first CD was recorded live in Bridport at the Bull hotel and Steve has written a host of songs about the people, stories and landscape of this area. This will be a rare opportunity to hear the duo revisit these songs at the wonderful Marine Theatre, in a unique coastal setting overlooking Lyme Bay.
As usual, the Marine Theatre shows will also feature some amazing support acts, many of whom will be known to Lyme Folk regulars from earlier festivals and the special Revisited concerts, including Saskia Griffiths-Moore, Toby Noble, Steve Dagleish and Ranagri.
There’s so much to see and do all weekend - free live music all day every day on the seafront stage, Morris dancing all over the town, the amazing Story Boat in Theatre Square, workshops and sessions in the Ship Inn and the return by popular demand of the wonderful free Moonlit Ceilidh - bring your dancing shoes!
Tickets for the Marine Theatre shows are on sale here or from Lyme Regis Tourist Information on 01297 442138.