I love the Simonsbath Festival for two reasons. It's the only festival I know that regularly mentions wellington boots in its programme and it has my favourite approach road to a night out, with its inspirational views away to the west on the drive down the South Molton road.
After one of the wettest winters on record let's hope the wellingtons will be part of the storytelling and not the dress code for the audience! This year's festival once again offers a luring range of family and community events and the chance to hear great speakers on the mysteries of the moor or a brave attempt to live 'the good life' on a smallholding.
The roof of St Luke's will be raised with choral, chamber, world music, pop-up opera and jazz. Wells Cathedral have been regularly praised as one of the finest choirs in England, while a Zulu ensemble I know to be overwhelming in its emotion and power. Please do join us to meet new friends or join old ones - with a glass of wine, a local oyster and perhaps even a falcon on your arm.
Simonsbath Festival 2016 is now over, but you can still see the events listed on this website and you can also download a copy of the printed festival brochure (pdf file).
The children of Exford, Cutcombe and Timberscombe schools sang Songs from the Exmoor Forest with gusto and clarity at the Midsummer Family and Community Concert on June 16, providing a fitting finale to Simonsbath Festival 2016.
We leave you with a link to one of the high points of the festival The Lark Ascending and images of the festival's opening May Day celebrations followed by the Midsummer Concert at St John's Church, Cutcombe.
Thank you for your support.
Best wishes for a happy summer
from all of us at Simonsbath Festival
This was Simonsbath Festival’s fifth year when once again we celebrated the cultural heritage of Exmoor, with traditional May Day and Midsummer festivities to open and close the festival, while inviting musicians from abroad to celebrate their cultural heritage during the six weeks in between.
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The festival continues to prioritise its work with local schools. The project ‘Songs from the Exmoor Forest’ to revive interest in and knowledge of the traditional music and songs of Exmoor began three years ago and was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and run by the folk and community arts organisation Wren Music.
Wren musician Paul Wilson again this year to hold a series of workshops in local schools to teach the folk music, songs and traditions collected on Exmoor from the early 20th century to the 1980s. The workshops culminated in a Midsummer family and community concert on June 16 at St John's Church, Cutcombe.
As part of the project we have also collated an online song book featuring music and songs collected on Exmoor, which can be found here on the festival website.
St Luke’s was the original inspiration for Simonsbath Festival and the church continues to inspire, with its attractive and welcoming atmosphere and exceptional acoustic.
Over the past years the festival has made donations to local charities such as Exmoor Search and Rescue, the Beacon Centre cancer unit at Taunton’s Musgrove Hospital, the South Molton branch of the Royal British Legion, and last year gave a donation to the West Somerset Food Cupboard in Minehead.
If you would like to become a Friend of Simonsbath Festival for just £15 a year and enjoy ticket discounts and priority booking while also supporting the festival, please contact Polly Soltau.