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.
A warm welcome to Simonsbath Festival 2016 . All of the events are listed on this website and you can also download a copy of the printed festival brochure (pdf file).
This is Simonsbath Festival’s fifth year when once again we celebrate 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.
We have packed as much variety as possible into the programme with opera, jazz and classical music concerts and all sorts of other events, including talks and walks and an art exhibition.
Details of all the events can be found here on the website and you might also like to request a regular update on events by signing up to our Festival News. You can also follow us on social media (Facebook and Twitter) and recommend events to your friends using the social media buttons at the foot of each page.
Besides the events taking place in Simonsbath and the May Day celebrations in Exford, the festival continues to be committed to working 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 is back 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 culminate in a Midsummer family and community concert on June 16 at the Moorland Hall, Wheddon Cross.
As part of the project we have also collated an online song book featuring music and songs collected on Exmoor, which can be found 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.
We all very much hope you enjoy the festival.