Press

Press Release

RECORD crowds attended the 39th Dartmoor Folk Festival, held in the foothills of Dartmoor at South Zeal, near Okehampton from August 5 to 7.

Local and national artists entertained those who went along to the event, most to sell-out audiences.
The festival included concerts, dances, a Dartmoor Fayre, a ceilidh, folk service, craft displays, music hall, pub sessions, a ramble on Dartmoor and music, song and dance workshops.
The packed programme of events also included a dedicated children’s festival.
Hotly-contested competitions included the Dartmoor Broom Dance championships and Dartmoor Step Dance championships.
Jenny Read of Exeter was judged the winner of the Adult step dance competition after a startling display in the final danced on the 15-inch square board on top of a wagon.
Jenny was placed second last year and previously won first place in 2012, 2004 and 2002.
Second was Lisa Sture and third was Alice Jones.
Persistence paid off for the Junior step dance competition winner, Christabel White (15), from South Zeal.
Last year she was second in the competition and the year before she was placed third.
Second was Alice Knight and third was Elsa Frangleton.
Broom dance champion was Evelyn Hansell (11), of Wallingford, Oxfordshire.
"I come to the festival every year and am absolutely thrilled because my brother, Albert, won it three years ago", she said.
Joint second were Annie Hockaday (11) of Welford on Avon, Warwickshire and Stanley Frangleton (8), from South Zeal.
The festival was founded by the late Bob Cann, from South Zeal, who wanted to revive and preserve the traditions of Dartmoor.
On Friday, August 5, the day this year's festival began, it would have been his 100th birthday.
Bob Cann was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to folk music.
The festival association includes many descendants of Mr Cann, and his daughter, Shirley Bazeley, is president.
She succeeds her mother, Mrs Joyce Cann, who sadly died earlier this year.
Shirley Bazeley and her sister, Wendy Murrin, officially opened the festival.
Shirley said: "There are only two words that I can sum up how I feel about the festival, 'very proud'.
"With the help of family and friends, passed and present, the festival has gone from strength-to-strength.
"This year I was honoured to be asked by the Dartmoor Folk Festival Association to be the new president.
"As many of you may know, our mum sadly passed away in January this year at the age of 90."
Wendy said her father started the festival in 1978, adding: "Who would have thought it would still be going strong after 39 years."
Alan Quick, press officer, said: “We have had record crowds and all of the events, from concerts to walks on Dartmoor, church services and many music sessions have gone very well.
He added: “The resurgence in the popularity of folk music and traditions has really helped put the festival on the map.
“It is renowned as one of the top family-friendly folk events in the South West but people attend from across the country as well as locally.
“The campsite as an example, saw more than 200 pitches occupied before the festival started on Friday evening."
Mr Quick said the festival provided a huge economic boost to the area with shops, pubs and bed and breakfast establishments, local suppliers and exhibitors generating tens of thousands of pounds into the local economy.
He added: “The festival has grown over the years and attracts some of the best folk artists around, whilst maintaining its reputation for being a relaxed, friendly and traditional festival.
“It is deeply rooted in the heart of the Dartmoor community and is keeping customs and traditions alive.”
Jason Rice, chairman, said: “The weather was fantastic and right from the start of the festival when the amazing group Blazin Fiddles, performed in the marquee to hundreds of people, we have been thrilled by how successful the event has been."
Jane White, secretary, said: "The festival has exceeded all expectations.
"It has been absolutely fantastic, a lovely weekend."


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