ABC of Chippenham: Steeleye Span

This Bank Holiday weekend sees Chippenham filled with strangely dressed characters bedecked with ribbons and bells and waving handkerchiefs, sticks or swords at each other.

It can only mean it's time for Chippenham Folk Festival.

As well as a multitude of morris dancing sides and other folk dancers, there's various bands and singers, including Steeleye Span who'll be the headlining act on Monday night. They also played at the first festival in 1971 when they were a relatively unknown band.

The first festival was held in Lacock and the organisers quickly realised its popularity meant making it a dual location event by including Chippenham was needed. Its continued growth led to Chippenham becoming the sole location in 1984, the year we moved into the area.

There's plenty of ceilidhs and performances to enjoy, though I do like just wandering around the High Street watching the morris dancers perform and catching other impromptu performances in a pub or at Monkton Park. Here there's a temporary stage set up for other scheduled outdoor performances. All of this side of things is free, but I always make sure I put something in the donation tin.

This is for ABC Wednesday (late this week because Chelsea Flower Show was still on) and forms the 19th post in my themed series about Chippenham.


  1. Ah...Steeleye Span - back to the time when folk rock was on a roll! I was a great fan and have all their early albums.

  2. Have we reached S already?

    I have never been to the folk festival because I'm always away at Whitsun. One day though.

  3. I REMEMBER Steeleye Span!

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  4. EG - one of our friend's sister was nanny to Maddy Prior in the 1980s

    Mark - yes we have! Shame it was a wet weekend as usual :(

    ROG - so do I!

  5. This post brings back memories VP ~ I saw Steeleye Span in concert sometime between 1972 -1976 ~ fabulous music :)

  6. Anna - I always remember them when we sing 'Gaudete' at choir :)


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