About US

The Gate to Southwell Festival is now established as a leading international roots and acoustic music event rivalling other well-established festivals and receiving many accolades. We are on the edge of the historic and beautiful market town of Southwell next to the racecourse, and approximately 13 miles from Nottingham and 8 miles from the A1 and Newark.


Over 50 artists performing over 4 days on 4 main stages, on-site camping, kids activities, street theatre, comedy, spoken word and lots more. See who's booked already here.

We are pretty-much rain-proof!! We get some great weather in early June, but it's England and anything can happen! All our stages are in big-tops or marquees, so concerts are all under cover in the warm and dry. There's plenty of seating in the main stage Big Top, the Folk Stage, the Barleycorn Stage, and plenty of room to dance in the Frontier Stage big-top where things get a bit more lively.  Our two main bars are also in marquees so you can enjoy the plentiful selection of real ales, ciders, wines and spirits (or whatever else takes your fancy) in the dry if a shower passes by. There's a covered large seating area near the food traders too.


We believe what sets us apart from many of the smaller UK festivals are two things - the first is the music. You will not find any "fill-in" artists at GTSF. Everyone on stage brings a unique talent, whether they're well-known names or up-and-coming stars, or are playing to gain exposure with a new audience, they will all have shown an element of "magic" in their performances to bring something special to the festival experience. There have been many artists who have played their first "proper festival" here, who now grace the main stages of some of the greatest festivals in the world. See them here first! 


The second is the friendliness of GTSF - you can bump into the organisers all over the site and have a chat. Our stewards are just the best - and that rubs off on everyone else.   We implore you to come and join the fun!


We are also renown for the special concerts and shows which intermingle with great acts like those you can find on the line-up page.   In 2017 we put on an unforgettable "Summer of Love" concert and in 2016 celebrated Bob Dylan's 75th birthday with another hit concert. See what's on this year via the links under "What's On" in the menu.

From its humble beginnings in 2007 as primarily an English folk music and dance festival, Southwell has evolved into one of the leading and most innovative roots and acoustic music events in the country.

Whilst English and Celtic music remain at the core we seriously embrace other roots music forms. Southwell has built a reputation for seeking out exciting new talent and providing something a little different. Quality remains the watchword so whether it’s country or gypsy jazz, ska or rockabilly, bluegrass or punk, traditional or contemporary, it’ll be good.

pity .. those poor unfortunates who 'don't do folk'. They should try a pilgrimage to Southwell. If that doesn't cure them, then I fear that nothing will” efestivals review 2013.

Dance remains a popular part of the festival with an emphasis on variety and entertainment. Ceilidhs or other social folk dances take place each day on site.

Southwell is a family friendly and fun festival with plenty of entertainment for the kids and youths alike.  Many children’s activities are aimed to be educative as well as fun with our own instrument workshops, and various other hands-on opportunities. Family entertainment always includes a liberal dose of Street Theatre and ‘walkabouts’ as well as storytellers and musicians.

See the links below for reviews of past years.

Festivals for All 2019

Folk Radio UK




Spiral Earth

Photos by kind permission of Phil Richards

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Copyright, The Gate to Southwell Folk Festival Ltd