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What's new 2021?

In a "normal year" there'd be loads of international acts, 4 covered main stages, in big tops and large marquees; plus workshops, dancing, great traders, lovely food, great beers, and the most friendly audience and volunteers you'd find anywhere; on-site camping (with your car by your tent if you like) and proper toilets and showers. This year will have a few changes, firstly because we've had the opportunity to move to a stunning new location, but also because we're currently assuming some Covid restrictions will still be in place, which might require some deviation from the norm.

After a hell of a 2020, we are determined to come back with a bang in 2021 for our 14th GTSF. It will be great to see all our friends again and if you're new to GTSF, you'll have a blast! Thanks to all of you who continue to support us; Lot's of you helped out when we had to cancel last June's festival. We also received grants from The Arts Council and Newark and Sherwood District Council, so we're in a great position again - even after refunding each and every ticket-buyer and trader. 

Beautiful New Setting

2021 is going to be extra special. We have a brand new location, on beautiful lakeside parkland at nearby Kirklington village. Whilst the Racecourse has been a great venue for the last 5 years, and our original site became too small, we are really excited about the new setting for the festival - a glorious background with lakes, trees and green green grass!

There's loads more room for camping, by your car or in your caravan or motorhome. The fields are flat permanent pasture, surrounded by woods, and the lakes.

Dogs: we have always welcomed well-behaved dogs to our campsites, but this year they'll also be allowed into the arena (though not venues) so please feel free to bring your dogs (at no extra cost). There are great walks from the festival around nearby woods and fields (a regular walking spot for at least one of us) - the Robin Hood Way goes just by.

It's also only half a mile from a National Cycle Network track - NCN 645 - which passes the old Kirklington Station.

We are really excited by our new venue, and we're sure you'll love it too.

New Dates: 2nd to 5th September.

We're moving to the first weekend in September, from our normal June weekend, with high hopes that we'll be well on the way to putting the pandemic behind us by then.



Having said that, things may still be a bit different to a normal year. We'll be taking great care to make the festival Covid-safe, and hopeful that by September things will be much better. There may be rules limiting ticket sales, we're re-thinking the stages and layout, and we may still need to socially distance to some extent - but the fun and the music will go on! 

The incredible vaccine roll-out, reducing cases and the Government's roadmap out of this is now giving us confidence that a festival of our size will be able to go ahead safely, even while larger festivals are sadly having to cancel. Given our size, we will be able to go ahead even if stage 3 of the roadmap is still in place (this comes in from 17th May) - though the Government's aim is that we should be in stage 4 as early as the end of June.

As we get nearer the date, and we know more about the restrictions in place and the protocols we'll need to introduce, we will set it all out on a new webpage. We are a member of the Association of Festival Organisers (AFO) who are providing resources and advice on all of this, so you can be assured we'll have everything covered. Our aim will be to make visiting the festival even safer than a trip to the supermarket!

Camp Fire


This year we'll be introducing a camp fire, in association with "Forest, School for All". All sorts of round-the-fire activities for all ages.

More info here...

2nd - 5th September 2021

Copyright, The Gate to Southwell Folk Festival Ltd

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