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The best small folk and roots festival in the UK (quite possibly)!

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

An update following the feedback you gave us on the 2023 festival:

We're making some changes as a result. But firstly - a massive 9 out of 10 of the hundreds of 2023 ticket-buyers who completed our feedback survey rated us as "definitely" or "quite possibly" the best small folk and roots festival in the UK! That's something we're very proud to hear and we thank you.

We are a not-for-profit organisation run by enthusiastic and experienced volunteers and we love what we do. Any surplus income we generate is ploughed straight back into future events - it goes nowhere else! We're a small team, all local to Southwell, mostly within a few minutes walk of each other, and most of us have day jobs too. We like to think we have some transferable skills that lend themselves to festival organising (as well as a love for the music and the show) but a lot of it we've worked out on the hoof over the years - like building websites and creating advertising artwork which we do ourselves in-house. The more we do ourselves, the more money can be used to run the festival - booking great UK and international artists and loos and so on.

Which brings us to the campsite loos this year. You've let us know there weren't enough, and so there will be more next year. There was a mis-understanding with what we ordered and splitting them between two ends of the campsite didn't help either. We'll put this right next year.

Another thing was the festival shuttle bus on Saturday afternoon. We'd increased the frequency since 2022, and we'll be doing so again in 2024.

We love having dogs at the festival (most of us have dogs ourselves) but this is dependent on them not interfering with the enjoyment of others. We'll be putting up signage and enforcing the "no dogs in venues" rule more rigorously in future because quite a few people pointed out that barking dogs were a distraction to audiences and also the artists.

We're also looking at more rain shelter. We had great weather again, but we did get a shower on Sunday evening, and we've seen some other festivals in the weeks since get more than their fair share of rain. So we're now looking at providing a cover for the audience at the Lake Stage, our main stage. Our second stage, the Folk Stage, is already covered, and we've put more shelter in the food court area too. We're still at the early stages of planning for 2024 but all your feedback is in the mix. Thank you for spending the time to share it with us.

We also had some issues with stage sound late at night impacting on local residents. We rely on the goodwill of local people and the generosity of our land owner, so we take this seriously. We are looking to re-orient the main stage and change the specification of the sound system so it doesn't travel as far as it did particularly on the first night this year.

If you weren't at this year's festival, it was an absolute stunner and we're pretty sure 2024 will be better! Come along and experience the best small folk and roots festival in the UK (quite possibly!). Tickets will be going on sale in September and we'll email again at the time. Save the dates though, 4th to 7th July.

If you're near to Southwell and want a musical fix in the meantime, we have just announced Colorado's Daniel Rodriguez (ex Elephant Revival) and his band to play in the Southwell WI Hall on 18th November. See here

Daniel Rodriguez, Saturday 18th November, Southwell WI Hall.

See you then!

The GTSF Team


4th to 7th July 2024

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