News

Folk Camper in smallest car for longest UK journey

Folk Camper Alex Orchin is driving his Peel 50 (World’s smallest production car) from John O’Groats to Lands End to raise money for BBC Children in Need. He has appeared on BBC TV local and national news, various other news sites and has his own YouTube episodes documenting his journey.

He is also playing his bagpipes along the way, which Folk Campers will definitely remember if they ever camped with him!

See YouTube for episode one of his journey and his fundraising page.

Book your 2022 Folk Camps today!

From Friday 12th November you can book your 2022 holidays with Folk Camps!

The full programme for 2022 is now available here.

For our summer weeks there are reduced prices and no deposits required until end of February!

After being forced to cancel our 2020 and 2021 seasons, we are keen to burst back to life in 2022! For that reason, we have REDUCED our summer week prices for one year only and removed the requirement for booking deposits until the end of February 2022. The weekend camps are all still at the same prices as in 2019.

Contact your friends and plan your 2022 Folk Camps with them! It’s first come first served for these popular camps – if we reach the places limit for particular weeks, you can apply to join the waiting list.

If you plan your Folk Camps holidays based on the camp staff, this page may help you.

We look forward to finally meeting you in a field! Bookings ARE NOW OPEN!

2022 Folk Camps Programme Published

The full programme for 2022 is now available to browse. It will be available to book from 12th November.

After being forced to cancel our 2020 and 2021 seasons, we are keen to burst back to life in 2022! For that reason, we have REDUCED our summer week prices for one year only and removed the requirement for booking deposits until the end of February 2022.

The weekend camps are all still at the same prices as in 2019.

Take a look at the programme of Folk Camps now.

Tell your friends and plan your 2022 Folk Camps with them.

Bookings will open on Friday 12th November.

Folk Camps August Weekend Events Cancelled for 2021

With reluctance, Folk Camps Council has decided that with the sudden rise in Covid infections and the continuing uncertainty of government policy, it would not be wise to continue with the August Bank holiday weekends this year (2021).

Folk Camps Council (the trustees and directors) met on 4 July to review the position and unanimously agreed that this was the safest course of action.

Council and the majority of FCS members have been clear that we would only want to run a ‘normal’ Folk Camp, i.e without face masks or social distancing and with the freedom to sing, dance and play music without restriction. The current English Regulations make this impossible. It is not clear this will be permitted without further changes by the end of August.

We are also mindful of the danger of excluding those who are too young to be fully vaccinated by August.

Plans for 2022

In 2022, we very much hope that we will be able to resume our full programme, with many of the sites, people and events we all love. The broad programme will be similar to that planned for 2020 but we are also looking at some exciting new potential locations for the marquee camp.

Online Events

We are planning a week of online Lockerdown events in October, along the lines of previous successful events.

In the meantime may we wish you and your friends and families an enjoyable summer, hopefully in a tent somewhere!

Folk Camps Council

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    Research published into English Social Folk Dance

    “Barn Dances, Ceilidhs, and Country Dancing in England 1945-2020: An Examination of Non-Specialist English Social Folk Dance” by Chloe Elizabeth Middleton-Metcalfe

    This is a PhD thesis that may be of interest to Folk Campers and the wider Folk community. Chloe has attended Folk Camps in the past, and has carried out extensive research into the experience of occasional or novice dancers, at social events, rather than more formal or performance led events.

    It attempts to answer: ‘why do people hold English social folk dances?’. It also covers how dances were taught at 30 recent dance events.

    For those of us that enjoy dancing for its own sake, or play music or call at such events, this is an interesting read.

    You can read the whole PhD Thesis here.

    Extent Newsletter Spring 2021

    The Spring issue of the Folk Camps Extent newsletter has been published here.

    Slimmer than usual due to lack of face to face events, but it includes updates on the virtual craft break, information about why we cancelled the summer catered camps, plans for meeting you later in the year, and an obituary of a prominent Folk Camper.

    All 2021 Summer Catered Camps Cancelled

    With reluctance, Folk Camps Council has decided that for reasons of safety and financial prudence, we cannot run the programme of summer catered week camps in July and August 2021.

    This decision was taken after looking at the safety risks, the costs, availability of staff and demand. The survey (sent to anyone who has camped with FCS since 2018) drew 196 responses from which we learned that 28% of campers had already decided not to attend a folk camp this year and/or had decided to book a different type of holiday. Equally we were very gratified to learn that 99% of you are planning to return in 2022!

    Many thanks to all those who took part in our survey, which was very helpful in helping Council to gain a fuller picture of campers’ views.

    The other key reasons for Council’s decision were:

    • 57% of staff could not commit to staffing on a camp this summer.
    • The mask, distancing, sanitation, covid testing and food hygiene requirements that will apply in July or August remain unknown.
    • Council and the majority of FCS members have been clear that we would only want to run a ‘normal’ Folk Camp, i.e without facemasks or social distancing and with the freedom to sing, dance and play music without restriction.

    We considered running a smaller programme, but we were mindful of the danger of it being ‘exclusive’ to those who are lucky enough to be vaccinated or able to book at the drop of a hat. This could exclude those who are too young to be fully vaccinated by August and those whose holiday dates are controlled by their employers.

    From the health and safety point of view there are still too many uncertainties, and by the time the position is clearer it would be too late for us to carry out the necessary pre-event preparations.

    August Bank Holiday – no decision yet
    We are keeping open the possibility of the August Bank holiday weekends because these will be later, incur much less financial risk and are self-catered, thereby removing one of the principal health issues. Council will review the position in the first week of July and email you very soon after that.

    Plans for 2022
    In 2022, we very much hope that we will be able to resume our full programme, with many of the sites, people and events we all love. The broad programme will be similar to the one we had to cancel in 2020, but we may need to change some sites due to changes in availability.

    We hope you will have a good summer 2021 with whatever holidays we are able to have – with friends or family, self-catered camping or any other type of holiday.

    Folk Camps Council

    Outreach Working Group Update

    Following the AGM, we have set up a working group for Outreach projects and now wish to identify proposals which may be suitable for an Arts Council Funding Application from Folk Camps. If successful this bid would allow us to learn more about how Arts body funding could benefit Folk Camps and help further our aims via Outreach.

    We are therefore appealing to members to submit potential projects for Folk Outreach activities that would benefit from funding.  The total value of the bid for up to 3 sub projects will be in the region of £15,000 and these funds could cover costs or expenses of the projects as well as project management of them. 

    Projects should meet some of our objectives (listed below) and be able to be delivered in the current environment of Covid-Safe Arts activities before the end of 2021.  Projects are expected to be led by Folk Campers and sponsored by Council through the bid.  Please see the proposal form below for more information.

    Key dates (2021)

    • April 9 – deadline for initial proposals
    • April 16 – Shortlist of projects for 1st bid for Council approval. Up to 3 selected. Successful and unsuccessful proposals notified. (Unsuccessful proposals may also be held in reserve for future bids)
    • April 19 – Further work with projects working with proposers and Cat McGill to pull together detailed information for Arts Council bid
    • May 7 – Council review bid submissions
    • May 14 – Bid submission to Arts Council
    • June 28 – Expected Arts Council decision

    This opportunity is open to Governing Members or Folk Campers who have attended 2 or more camps in the last 5 years. We invite those interested to send a brief outline of their idea to the Outreach Working Group at outreach@folkcamps.co.uk using the proposal form as guidance or drop us an email for informal advice. (We also welcome projects that do not require funding – please email the Outreach group if you wish Council to sponsor or recognise an unfunded project you would like to lead).

    The objectives of Folk Camps Society Outreach:

    • Support the Society’s aim of promoting and supporting traditional music dance and song
    • Showcase and champion folk music (and in particular Folk Camps Society) as a vehicle for truly multi-generational, inclusive arts activity
    • Reach out to potential new folk campers of all ages through participatory music-making, song and dance opportunities
    • Create a more formal scheme for the mentoring of young musicians, dance instructors and workshop leaders
    • Create opportunities for young musicians to perform, play, participate and share their skills at a variety of events
    • Increase the pool of skilled volunteer staff for camps, and ensure that a consistent (might evolve) musical and dance offer runs through each individual camp

    This is a really exciting new initiative for Folk Camps and we do look forward to receiving your applications and your ideas. Please use the attached short proposal form which will give us an understanding of your idea or get in touch for an informal chat.

    Application form:

    Please email to outreach@folkcamps.co.uk.

    Kind regards

    Outreach Working Group