About Us

What is The Essex Folk Association?
EFA is the organisation for anybody who is involved in the folk arts in an around Essex.

It is a registered charity, affiliated to the EFDSS (English Folk Dance and Song Society) – the national association for promoting the folk arts in England.

It is a mutually supportive association of individuals, organisations and clubs; dancers, singers, musicians, poets, songwriters, story tellers, artisans, performance venues and anybody who is interested in watching, listening or taking part in any of the folk arts.

What does EFA do?
We promote the Folk Arts, both in and around Essex by encouraging and helping our members to set up and publicise events and by arranging some special events ourselves. We also publicise information provided to us by other organisations with similar interests.

We communicate this information:

  • In our magazine efn (Essex Folk News);
  • On our website;
  • On our Facebook page;
  • By email to our members;
  • By word of mouth.

We liaise with other like-minded organisations to ensure that we are working together to further our mutual interests. These include:

  • The East Anglian Folk Council;
  • Regional & County Sports & Arts Councils.

The Objectives of the Association, as set out in its Constitution, are:
“To advance the education of the general public by encouraging amongst particularly but not exclusively the people of south east England (by which expression is meant the administrative areas of the counties of Essex, Kent, Hertfordshire, Suffolk and including the London Postal Districts) awareness , knowledge, understanding, conservation and appreciation of, and participation in, the folk arts to include but without being limited to the arts of traditional music, song, dance, drama, story telling and related folklore and customs which particularly but not exclusively originate in England or which have been brought to England by communities who have settled here”

A Shanty Crew performing on the Bandstand at Eudo Festival in Colchester, Essex 2021

How do we do it?
We use the knowledge and skills of our members to organise events and to provide services. We can supply details of:

  • Bands and other performers that may be engaged for an event;
  • Callers for different styles Folk Dance;
  • Teachers and coaches for developing skills in the folk arts;
  • Advice and materials to assist in your chosen endeavour;
  • Artisans who may be able to provide or repair your valuable artefacts.

Annually we hold a Playford Ball near Chelmsford for people who want to take part in a folk dance extravaganza.