Special Events

The ESSEX FOLK ASSOCIATION ‘PLAYFORD BALL’ is held annually. Playford Balls are not held very often but EFA tries to organise one each year. Unfortunately, though, due to the Coronavirus Pandemic there has been considerable uncertainty  as to when indoor recreational activities, such as dancing, were likely to start up again. The  Committee therefore felt that, given the  circumstances, there was no option  but to cancel this annual event in 2020 and again in 2021.

However, with the recent lifting of restrictions the Playford Ball was held in 2022. The date for the 2023 ball has been set for Saturday 20th May – so put this date into your diary.

Shanties on the Ha’penny Pier – October 2021

The HARWICH INTERNATIONAL SHANTY FESTIVAL takes place every year in the old town at Harwich where shanty crews from around the world come to Essex to entertain us and take over the town for a few days.

Wherever you go in the town, be it in the pubs, in the streets, even inside the Redoubt fort, you will likely encounter singers dressed in strange nautical garb. Perhaps you will catch a glimpse of an old Thames Sailing Barge on the quayside or hear the sound of a cannon being fired over the estuary.

The 2023 festival is planned for 13-15th October
For the latest information contact https://harwichshantyfestival.co.uk/

The LEIGH-ON-SEA FOLK FESTIVAL was established in 1992 and has become the largest free folk festival in the country. It now includes concerts, dance displays, ceilidhs, a centrepiece procession, workshops, open mic, kids’ activities, film, street theatre, storytelling, busking, art and plenty more besides.

In May 2020, to get around the pandemic problems, the enterprising festival organisers ran ‘Front Room Folk’ as an online event which was quick off the mark, quite ambitious, and successful. This is still available to watch online at https://frontroomfolk.com/.

Garden Gatherings – was an event put on by Leigh Folk Arts Assoc in sept of 2021 – pretty similar to folk festival…but slightly different. https://www.thegardengatherings.com/.

Last year the festival was back to a more normal format. This year (2023) it is planned for 22-25th June.

For the latest information contact https://leighfolkfestival.com/