The Leigh Folk Festival returns for its 30th anniversary in style with an incredible line-up of free entertainment and a series of unmissable ticketed evening events.

Taking place within the walls of picturesque Leigh Library Gardens, under the ship-hull shaped domes of 600-year old St Clement’s church and in a host of nearby venues from Thursday 23 to Sunday 26 June, Leigh Folk Festival will immerse Leigh-on-Sea over four days in sound, dance, comedy, spoken word, workshops and entertainment for all ages. More than 125 free performances across ten stages and venues are at the festival’s heart, plus a truly special series of intimate ticketed evening concerts, which are now available to purchase.

Mercury Prize nominated Eliza Carthy (MBE) is among those set to play on the Rockamilly Main Stage in the Gardens (sponsored by Leigh’s fabulous Rockamilly Boutique), heading the Eliza Carthy Trio with Saul Rose and David Delarr. A completely new Acoustic Stage featuring a wealth of local talent will also be introduced within the walls of Library Gardens. Alongside will be traditional and alternative dance sides, creative workshops and activities for all, a dedicated childrens’ and families area awash with colour, complimented by an independent makers and street food market including a mix of cuisine, ice cream from local legends Rossi and traditional ale and craft beers from Leigh-on-Sea Brewery and cocktails from Leigh Spirit Co.

Elliott Waters, Festival Director, said: ‘Leigh Folk Arts is overjoyed to celebrate this landmark anniversary with Leigh Folk Festival this year. After a two-year hiatus, in which the charity organised the highly successful Front Room Folk Festival and The Garden Gatherings, we couldn’t be happier to be back with our eclectic line-up music, comedy, poetry, dance, storytelling, workshops, children’s activities, singarounds and open-mic events. This truly is the most ambitious Leigh Folk Festival in our 30-year history’.

Nearby St Clement’s Church will offer free atmospheric open-mic Poetry by Candlelight on Thursday 23 June for any wordsmith wanting to share, and storytelling events on Friday 24 with Kate Corkey, and Saturday 25 June in the morning with Shane Ibbs for families. An open-to-all Open Mic Competition takes place in the afternoon on Saturday, entries must be pre-booked using On Sunday the church will be filled with sounds of the outstanding London Bulgarian Choir, supported by the Mudlarks vs the Feel-Good Choir, taking you on a journey of the country’s voice and creative traditions underneath its stained glass backdrop.

Back in the Gardens, three stages of entertainment throughout the weekend will include performances from No Good Woman and the Kingsnakes, Green Diesel, The Famous Potatoes, who will lead a family ceilidh, The Plan, The Thameside Mummers, Umbrella Factory, Emerald Hill, Levent-Taylor World Band, The Long Run, In Earnest, Ray Miso Trio, Pick Yer Feet Up, Sam Fraser, Caitlin King.

Elsewhere, a wealth of free day time music, dance, workshops and entertainment choices fill the weekend. On Saturday, Southend’s independent record label So Slam Records will take over Leigh Community Centre with a live podcast recording with Sheila Lord, and BBC Introducing in Essex taking over by showcasing the best unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar Essex talent on Sunday.

The ever-popular ‘Buskers Square’ returns to The Broadway Pub on Saturday, with The Pink Flamingo curating the venue on Sunday 26 June; and Cafe Hogart Del Mar hosts a singalong session.

Meanwhile the sedate Fishermen’s Chapel will be filled with music on Saturday and Sunday with guest curators Culture is a Dare and M.G Boulter, performances include Blind River Scare, Elaine Palmer, Harriet Bradshaw, Lean with the Breeze, Rev Simpkins and the Phantom Notes, Haress, Simon Finn, Pettaluck, Jason Steel, Diamond Family Archive, Alasdair Robert, Lost Harbours, The Owl Service, Masal, Burd Ellen, Evan Parker and more.

After the success of Leigh Folk Arts’ Garden Gatherings in September 2021, open-air comedy is also back, curated by Little Smash Comedy. Ahead of Edinburgh Fringe, a ticketed intimate night of comedy in the park takes place on Friday 24 June welcoming a line-up of side-splitting talent!

For its anniversary year, a special line-up of intimate evening ticketed concerts are now on sale spanning all four evenings taking place at St Clement’s Church and Leigh Community Centre. These events help the arts charity generate funds to programme the free events and stages across the Leigh Folk Festival site, while bringing more internationally celebrated performers than ever before.







Free: GBP 0.00


Artists: Wildwood Kin, Eliza Carthy, John Francis Flynn , Danny George Wilson , Emily Barker, Treetop Flyers, Ellie Gowers , Lucy Kitt, Funke and the Two Tone Baby, Scott Matthews, The Magic Lantern, Maz O’Connor, London Bulgarian Choir, Paul Sartin , Alasdair Roberts, Native Harrow , Serious Sam Barrett , The Trials of Cato, Evan Parker , Gwenifer Raymond

Additional Info

Date of Event (Leave blank if you are not listing a gig)On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 ( 6:00 PM) - Sun, Jun 26, 2022 (10:00 PM)