Workshops in the Fringe Tent


10 to 11.20 Spoons Workshop with Jo May

Come and learn to play the spoons with Jo May. Lots of spoons will be provided – wooden, metal and plastic ones – but feel free to bring your own if you’d like to. You’ll learn some basic techniques and we’ll put these together to create a little routine. We’ll also add in a few other percussion instruments towards the end of the session! No experience necessary, sense of humour essential!

11.30 to 12.40 – Singing with Dave Partington

We all have a singing voice within us, want to try expand yours and experiment with others? Dave Partington is ‘bass Trow’ from Priddy favourites ‘the Roaring Trowmen’, 4 hearty men who sing sea shanties and songs of the salty deep. He will do his level best to teach a couple of shanties to those brave enough to take the step beyond singing in the shower/car/open spaces where you can’t be heard . Prepare to revel in glorious group harmonies taught from scratch and take pride in the collective sound that you could be part of.


10 to 11.20 – Bodrhan workshop with Nick Mitchell

Nick first tried the bodhran at a Priddy festival a few years ago. He watched Flook in action and was impressed by John Joe Kelly’s playing…and later spent some time drinking pints in the fest bar with John Joe…and so a love of bodhrans was started.Nick has been to many bodhran workshop weeks in Ireland, has made his own bodhran and is now ready to share what he has learned. Bring your own bodhran, (there will be a few to borrow) and be ready to enjoy a new perspective on bodhran playing.

11.30 to 12.40 Old Somerset Russetts

Bring your instruments and join in with this really popular workshop

If you enjoy playing traditional music with others, join the Russets’ band workshop and experience the thrill of playing in parts.  You’ll be introduced to some band arrangements and have a chance to play alongside a full range of treble and bass instruments.  Play the tune or read a harmony line.  This year’s workshop features tunes played by Somerset fiddle players of the past.  Music will be provided, including guitar chords.  Bring your instrument.  A music stand is useful but not essential.

Drawing on manuscript sources and early published collections, their workshop offers musicians the experience of playing in harmony with a full band.

Regular visitors to Priddy since 2013, they also accompany the singing at the festival church service in true Thomas Hardy style. 

Other Workshops

Clog Dance workshop with Laurel Swift

Join Laurel in what will be a fun and rewarding workshop. You will be learning steps from an Old Lancashire heel and toe dance and you won’t need clogs.

Laurel has impeccable credentials as an inspiring instigator of creative new projects and performances rooted in the folk arts.  She has choreographed and devised national touring dance productions, advised theatre & film companies on using folk music and dance material, as well as having performed and taught at festivals in the UK and America. Laurel founded an organisation to develop youth folk arts projects, teaches and contributes to education projects nationally and regularly performs in a number of acts including Gadarene who are also playing at Priddy this year.

Time/venue TBC

Step dancing 

SomerStep, a group of dancers and musicians based at Crewkerne , will will host a workshop focusing on Southern English heel and toe steps 

Step Dancing was once a popular entertainment in pubs around Mendip and in the Priddy and Wells areas it survived into the early 1950s. At the New Inn at Priddy a flagstone was worn through by the dancing feet of generations. Both men and women danced and showed off their agility and skills by dancing in small areas or around objects. Steppers at Priddy danced around a hankerchief or a pair of crossed churchwarden pipes and competitions were held to find the best dancers. The tunes they danced to were collected by Cecil Sharp when he was collecting folksongs from the Mendip Hills and Chew Valley area in the early 1900s.

Step dancing has been described as first cousin to clog dancing and uncle to tap dancing and is usually danced solo. Dancers wore boots with taps and stepped heel and toe. It is thought the form of the dance was rather like Dartmoor Stepping, a tradition which thrives today. 

Sunday 10:30 in the Eastwater marquee.


Meet outside the festival office 10 minutes beforehand. The walks will last for about 2 hours of gentle walking

Saturday 2pm – Dr Jodie Lewis – Guided Archaeological Walk.

Dr Jodie Lewis will lead a private guided tour around her current excavations in the heart of Priddy and explain how they are changing our understanding of this significant landscape.

Sunday – 11am – local naturalist Les Cloutman

Priddy’sWonderful Wildlife Walk – How Man and Nature together have created a very special landscape. Wildlife with local legends and history thrown in.

Walk will be about 1.1/2 to 2 hours involving stiles and some rough paths. Keep one eye on the weather forecast and dress accordingly – bring sun block and water.

Other events


Random Ceilidh Band are back – with a fresh new line-up – fiddle (Penny Kempson), melodeon (Paul Nye), drums (Adam Courthold), bass (Dean Clay) and electric guitars (Aaron Horlock).  New and traditional dance tunes all played with drive and energy in the true Random spirit. Come see, hear and dance your socks off!

Venue/time TBC

Qigong – with Mark Pogson

9:30 – 10:30 Saturday and Sunday mornings on the Market Square

Qigong (also known as Chi Kung) means the cultivation of energy. It is a gentle form of Chinese health exercise which emphasises softness, natural movement and the release of tension to improve health and vitality. Qigong is considered a pillar of Traditional Chinese Medicine and is sometimes described as the “Grandmother of Tai Chi”.

Mark teaches Qigong classes and workshops across Somerset and beyond at festivals and summer schools.

Church Service

9.30 in the village church – all welcome.

The Old Somerset Russetts will play before and after the service and will accompany hymns. Come and take part in a very special festival service.

English music session Chris Timson and friends

The English music session is a long standing Priddy fest tradition.Bring instruments and join in with a welcoming and inclusive session.

Queen Vic – Saturday and Sunday 12 to 2pm