Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, music, mud, beer and flying knickers – photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

On a gloriously sunny Sunday afternoon last weekend, I headed east for my second Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival – and had another fantastic time.

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Established in 1992, the Leigh Folk Festival takes place annually at Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, and lays claim to be the “largest free folk festival in the county.”

Taking place over four days, the event puts on hundreds of performers across multiple venues in Leigh Old Town, watched by thousands of spectators.

The festival is run with a brilliant spirit, as exemplified by their website statement:

Rather than drifting towards becoming another commercially driven, ticketed event, the team of volunteer organisers has doggedly held fast to the original grass roots, access-for-all ethos, and so the festival has retained its unique, eclectic and idiosyncratic atmosphere.

Music has the power to make us all feel part of something bigger than ourselves, while nurturing a true sense of community and local pride.

The pastoral, village fete atmosphere of the Library Gardens and the bustling, waterfront location of Old Leigh are both fundamental to the spirit of the weekend, and offer a natural, unpretentious welcome to visitors in their thousands.

A century ago, Essex proved fertile ground for the first wave of folk song collectors like Cecil Sharp and Ralph Vaughan-Williams, and perhaps some of this legacy persists in our local traditional music scene.

While Southend and the ‘Thames Delta’ are probably best known for the blues and pub-rock bands of the 60s and 70s, as well as today’s local heroes, it has always supported a flourishing folk and acoustic music scene and has in recent years seen poetry and storytelling take to the stages, along with traditional dance sides and a truly special procession.

The Leigh Folk Festival is fantastic, it’s free and it’s all our own. And what’s more we have more mud than Glastonbury… but only when the tide is out!

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

After much train frustration, I got there just in time to catch most of the Bridport Dagger’s set.

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

I was invited to play along to the last song – here’s the view before I jumped on stage. Thanks again guys!

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Perambulating, drinking singers.

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

The tide was a very, very long way out. Compare the view with last year’s festival.

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Some hardy swimmers take on the mud.

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

On the beach.

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Glastonbury levels of mud.

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Morris dancers.

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

The riot grrrl, punky, gender-mashing exuberance of T Bitch was brilliant. I also loved the way they politely apologised every time they swore.

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Knickers were thrown from the stage and soon found a home on bloke’s heads.

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

The crowd loved them.

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

On the truck stage.

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

It was very busy.

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Cutting a dash.

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Plump and juicy. Ooooh-er.

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

England has beaten Panama 6-1 earlier in the day so there were a few drunk/happy, drunk and happy fans about.

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Looking out to sea.

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

View from the railway bridge.

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Sad to see that the Ship pub on New Road was still boarded up after unexpectedly shutting its doors in March 2017.

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival 2018: Sun, mud, music and flying knickers - photos

Leigh On Sea Folk Festival

Leigh Folk Festival website.

Chat about the festival on the forum.