IMMERSE yourself in folk music next weekend.

Lyme Folk Weekend begins next Friday and continues until Sunday.

It will features musical acts performing at the Marine Theatre and outdoor performances on Marine Parade, in Theatre Square and on the Seafront Stage.

There will also be music performed in pubs the Pilot Boat, the Ship Inn and in the Galley Café, which will be the official busking station over the weekend.

Lyme Folk Weekend began life in 2013 as the 'Late Summer Festival by the Sea'.

Opening the festival with a bang at the Marine Theatre is Jon Boden, previously of Bellowhead. Jon has become the standout folk performer of his generation, but one whose repertoire extends far beyond folk.

Jon will be supported by the Askew Sisters. The sisters rework and reinterpret songs and balladry, creating breath-taking arrangements, which allow words that are hundreds of years old to resonate profoundly with contemporary audiences. Both women are also skilled multi-instrumentalists and expert players of dance music, using fiddles, melodeons, concertina and cello in their innate drive to bring old dance music to life.

By popular demand, the festival patrons will be bringing their unique Ninebarrow & Friends show to Lyme Folk Weekend once again—this time with a whole new bunch of friends!

Ninebarrow will perform in the Marine Theatre on Saturday with Ben Cipolla, Tinderbox, Will Finn and Rosie Calvert, plus support from Ji and the Rainbirds.

Dorset duo Ninebarrow will also give a free taster show in Theatre Square on Saturday.

Throughout the weekend revellers will also be able to enjoy Morris Dancing on Marine Parade, a free outdoor Ceilidh in Theatre Square on the Saturday from 5pm, featuring the Mitchell and Vincent Trio.

There will be a last chance for a dance as the weekend winds down with the Mitchell and Vincent Trio returning for another Ceilidh in Theatre Square on Sunday at 5pm.

Bringing the curtain down on the last night of Lyme Regis's folk festival is Sam Sweeney. Along with his four-piece band, Sam tells the tale of his Unfinished Violin, through tunes which echo back to the First World War and the fiddle's origins.

centres on the extraordinary story of one very special instrument.

Sam, a veteran of folk supergroup Bellowhead, and a winner of the BBC 2 Folk Musician of the Year award, bought the fiddle in a music shop in Oxford having been captivated by its ‘really pure and melancholic tone’.

After taking it home, he looked inside the body and was surprised to see a signature - that of Richard S Howard of Leeds, dated 1915.

‘But it looked like it hadn’t been around for that long,’ said Sam.

The owner of the music shop revealed that he had bought the violin at an auction when it was still in pieces in an old manila envelope, and had put it together and offered it for sale. After some more research, Sam began to uncover the true history of the instrument and the story of the man who had originally made it.

Richard Spencer Howard, a musician and instrument-maker, had begun crafting the violin before being called up to serve in the First World War – and was killed before it was completed and he had had a chance to play it.

Private Howard joined the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding) in 1916 and died on the first day of the Battle of Messines in Belgium on June 7, 1917.

Now Sam has recorded his debut solo album, The Unfinished Violin, using the instrument to play traditional tunes which the Army marched to and an original composition, Rose Howard, named after the young daughter of the fiddle’s maker.

In 2017, he invited relatives of Private Howard to join him at the soldier’s graveside in Ypres, where he played the violin on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the soldier’s death.

‘Playing over the grave was incredibly emotional,’ he said. ‘We were all just stood there sobbing. He was unknown, and all of a sudden there I was playing his fiddle to him.’

The story was turned into the acclaimed live show, Sam Sweeney’s Fiddle: Made In The Great War, and then developed into the new album last year.

You can catch Sam and his band, performing the whole repertoire from The Unfinished Violin - played on the instrument itself - at the Marine Theatre, on Sunday September 1, the final day of this year’s Lyme Folk Weekend.

*Lyme Folk Weekend, various venues, Friday, August 30 to Sunday, September 1. See for more information. Tickets are available from the Lyme Folk website, or from Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centre on 01297 442138.