Stainsby Festival

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Stainsby Festival
Stainsby Festival in 2005.
Genrefolk music festival
Location(s)Stainsby, Derbyshire
CountryUnited Kingdom
Years active53
Most recent20 July – 22 July 2019
Patron(s)Paddy Lane

Stainsby Festival is an annual folk music festival held in the Derbyshire village of Stainsby, England. It usually takes place in July over three days.


Stainsby Festival was first held in 1969 at the old school in Stainsby village. It was launched by Stainsby Arts Centre, which had been set up in 1967 and closed in 1971 due to council cuts, and was organised by Ann Syrett and Bob Walker among others. The idea of a weekend folk music festival was successful and so continued each year. In 1973, it won the Melody Maker award for 'worst bogs at any festival'. In 1974, the school building was leased by the National Trust to a boys' school from Bradford, who did not want to host the festival.[1]

However, it continued after Dot Brunt of Brunt's Farm offered the use of her fields. The 1975 festival was put on successfully without dropping a year, and over the following years the date of the festival moved from early July to the August bank holiday, before settling on its current date, starting on the third Friday in July. In 2000, Dot Brunt died, but its second benefactor, Paddy Lane, bought the house and fields in order to keep the festival alive.[1]


It has music venues and several family-oriented events, with children's storytelling tents, group rhythm workshops and face painting activities. Camping is available in a field adjoining the main arena.

The festival has three stages. A large marquee constitutes the main stage, and there is a tent with a bar that makes up the second, known as 'The Hat Block'. Each year's lineup is varied, but tends to be predominantly acoustic folk. Since 2012 the festival includes in its programme, Earthwork, a series of talks and workshops. There is a smaller tent called 'The Third Thing' hosting multi-media events, poetry, theatre, spoken word and other workshops.

The festival usually ends with a procession, often involving the use of fire. In 2005, the procession was centered on a flame, apparently originating from the fires of Hiroshima after the atomic bomb was dropped. This coincided with the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.


  1. ^ a b Daglish, Ben, ed. (2018). "Stainsby: An Unreliable History". Stainsby Festival 50th Anniversary Programme. p. 3.

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