Folkestone, Kent

Festival Info

Who, When and Where?


This year’s guest songwriting coaches are multi award winning musician Kris Drever and Findlay Napier who will be guiding you through group sessions learning new ways to get started on your writing and compositions and help you get out of the same old groove you’ve found yourself in.

We will be announcing more tutors once we hear if our Arts Council bid has been successful.

We also have fringe masterclasses from slide guitar virtuoso Michael Messer and Vocal Harmony Workshop from Nicola Palmer.

We also have Neil Bob Herd as our tutor assistant for anyone who needs a helping hand/ear/eye.

Where Is it happening?

This year we will be hosting all of the main songwriting sessions at The Clifton Hotel which is on the Folkestone Leas promenade area of the town and the aim is to give a more residential feel with the option for students to live in on a bed and breakfast and full festival pass as well as the general weekend pass.

There will be evening concerts and social events happening in venues around town too with plenty of down time to explore the creative quarter and independent shops and the seaside.

The hotel is spacious with lots of lounges, a bar as well as quiet areas and a large garden and has panoramic views across The English Channel and is close to nice restaurants and shops and has disabled access and a lift.


The programme will start with fringe event workshops and masterclasses on Friday 4th October afternoon for the earlybirds with the student welcome reception happening on Friday evening where you will get the opportunity to meet the rest of the students and tutors in a more social and informal setting and there is an open stage for those who want to do a turn – this is not compulsory and we hope it is a fun icebreaker and will close with the Kris Drever evening concert on Sunday 6th .

You are free to leave after the Sunday workshop if you need to catch a train or be on your way.


Sometimes we get stuck in a rut with our writing and composing  – often called writers block…but there are things we can do to help us tap into the creative well to keep the cogs turning and the inspiration flowing and there’s no better way to do this than with other people.

We aspire to creating a space which will ignite and inspire you to write better songs and to generate ideas that you can develop further.

Song writing has many components – the story , the storytellers, the writers who capture the story and the musicians who create the melody and music to carry it along…..sometimes we can have

Tickets & Info

There are numerous ways to enjoy this year’s festival, from full-residential options including bed and breakfast, to non-participant and single event passes, we’ve got an option for everyone!

The Full Residential Festival Pass includes:

  • the four half-day songwriting workshops with guest tutors

  • Two nights accommodation (Fri/Sat) at the Clifton Hotel, Folkestone including bed and breakfast
  • Masterclasses, including the Friday afternoon guitar workshop with Michael Messer at 1 pm and the Nicola Palmer singing workshop at 3:15 pm
  • Friday afternoon meet & greet with the tutors and evening meal at the Lighthouse Tasting Rooms

  • Saturday evening “Songwriters in the Round” concert with the tutors

  • Sunday morning singing circle and sea swim

  • Sunday closing concert with Kris Drever and Support TBC

  • Tea, coffee and light refreshments during the workshops

Pricing Information

At Folkestone Songwriting Festival, we pride ourselves on assembling the finest professionals, as reflected by our esteemed tutor alumni. To ensure our events are inclusive, we’ve implemented Clearpay, enabling attendees to stagger payments until October. We offer various tickets, including residential, non-residential, and workshop-only options, all designed to provide value for money.

As a not-for-profit event, we diligently manage our budget without relying on Arts Council funding. Any grants received will be used to enhance the festival without increasing costs for participants. We’ll keep you updated on any new tutors or program improvements.

The Clifton Hotel

This year’s core festival will be a residential experience at The Clifton Hotel, Folkestone.

Offering spectacular views of the English Channel, this traditional Victorian-style hotel dates back to 1864, and is steeped in a rich history and nostalgia that will captivate you before you arrive!

We have a wide range of residential and non-residential options available for this year’s festival – For more information, please visit our booking page.

Further info & FAQs

Folkestone Songwriting Festival is a long-running, annual event taking place this year between Friday 4th October – Sunday 6th October in Folkestone, Kent.

We invite songwriters, singers and musicians of all levels, genres and abilities to collaborate and celebrate the gift of music! Our programme includes a plethora of quality masterclasses and workshops, hosted by leading musical talent.

Supplementing the core masterclasses, the weekend also plays host to a variety of concerts and social events, all of which are optional – Your festival pass grants you full access… Feel free to attend or not attend as many as you like!

Folkestone is a coastal town with excellent transport links, and truly has something for everyone – Be it intimate and relaxing seaside cafes, or bustling pubs and music venues for a night on the town!

We hope to see you soon!

The festival pass includes full access to all of our masterclasses, workshops, gigs and networking events.

An evening meal is included on the Friday evening, following our meet and greet.

Regrettably, the festival pass does not cover any other meals, or any accommodation, so please bear this in mind whilst booking.

The full festival pass is £275, plus a modest booking fee of £11.

You can purchase your festival pass via WeGotTickets.

Some of our workshops and concerts are also open to the general public and available as standalone events – Please check back soon for further information.

Most importantly, yourself and your enthusiasm. If you play an instrument, you are welcome (and encouraged) to bring it – but this is not obligatory (for practical reasons, acoustic instruments are preferred). The Festival is about songwriting and sharing: no-one will force or expect you to perform!

You will likely find it useful to bring a notebook and pen to record your ideas.

Being a coastal holiday town, Folkestone offers many hotels, guest houses and B&Bs. You should have no difficulty finding somewhere to stay.

Regrettably, accommodation and meals are not included in your ticket price. We can offer suggestions if you get really stuck! Having said that, given the likely demand for UK Holidays this summer, we suggest you don’t leave it too late to sort your accommodation.

Got Questions?

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