Festival launches search for new leaders - The Leamington Observer

Festival launches search for new leaders

One of Warwick’s best success stories in many years is on the lookout for people to lead it into a fifth decade of providing a highlight in the town’s summer calendar.

Warwick Folk Festival will be back in July with new acts, a new site and a new face at the helm. After a lifetime of bringing top bands and more to the town, festival director Dick Dixon is standing down. And such is the size of the gap his departure leaves that the festival needs not one but two people to take up the reins.

Having started the festival going back in 1980 Dick’s responsibilities grew with each successive year and rather than find a volunteer to take the whole task on, the festival is splitting the job to allow two people to share the load.

A new Artistic Manager will have overall responsibility for programming the festival. Hundreds of performers contribute to the weekend and all will need to be booked, contracted and organised to make the whole schedule run smoothly from the first sound check to the triumphant encores on the last night. Warwick Folk Festival has earned a fine reputation for blending established big names with the very best of new faces and will be aiming to build on this in future years.

Working hand in hand with the programme planner will be the Operational Manager. This person will be responsible for making sure everything thousands of festivalgoers expect to see at the site is there and working properly. From the giant marquee to the toilet blocks, everything has to be arranged and delivered perfectly.

Backing up these two new roles is a team which has been responsible for bringing 40 years worth of musical treats to the town.

“There’s always support there for the people organising the festival. We have bags of experience and some very committed volunteers willing to share the load, so the new leaders won’t be on their own,” said Dick.

Like so many events up and down the country, the 2020 festival fell foul of the pandemic. Thanks to prudent planning and support from local councils the festival has come through Covid in good shape and is ready to come back fighting fit in 2021.

After being based at Warwick School for decades the festival is moving to a new, bigger home in the shadow of Warwick Castle. Organisers are putting the final touches to a festival boasting a top line-up and all the camping, real ale, craft stalls and world food the loyal regulars have come to expect.

Every year the folk festival has played its part in boosting the local economy, bringing thousands of people to the town and helping to fill the streets, bars and cafes throughout what has become a key weekend on the calendar.

“We know from feedback down the years how much many businesses rely on the folk festival to bring in the punters and this year, with so many places facing a struggle to come back from the pandemic, we’re more determined than ever to deliver the shot in the arm the area needs.” said Dick.

Full details of the roles on offer – and the kind of people the festival is looking for to fill them – can be obtained from Dick Dixon at [email protected] or through the festival website www.warwickfolkfestival.co.uk. The website has all the latest on who’s playing and how to book tickets for the festival which runs from July 15 to 18.


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