Straw Bear Goes Virtual

The 42nd Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival will take place in an online-only format on 15 – 17 January 2021.


Viewers are invited to follow the Festival on YouTube or Facebook (search for Whittlesea Straw Bear) where most of the events will take place. The online broadcasts will include highlights from the festival, archive footage from its early days in the 1980s, Morris dancing, interviews with the organisers and 41 years of the Bear.


Events start with an online concert on Friday 15 January, with contributions from major folk artists Granny’s Attic, Jackie Oates and Brown Boots, plus popular local artists Brian Kell, Ady Bull, Frog on a Bike and Barry Goodman.


Musicians will be able to play along to live sessions via Zoom on the Saturday and Sunday; and Saturday evening brings the chance to dance at a home-based barn dance with popular ceilidh duo Doug Eunson and Sarah Matthews, with caller Martyn Harvey.


The festival concludes with a folk club style concert and dance footage on the Sunday lunchtime, before a showing of the traditional burning of the Bear.


All events are free except the Zoom Ceilidh, which costs £6 per household.


Full details of all Straw Bear Online events, and how to buy ceilidh tickets and your exclusive Straw Bear merchandise, can be found at

Virtual Zoom Singaround

We're meeting every Thursday evening for an online version of the yacht club singaround.  It's not quite like the real thing, there's no raffle for one thing. But on the plus side, you can join in from anywhere - we now have regulars from North Lincs, Derby, Cheshire, Norfolk, Kent and even California. If you fancy taking part, just write to us at and we'll let you have the details. You will need the Zoom program, and ideally a laptop or desktop computer with a mic and camera, though you can also get away with using a phone or tablet. 

Listening from the sofa

Hope you have managed to catch some of Miranda Sykes' wonderful live streamed concerts.  Keep up with her forthcoming dates on her Facebook page.  

And don't forget you can still listen to Radio Lincs folk show with Tim Walker and Tom Lane on Thursday evenings at the new time:-  8-10pm.

Keep up with all the online concerts by subscribing to the fortnightly email newsletter The Folk Forecast.  Just follow the link to register your email address. The service is run by our friend, former Slapdash dancer Lucy Shields. 

Coronavirus news

We're not expecting any return to normal service any time soon. Watch this space!

Stay safe.





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