All weekend



Just because you're paranoid . . .

A full programme of films shown in the vintage cinema. 



Check out the weekend programme of films 



Kids' Area

The Tolpuddle Martyrs' Festival has a sweet enclosed corner just for kids with a programme of delightful entertainment.

Check out the programme for all the fun and games here

Orchard Meadow

In the centre of the village, Orchard Meadow is a delightful area for young and old, inlcuding a children's area in the village. 

Old Chapel

Visit the original chapel where at least five of the Martyrs worshipped. It is undergoing renovation to create a new quiet space in the village.

For more information click here

Visit Shire Hall and the court room where the Tolpuddle Martyrs were tried

The award-winning museum will be open all weekend. Festival-goers will get a discount by showing their festival wristband.

More information here



People's Landscapes

Bob and Roberta SmithThe National Trust is marking the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Masacre with a programme of activities to make the places that have connections to protests, mass social movements and the development of the rights we enjoy today. Tolpuddle is such a place and as custodians of the Martyrs' Tree, the Trust has commissioned artist Bob and Roberta Smith to offer some radical ideas for the Festival weekend.

  • Run a painting workshop on Saturday morning under the tree
  • Who are today's Tolpuddle Martyrs?
  • Young people from local schools perform their poetry and Bob reads from his book
  • Walk in the footsteps of the Martyrs - a walk from Tolpuddle to Dewlish for a pint and back again

More details to follow


Friday 19 July

Camping is open from noon - Book for the weekend here - from 1 April

For more information about camping at Tolpuddle click here

Get into the festival mood with music in open mic area with Skeg (Ian Seymour)

2pm       Shannon Lewis

2.35pm  Korti Fya

3.10pm  Horses In Disguise

3.45pm  Rowena

4.20pm  Nature's Cage

Friday in the Fringe Tent


Labour rights under a Labour Government

Chair Carolyn Jones IER/CTUF Mark Serwotka TUC President Laura Pidcock MP Shadow Employment Minister Steve Turner Unite Assistant General Secretary Lydia Hayes Institute of Employment Rights

DJ Tent

From about 9pm the Fringe Tent will become a small space for three DJs to play their stuff.

9.00 Nevski

Left wing indie disco.

9.50 Madam Scorcher (Kath McGrath)

Madam Scorcher is a unique DJ in the fact she plays female vocal only original ska, rocksteady and reggae 45s. She has dug deep and discovered female tunes most of us didn’t know existed.

10.40  DJ Dapper Dan, aka Chris Brown 'The Rock 'n' Roll Town Crier'

A regular on the national festival scene, Dapper Dan is a DJ, selector, compere and all round Bon Viveur, on a mission to share his life time love of music and good times. Also Wimborne's award-winning town crier, if you were wondering.

Friday evening in the Village Hall

The People's Comedy - a political comedy showcase

Firuz Ozari's humour is wicked quick, and his perspective is unlike any other-that of a self-made man, a migrant, somebody to learn from. One of Bristol's favourite up and coming comedians, sharp, witty and occasionally bizarre.

Henry Palmer has been described as surreal, captivating and original. He represents a true working-class Bristolian voice with a unique perspective on life. He never ceases to amuse with a quick wit, wide variety of voices and a pinch of self deprecation. Love him or hate him, when you've seen Henry Palmer perform, you'll never be the same again.
James O'Donoghue: Bored of being a straight white man, James has opted to be a gender queer Jewish communist but in doing so found he still has a fundamentally fragile personality. Come and see him talk about some stupid stuff he’s said and done and some impressions you never knew you needed to hear.
Eliza Fraser has been gigging for just over three years, during which time she have performed at Glas-Denbury Festival, Bath Comedy Festival, the Glee Clubs at both Cardiff and Birmingham and has had 2 runs at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She has been described as "one to watch" by Funny Women.
Jon Matthews is an erudite and thoughtful comedian, weaving together political commentary, story-telling and one-liners with a skill rarely seen. He has impressed audiences across the UK and as far afield as China, where he was described as being so funny that 'even the depressed middle-aged men in polo shirts were amused', which is apparently high praise in Mandarin.
Caz Costley is a London-based writer and comedian who likes to incorporate music and poetry into her work. From the observational to the absurd, she finds new ways to dissect everyday life through an ashamedly feminist lens. Never one to shy away from poking the establishment with a stick, Caz is loud, opinionated and thoroughly unladylike. 

Bucket colelction to help cover costs for this special festival extra.

Friday evening in the Martyrs' Marquee


Lily Gaskell

Lincolnshire born Lily Gaskell began performing around her hometown of Grantham from the age of 11. She made a name for herself as a protest singer songwriter with her debut E.P 'Love, Rats and Porletariats' in 2015. Lily, dubbed 'Acoustic Folk Punk' has just released two new songs in aid of We Shall Overcome.


7.40 - 8.20 

 Les Carter






The Scribes

The Scribes are one of the most talented up and coming artists with a unique with appeal ranging far beyond the traditional hip hop fare, backed up by live performances proven to move any crowd.







Millie Manders9.35

Millie Manders and the Shutup

Millie Manders and The Shutup create cross-genre punk that is electric and the songs infectious.




Sarah Savoy


Sarah Savoy           

The Princess of Cajun and the accordian


Saturday 20 July

POA Hike - Dorchester Prison to Tolpuddle

Prison Officers are banned from taking industrial action and they plan a Hike from Dorchester to Tolpuddle to make the case for the right to strike and highlight the dangerous conditions in our prisons. Meet at the coach layby opposite the museum at 10am. Travel by coach to Dorchester Prison with a slow steedy walk back to Tolpuddle (takes approx 3-4 hours). More here






Open Mic - Poetry

12 noon

Dave Toomer and Bob Johnson welcome budding and experienced poets to the open-mic stage.

Will include a performce of The Mask of Anarchy

Open Mic - Tolpuddle has Talent

1pm to approx 4.30pm

Big John Reed runs the open mic. No advance booking, just turn up and put your name on the board.




Talking in Tents

The list of discussions is being developed and details below are bound to change with some speakers still to confirm attendance. We will keep the web site up-to-date so watch this space and double-check the times when you get to the Festival.

Saturday 21 July

Martyrs’ Marquee 

Rear Garden Tent  

Fringe Tent

UCU Tolpuddle International University Marquee

University and College experts as well as international solidarity organisations give short 'teach-ins'

Free Abdullah Öcalan with Ibrahim Dogos 

Village Trail  

11am and 1pm  Meet at the sculpture for a popular guided walk through the village with Tom De Wit

Tolpuddle Unplugged

From about 7pm Steve White leads an acoustic free-for-all in the Fringe Tent 

Martyrs Marquee Saturday evening


Joe Solo                                                                        



Naomi Bedford7.40 

Naomi Bedford and Paul Simmonds

Naomi Bedford is an English roots singer making a very welcome return to Tolpuddle.











Elvis McGonagall and The Resurrectors

An unholy marriage of Elvis McGonagall’s radical stand-up poetry and the Dead Plants’ Caledonian punky-skiffle-hillbilly-blues. More fire and fury than Donald Trump could ever tweet with his tiny hands. Get out your ear trumpets and put on your dancing shoes – it’s the talking rock ’n’ roll revolution. Prepare for dazzling Weltschmerz, satirical verse and anarchic wit as Elvis bellows into the void of our post-truth world. Climb aboard with Elvis as he spits his scurrilous diatribes against the powers that be. Elvis McGonagall has suffered for his poetry. Now it’s your turn.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Pete Bentham9.20

Pete Bentham and the Dinner Ladies

Pete Bentham and the Dinner Ladies are artpunks from Liverpool who play primitive rock and roll and sing about things they believe in. Started in 2008 they are part of the European DIY underground scene. This is Kitchencore!



LOs de Abajo10.40

Los de Abajo                                                          

Los de Abajo take their name from a classic novel about the Mexican Revolution, and they fervently believe that change comes from below. Los de Abajo are a band from Mexico City founded in 1992 as a Latin ska four-piece. Since then they have expanded to eight members and widened their musical influences to include rock, salsa, reggae, ska, cumbia, Son Jarocho and banda sinaloense. 

Sunday 21 July 

There is no entrance charge on the Sunday apart from £10 parking fee and bucket collection.

If you are coming on Sunday get there early otherwise you may not be able to access the car parks. The festival camping car park is reserved on Sunday for disabled parking and will soon fill up. The road closure order is between 1-6pm. It is best to enter the village from the east - follow the festival signs. Once the march assembles for its 2pm start no traffic will be allowed on the road until the procession is over and it is safe. We try to keep the festival car parks open as late as we can and open them as soon after the march as we can but safety is our top priority. Please follow directions from stewards.

St John's Church

11am Festival Service and songs of praise - all welcome

Wreath laying

1.15pm Wreath laying at the grave of James Hammett accompanied by the Red Notes Choir




Village Hall 

10am-4.30pm Coffee, cakes, salad lunches and cream teas

Main Stage


Robb Johnson 

opens the main stage line-up






Baque Luar

Baque Luar - an all-women collective united by their love of afro-Brazilian roots music.



Phil Odgers and Bobby Valentino

Best known as one half of the legendary joint vocal strike force of The Men They Couldn’t Hang, Phil Odgers strikes out promoting his second solo album ‘Roll To The Left’. Sharp songwriting – a journey through kitchen sink realism and social commentary. Phil’s warm melodic voice and rhythmic strumming acoustic guitar take centre stage throughout, aided and abetted by fiddle, double bass and lead guitar in all the right places.



South West TUC Chair introduces: Len McCluskey Unite General Secretary Angella Raynor MP Mark Sewotka TUC President


Wood Burning Savages1.00

The Wood Burning Savages

The Wood Burning Savages are a fast-paced punk rock band from Derry City, Northern Ireland. Proudly wearing the rebel spirit of their hometown on their sleeves, with pulsating riffs and a sharp political edge.                                                                                                                                                       


President  of the Methodist Conference, Dr Barbara Glasson will lead a short prayer.



Everyone has a cuase to march - join the march trhough the village




Including Nigel Costley South West TUC Regional Secretary, Frances O'Grady TUC General Secretary

Nigel CostleyFrance O'Grady







Eddi Reader3.45

Eddi Reader and Band

From the traditional to the contemporary, Eddi brings joyous life to all forms of song.  Her rare blend of meltingly true vocals and towering romanticism combine with an astute and pragmatic nature to make her a unique and powerful figure in contemporary British music.  She has effortlessly developed into one of popular music’s most thrilling and affecting performers.                                                                                                                      

Fred Hampton4.45

The Fred Hampton Appreciation Society

The Fred Hampton Appreciation Society is a seven-piece band based in north-west London who make music for your head, heart and feet. Think, feel and dance. Their name honours the Chicago Black Panther chairman who was murdered aged just 21 in 1969. Their debut album is ‘Songs of Love and Resistance’.


Sunday in the Martyrs' Marquee

from 11am a heady mix of campaign stalls with some great music


 John Diment (aka D Revelator) Compere




Anairda is a Latin American singer-songwriter, community artist and activist based in Plymouth who believes in the power of art to inspire change.

She has been involved in the grassroot movements for climate justice, women's rights and animal welfare. Her fiery folk-rock/world music has been described as deeply radical.



Two Man Travelling Medicine Show

Nine-piece Dorset country/folk band wearing their hearts on their sleeves. Described as 'pastoral folk on a white-knuckle ride on an out of control Cider cart'.






Jess Silk

Jess Silk is a guitarist, singer and songwriter from the Black Country, who has been penning songs since her early teens. Over the past few years her style has developed into a husky, shouty brand of folk music that often has her being likened to a female Frank Turner or Billy Bragg. 




Our Deev

Dave Milburn, from Jarrow in Co. Durham has been playing his brand of solo trad-folk guitar songs up and down the country, especially prized in the North of England. He plays finger-picking, slide and a mighty fine harmonica at the same time, and will be joined by his daughter Sophie on fiddle.



Joe Tilston and the Embers Band

Joe's music echoes years of influence from his upbringing in and around the English folk scene, with a fresh twist and energy provided by his own venture into punk over the last decade as a member of Random Hand.




Methodist Chapel Festival Service

The traditional end of rally service led by the President of the Methodist Conference Dr Barbara Glasson


 Book for the weekend here