The Festival programme of music is designed to suit most tastes. See below for more information on who's playing and where.
Starts at 7pm in the Tolpuddle Fringe
Friday night in the Martyrs’ Marquee
(all times are still tbc)
Dorset’s own socialist choir were only formed a year in Bridport – but since then they have been growing in numbers and taking their songs to crowds across the county raising the watchword at community events, local festivals and the occasional pub.
Holly Carter is a multi-instrumentalist from Bristol specialising in fingerstyle guitar and pedal steel. Her style, remaining firmly in the tradition of fingerstyle greats, creates a set of carefully crafted arrangements that reads as an homage to a diverse collection of Holly’s musical heroes.
Coming all the way from Buenos Aires to Tolpuddle Argentinian band Negra Santa mash up ska, hip-hop and punk with a distinctively Latin American feel, Negra Santa are a band with huge energy, passion and a positive message – be prepared to dance, sing and punch the air throughout the night!
Jez Hellard and Djukella Orchestra
A singer of potent songs, stunning harmonica player, guitarist and producer, Jez Hellard thrives on music of all stripes. His band, The Djukella Orchestra, play traditional and contemporary folk music, from jigs and reels to tango, rhumba, funk and reggae. From original and traditional songs to rare gems from some of the world`s greatest, if lesser known song-writers; often fellow troubadors who Jez has met in many years on the road.
Cable Street Collective
London’s Cable Street Collective mix African-influenced guitars and beats with soulful female vocals and western melodies, creating an idiosyncratic alt-pop sound that’s all their own. Joined on stage by a horn section they are guaranteed to get everyone to their feet.
Tolpuddle Talent – open mic sessions
(No advance booking – get your name on the board)
1300 - 1630 Open mic
1900 Tolpuddle unplugged. Live music sessions with Steve White
Saturday night in the Martyrs’ Marquee
Former frontman of The RPM’s Jack has come a long way since playing his first gig at a youth festival in Dorchester with Teenage Wasteland. Now based in Brighton and signing songs that mix emotionality with a bit of social commentary Jack is coming home to Dorset to showcase his latest work.
Poet, writer and actor Hussain Manawer is a significant public voice on issues of mental health and in 2017 set the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Mental Health Lesson in partnership with Kings College London and Hackney Empire. At last year’s unionlearn conference Hussain received a standing ovation for his moving poems about mental health, grief and the lessons from the school playground.
Rhoda Dakar, best known as the lead singer of The Bodysnatchers, who were signed to the 2 Tone record label. In 2015, she released what has been hailed as "the lost 2Tone album", where she sings The Bodysnatchers', and many previously unrecorded tracks. In 2018, The LoTek Four, Vol I EP was released featuring her regular band playing live, all together and vibing off each other. It has a great old skool feel; wonderfully mixed with Ska/Reggae and dubbstep, with some jazzy undertones and a nod to blues dance. An in-demand DJ, Rhoda is sure to bring her eclectic musical taste, with a sprinkling of the unexpected, to Tolpuddle
Back to the Planet
Back To The Planet formed while squatting together in Peckham, London in 1989, and steadily built a large following of fans keen on their heady mix of positive politics and a musical blend of ska, dub, punk, and dance music. The band split to pursue personal music projects in 1995 – reforming over a decade later to popular acclaim.
Festival Service and songs of praise
St John’s Parish Church
Martyrs’ Marquee - Sunday Music
Davey Malone and Hannah Johns
Babar Luck World Citizen Folk Band
Main Stage on Sunday
Robb Johnson the great radical singer-songwriter is the perfect host for the main stage
The Leylines are a West-country collective established in 2013, with a genre-defying, eclectic sound that ranges from traditional folk to full blown festival rock. Since then the band has become a firm favourite on the festival circuit – and are looking forward to ring their rousing sound to Tolpuddle to kick off the main stage.
The UK’s only all-female Dhol drumming group and will be encouraging the crowd to get up and dance to the bands ‘everlasting beats’. Started in 1999 by Dhol drummer Parv Kaur, the group has performed on some of the largest stages in the world.
Emily Capell is a singer songwriter and musician from North West London. No stranger to Tolpuddle, and its infamous camping slope, Emily is bringing her Clash to Dolly Paton influenced sounds of country, ska, doo wopp and pop to this year’s main stage.
14.00 Procession with a number of marching bands
15.00 Robb Johnson
Beans on Toast
Twisting an age-old genre with a DIY approach and contemporary concerns has earned him the title of a cult figure who tells it like it is. A hippy, a punk, a poet, a drunk, a die-hard romantic and an eternal optimist who singing simple songs that tackle big issues.
Political protest songs for the modern day, honest and open love songs. Songs that will make you laugh, but also make you think with no holds barred honesty and quick wit – give a big Tolpuddle welcome to ‘Beans on Toast’.
The Celtic Social Club
The Celtic Social Club are forging a new way to bridge the gap between Celtic, rock and pop music and have been pursuing a fascinating journey in the modernization of traditional tunes from Brittany, Ireland, Scotland and Asturia – they have recently been joined by new lead vocalist Dan Donnelly, known for his work with the Levellers and The Wonder Stuff , and have never sounded so tight and powerful, nor so relevant and fresh.