INSTRUMENTS are being tuned up for the return of the Wimborne Minster Folk Festival over the next weekend.

Artists from across the folk spectrum will perform at three evening and two afternoon concerts at the Allendale Centre. Headliners include folk-rockers Little Johnny England, rising star Gavin Davenport and Fairport Convention’s Chris Leslie. Two Folk 21 showcases on Saturday and Sunday afternoons in the Allendale’s Minster Hall offer a free taster of 13 top-notch folk artists including Alan West and Kelly Oliver, right. A more intimate folk club atmosphere can also be sampled in the Quarterjack Suite.

The main festival ceilidh takes place on Saturday evening in the Minster Hall, which will also host family ceilidhs on Saturday and Sunday lunchtimes.

The Allendale will be serving a dozen guest ales and ciders throughout the weekend.

Wimborne will welcome 55 colourful dance groups to perform in the square, streets, pubs and spots such as Wimborne Model Town. A diverse mix of styles will be on display, from morris and Appalachian to traditional Slovakian and Welsh dancing and even contemporary street dance.

Festival-goers will also be able to catch a range of street performances and storytelling and try out some new moves in a range of dance workshops, while musicians are warmly welcomed at English, Irish and bluegrass sessions at various venues.

The festival procession takes place at 2.30pm on Saturday 14 June, from Park Lane to the Square. The family area of Willow Walk will return with rides, stalls and a new stage featuring music, dance and performances by local schools, sponsored by the John Lewis Partnership’s Music Matters scheme.

This year’s sponsors also include East Dorset District Council, Wimborne BID, Wimborne Town Council and Hall & Woodhouse. The Wimborne Minster Folk Festival was launched last year by local volunteers following the retirement of the original festival’s organisers after 32 years. Mike Carhart-Harris, chair of the festival committee, said: “The festival is the result of a huge amount of hard work by volunteers over the course of the year, working closely with local councils, businesses, police and the community to organise a safe, family-friendly and, above all, fun weekend. As well as celebrating the best of folk music and dance, the ‘Folkie’ is a celebration of Wimborne and everything it has to offer.”

n For more information and to buy concert tickets, go to Tickets are also available at the Allendale Centre, Wimborne Tourist Information Centre and Square Records.