All weekend





The 51%

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of British women gaining the right to vote. 51% of the UK population are women. Since 1975 it has been illegal to discriminate on the grounds of sex or marital status. Yet the fall out from the BBC pay gap scandal, the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the ongoing violence and harassment of women on social media and the internet has made it clear that the struggle for the equal rights of women is far from over.

The criteria for the films this year are that they are all made by women, feature female protagonists and are made in the spirit of liberation. 


Check out the weekend programme of films inlcuding Children's Radical Cinema

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

The children's area in the village is open for a range of activities. 

Old Chapel

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

For more information click here

Friday 20 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 some gentle Friday afternoon music hosted by 'Skeg'. 

Friday evening in the Fringe Tent










Friday evening in the Martyrs' Marquee


Andy Twyman - One Man Band

One-man blues band with a touch of humour

Steve Knightley

One half of famous folk duo Show of Hands 





All-female three-piece rock band





Bar Stool Preachers

Anthemic ska-punk-pop with a social conscience




Eliane Correa and Wara

International six-piece playing eclectic Latin styles






Friday 20 July evening

Fringe Tent 7pm

Fringe Meeting to be confirmed

Saturday 21 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






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

After extensive renovation and reburbishment the old Shire Hall in Dorchester will be open and special coaches will be laid on from the festival. The price including entry fee and bus fare: £10

Saturday, 21 July ONLY 
Tolpuddle Museum bus stop
9.30am - 1 hour guided tour at Shire Hall - return to Tolpuddle 12 noon
10.45am - 1 hour guided tour at Shire Hall - return to Tolpuddle 1.15pm
12.15pm - 1 hour guided tour at Shire Hall - return to Tolpuddle 2.45pm
1.30pm - 1 hour guided tour at Shire Hall - return to Tolpuddle 4.00pm
3.00pm - 1 hour guided tour at Shire Hall - return to Tolpuddle 5.30pm
Book in advance at Shire Hall - details to follow soon.

Open Mic - Poetry

12 noon

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

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.

Tolpuddle Radical History School - Rear Garden Tent


Sisters and the Class - women and unions with Joanna De Groot UCU President


TUC at 150 Chair: tbc and Professor Mary Davis, Lord John Monks, Paul Nowak TUC Deputy General Secretary

Martyrs' Marquee, Rear Garden Tent and Fringe Tent debates

  • Speak up! Stall holders are invited to have their say by Tim Lezard - 12.30pm
  • Is public ownership the answer? with Cat Hobbs We Own It and Tim Roache GMB General Secretary 
  • Talking musics Panel with Paul Gray Musicians Union Regional Organiser Laura Kidd She Makes War Becky Baldwin IDestroy Kev Davis Tolpuddle music organiser and Kerry McCarty MP Performers' Alliance All-Party Parliamentary Group
  • Organising 21st Century Workers with Shen Batmaz BFAWU/McStriker Naomi Taylor and Emily Collin BECTU Prospect organisers Picturehouse and film production Carl Roper TUC National Organiser and Kate Bell TUC Head of Economic and Social Policys
  • Young Workers and the journey to trade unionism - new initiative to be launched in June and highlighted at Tolpuddle with Carl Roper TUC National Organiser Clare Coatman TUC Young Workers Project Leader Dan Weissmann Bournemouth University for Bournemouth & Poole Trades Council
  • Can we live without plastic waste? with Graham Petersen Greener Jobs Alliance Bob Wilson Greenpeace tbc  Kerry McCarthy MP 
  • Women in politics with Joanne Kaye South West TUC Vice-Chair Wanda Wyporska Executive Director Equality Trust Maxine Peake Clare Moody MEP Doina Cornell Leader of Stroud Council Dawn Primarolo Thangam Debonnaire MP
  • Intergenerational unity with Kev Terry South West TUC Chair Neil Duncan-Jordan National Pensioners Convention Kendall Bromley Chair Unison Young Members and South West TUC Executive Youth Member Jack Jones TUC Policy and Campaigns Officer rep from Resolution Foundation Shakira Martin NUS President
  • Brexit with Sally Hunt TUC President with Lord John Monks, Alan Greer – UWE (agricultural policies) tbc Clare Moody MEP Owen Tudor TUC Head of European and International Dept Ben Bradshaw MP Kerry McCarthy MP
  • Grenfell legacy with Steve White leading the FBU safety investigation into the fire Matt Wrack FBU General Secretary Moyra Samuels Justice for Grenfell Paul Smith Bristol City Housing Lead Karen Lee MP Shadow Fire Minister
  • Tolpuddle Question Time

UCU Tolpuddle University Marquee

A new initiative with UCU experts giving short 'teach-ins'

Technology and the labour movement with Denis Nicole Southampton University

Social care/social policy with Cathy Pope Southampton University

Progressive history for the people with Joanna de Groot University of York

Trade union education with Vicky Knight Manchester College

Village Trail  11am and 1pm

Meet at the sculpture for a popular guided walk through the village with Tony Gould local resident and former National Agricultural Officer for Unite. 

Tolpuddle Unplugged

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


Martyrs Marquee


Eaton and Fernquest

Working class hip-hop from South Wales

Gavin Osborn

Solo singer mixing humour and politics

She Makes War

Powerful female fronted grunge-pop band 






Captain Ska

High energy, politically-charged ska and hip-hop 






Sunday 22 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 cap 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

10.45am Robb Johnson opens the main stage line-up






Husky Tones

Edgy blues-rock duo who know their history




South West TUC Chair introduces Sally Hunt UCU General Secretary and TUC President and others




Ian Prowse

Performing politically-inspired material from a career spanning three decades with bands Pele and Amsterdam, alongside significant solo work.



President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Michaela Youngson and Bala Gnanapragasam 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 and Jeremy Corbyn MP Leader of the Labour Party.

nigel costleyFrance O'Grady







Misty In Roots

Hugely influential UK reggae band formed in 1975






Billy Bragg

You may have heard of him already...





Sunday in the Martyrs' Marquee

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

Commoners Choir

Protest song choir 

Ren Stedman

acoustic guy who looks metal, has a buzzing vocal 

The Brewer’s Daughter

traditional folk tunes and original compositions, of lyric-driven songs


Crazy Arm

Renowned political punk band showcasing their

acoustic Americana project The Southern Wild




Methodist Chapel Festival Service

The traditional end of rally service led by the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Michaela Youngson and Bala Gnanapragasam.


 Book for the weekend here - from 1 April