Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival and Rally 2012

Friday 13th to Sunday 15th July 2012
Tolpuddle near Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 7EH, England MAP
weekend £25, child (5-15) £5, unders 5s free - Sunday only free
daily capacity: 10000
last updated: Mon 11th Jun 2012

around the festival site (speakers)

In 1834, farms workers formed a trade union, and their story is now part of the development of a free and democratic society. It is celebrated in the small museum in Tolpuddle and at the festival on the weekend of the third Sunday in July with the climax being a march through the village. Organised by the TUC, this festival takes place in the village of Tolpuddle, Dorset and takes place from Friday 13th until Sunday 15th July 2012.

around the festival site (2)
The event offers seminars, and talks during the day, and some smaller music spaces, with the main music happening in the afternoons/evenings. On the Sunday there is a large processional march from the festival site to the nearby village of Tolpuddle, followed by a few major music acts and speeches.


The Saturday will be the 100th anniversay of the birth of radical US singer/songwriter Woody Guthrie and he will be remembered with a line-up to mark the legacy of his music.

Friday: Steve White and the Protest Family, Caz, Press Gang, and Cut a Shine Hoedown Collective.

Saturday: Bob Smith, Grace Petrie, Tolpuddle's got Talent open-mic sessions with host John Reed, Chris T-T, Will Kaufman Woody Guthrie: Hard Times and Hard Travellin', Ruby Darnell and the Lazy Rancheros, Thee Faction.

Sunday: Robb Johnson, Pachango, Elvis McGonaggall, Grace Petrie, Merry Hell, Tony Benn, The Selecter featuring Pauline Black and Gaps Hendrickson, Ewan McLennan, Greg McDonald and Gemma Gayner, Rosinators, The Little Victory, and Bleeding Hearts.

Expect a weekend of speakers and debates, and of course Tony Benn. In and around the Martyrs Marque at the festival there will be stalls selling ideas as well as goods. Plus there will be fun and workshops for kids and creative adults. The Sunday welcomes lots more people who come for the day and the grand procession of banners through the village. Wreaths are laid on the grave of Martyr' James Hammett.


The Sunday Rally is free. No entry on Friday and Saturday without a valid wristband pass. There will this year be an entrance charge to the festival on Friday and Saturday, with camping available (see prices below. An adult Weekend ticket is priced at £25, child (5-15) £5, unders 5s free. A Friday day pass is priced at £10 for adults, £5 for children aged 5 - 15 years, a Saturday day ticket is priced at £15, child (5-15) £5. To buy tickets, click here.


No caravans. If you are planning to camp with friends, travel together, as spaces are allocated on arrival. Hot showers and breakfasts are available. No cars on the campsite. Each tent or gazebo needs a tag priced at £15, a campervan tag is priced at £25.

Guests and debates

Saturday: The sun sets on Murdoch, can unions ever get a fair press?; Tim Lezard, union-news;Tom Watson MP; Michelle Stanistreet NUJ General Secretary; Kevin Maguire, Associate Editor Mirror; Gail Cartmail, Unite Assistant General Secretary and Holly Dustin, EVAW; Owen Jones author of Chavs; Paul Mason Economics Editor, BBC Newsnight, author of Why it's all Kicking Off; Women fighting back; Carole Vallelley GMB and South West TUC Women's Committee Chair; Finn Mackay, Feminist activist Scarlett Harris, TUC Women's Officer; Denise Marshall, Eaves; Katie Pratt, Chief Executive, Equality South West; Fair Pay; Frances O'Grady TUC Deputy General Secretary; Deborah Hargreaves, Top Pay Commission; Tolpuddle Poetry - Dave Toomer of Citizen 32 and Bob Johnson; Stall-holders and others share their campaign passions.

Kids stuff

There's plenty of stuff for young comrades to enjoy. The Woodcraft folk will provide activites, there's also workshops, circus skills, fun games and activites, and there's usually five a side football.

Tolpuddle Radical History School

For those fascinated by Britain's radical history and can come a day early, there will be the Tolpuddle Radical History School. The theme will be to discuss the changing nature of protest including the Swing Rebellion, early unions, the General Strike, grass roots power and direct action.

Car parking

Car parking in the TUC or church car park is priced at £10 per vehicle on Sunday. Coaches free, drop off and park to the east of the village.

More information will be here when available.

around the festival site (march)

Friday 13th to Sunday 15th July 2012
Tolpuddle near Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 7EH, England MAP
weekend £25, child (5-15) £5, unders 5s free - Sunday only free
daily capacity: 10000
last updated: Mon 11th Jun 2012

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