UK Taiko Festival

About the UK Taiko Festival:

Directed by Jonathan Kirby, the UK Taiko Festival was hosted by Kagemusha Taiko from 2005 – 2019 on behalf of the growing taiko community in this country. The UKTF typically comprised several theatre-based concerts featuring youth groups and visiting groups and artists from Europe, USA and Japan, along with informal outdoor performances and workshops for taiko players.

There are currently no plans for further taiko festivals at the UK level, not least because of the welcome emergence of strong regional alternatives.

These pages are therefore an archive of what happened over the course of 13 national taiko festivals…

The UK Taiko Festival has its foundation in several guiding principles:

  • To encourage the growth of taiko in the UK.
  • To provide a performance platform for UK-based taiko groups of all ages.
  • To provide inspiration for new players by the participation of professional and international taiko artists.
  • To be a showcase event for emerging young UK talent.
  • To encourage excellence in a culture of celebration, not competition.
  • To encourage inclusion by giving groups of all abilities, including those with special needs, the opportunity to participate

When is the U.K. Taiko Festival?

The U.K. Taiko Festival usually takes place over the first weekend in July. It ran annually for 11 years, from 2005 till 2015, when the decision was made for it to become a biennial event.

For details of previous U.K. Taiko Festivals, click on a poster image, or use one of the links at the bottom of the page.

Where does the U.K. Taiko Festival take place?

Exeter has usually been the host city, in the south-west of England, home of Kagemusha Taiko. In principle, the event could be hosted anywhere in the UK where there were appropriate facilities, and where it would be helpful to promote taiko. For example, the 4th U.K. Taiko Festival was hosted in Hertfordshire, supporting the Musical Futures programme that had been introduced to schools there. More recently, the 2019 UK Taiko Festival was held in Leicester to support the inspirational, life-changing work of Bullfrog Arts.


Links to information about past U.K.Taiko Festivals:

1st UKTF; 2nd UKTF; 3rd UKTF; 4th UKTF; 5th UKTF; 6th UKTF; 7th UKTF; 8th UKTF; 9th UKTF; 10th UKTF; 11th UKTF; 12th UKTF; 13th UKTF.