Sydney is set to host its own folk music festival – and no-one’s feet will get wet!
At four great venues in Pitt Street over 2 days and 3 nights, the heart of Sydney will see more than 60 acts in a massive celebration of the best and most adventurous in today’s new generation of folk.
Timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, top notch musicians aged from 9 to 90 will thrill audiences with a wild rainbow of sounds. You’ll hear fresh young world beats and original voices, traditional music (ballads, shanties, blues, bush music, bluegrass and newgrass) and way, way beyond to Afro funk, Celtic punk and more! Artistic director, well-known Aussie cultural historian and performer Warren Fahey (Folkways Music, Larrikin Records), says this festival will ‘totally blow away’ any outdated stereotypes of ‘old school’ folk.
“We’ve prepared a joyous celebration of all the musical genres that sit under the big umbrella of ‘folk’. Storytelling – colonial, indigenous, multicultural – is central… but so is participation. There’s dance, poetry, theatre, food and drink… and much, much more. The entire line-up is Aussie – in fact all but two acts are from NSW! In the heart of the city – every venue is within 5 minutes’ walk of Sydney Town Hall.”
President of the Folk Federation NSW – which is presenting the huge event – Brian Jonathon said a truly urban folk festival was long overdue. “There are scores of regional folk festivals across the country, where artists and audiences have to ‘go bush’ for a rough (and often soggy!) experience. But we thought it was time to bring the rich diversity of contemporary folk to town!”
The festival theme is ‘The next generation of folk’. With an emphasis on youth, the performers will range from extraordinary talent, ten-year old Allegra Dunning and 2019 Young Folk Award winner Cowra’s Josh Maynard, to legends like internationally-acclaimed singer- songwriter, Eric Bogle – who will sing his much loved hits and submit to a BBQ ‘grilling’ by number one fan and legendary Australian author Tom Keneally. The festival will even go a little ‘mellow’ with a musical hippy tribute in honour of the Woodstock anniversary!
One of the most exciting aspects of the festival will be its use of creative venues. Its main hubs will be the City Tattersall’s Club; the historic 750 seat Pitt Street Uniting Church, a John Bibb designed ‘fire and brimstone’ church built in 1841; the Edinburgh Castle Hotel (1885) and venues within the Sydney Mechanic
In addition to headliner Eric Bogle, major ‘names’ include Mara!, Chaika, Shelley’s Murder Boys, Eric Avery, the Willing Ponies, the Bottlers, the Last Aurochs, Kejafi, Firrin, 40 Degrees South, the Shanty Club, Señor Cabales, Wang Yue Chinese Ensemble, Riley Lee & Cliona Molins, the Mutual Acquaintances, the Button Collective, Moussa Diakite & Wassado, Keith Potger, Dead Men Talking, Sirocco and the Roweth Band. Over 225 performers in all!
For tickets, more information including artist details and the full program visit www.sydneyfolkfestival.com.au
Featured image – folk artist Eric Avery