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Folk Festival – who to see??

By Gungahlin Al 1 April 2010 13

The Folk Festival starts tonight, the season tickets (birthday present) are ready, the venue is just a short treddly ride from home, and the inner hippie is chaffing to be let out.

But just printed off the program and OMG. It is huge! Make sure you are connected to an A3 printer…

And where to start? I know I’ll be making sure to see Canada’s Kristina Olsen, but that’s about where the highlighter pulled up because I just don’t know the folk scene.

So folk fans, help us get our highlighters on the right acts please.

What are the ‘must see’ performances?

What’s Your opinion?

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13 Responses to
Folk Festival – who to see??
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Gungahlin Al 9:49 am 06 Apr 10

Rave totally warranted Snarky.

It was a surreal 4 days for me and my family, and going back to work is hard…

The finale concert last night was great and quite full. The buskers everywhere having a go… the people… the mood…the lack of a mess. All so different from the usual Canberra event.

I am in awe of all these people who put down a guitar and pick up a sax, then a clarinet, then a hurdy gurdy, then a mandolin, and they great voices to boot. So many people with just too much talent!

Musos just everwhere. At times it seems like one in every 10 people around you had an instrument with them.

Snarky 9:15 am 05 Apr 10

Mrs Snarky and I went for the first time on Saturday, me specifically to see Chris Smither and Mrs S just ’cause it looked interesting. What an understatement! Bluegrass pickin’ (Whitetop Mountaineers, W. Virginia), Les Barker (an accidental find, but had us in stitches), a couple of kids from one of the Snarklet’s high school as a duo called Chris Dyl (watch for these guys they WILL be big!), country, western, Scots folk (Emily Smith and Jamie McLennan – another very, very happy accidental catch), medieval song (Harlequin – astonishingly good!), inarticulate but enthusiastic teenage angsty music and more, more, more! Just caught the end of the Ellis Colective at the fringe – boy, they’re great too! Trouble in the Kitchen? Brilliant! And Chis Smither was bloody marvellous too. It was a fantastic day all round.

Look, like most Canberrans Mrs Snarky and I let far, far too many local events like this slide us by, safe in the knowledg we “can catch them next time round”. If you’re like us, have never been to the NFF but keep promising yourself you might go “next year” – just DO IT. Save up to set yourself aside a few hundred dollars for the two of you for a day pass, food and drink and just GO. You won’t like everything you hear but you can simply get up, wander off and you WILL find something else you like not 10 minutes walk away. This city / country / planet is just loaded with the most amazingly talented people who are happy to play for you and have a quick chat afterwards. It’s easily one of the the best days out (and it is a full day – 10 am to midnight) you could ask for. [end rave – thank you]

BTW, did anyone see Dobe Newton? How was he?

Thumper 7:28 pm 02 Apr 10

thanks bloodnut…

Kathleen 4:33 pm 02 Apr 10

Les Barker is always great (comic poetry such as ‘Guide cats for the blind’)

BenMac 2:48 pm 02 Apr 10

I suggest going to see the Canberra Youth Theatre production of TANK, which some may have seen performed at Floriade and in Garema Place.

It consists of 6 short play, inside a water tank (The Museum of Water), for 6 audience members at a time. The plays focus on water usage and conservation.

These are humerous tales of polar bears, pirates and time travel, which are free for all ages.

JimiBostock 10:16 am 02 Apr 10

I think one of the acts to see is PEARL which is the two girls from Goanna, Marcia Howard and Rose Bygrave. They have the most amazing voices.

They are on top of my list

bloodnut 9:54 am 02 Apr 10

Following post contains my local picks. Canberran’s and local bands are often like Aussie tourists – they’ll travel the entire world but never visit Kakadu. Don’t miss out.

For those too lazy to read the post, at the end is also a link to an iphone app that is heaps better than the hardcopy programme – i was sceptical, but its actually really good.

Many of YOU fantastic local music supporters don’t realise the important role you play in sustaining local bands.

The National Folk Festival is the only large festival of it’s kind that regularly features Canberra artists.

Interstate festival directors and committee members regularly trawl this festival on the lookout for new acts. Full houses and strong reviews for local acts make it more likely that they will invite Canberra musicians to other major festivals.

So turn up to as many Canberra acts as possible (and yes DO watch the same act twice…) , bring your mates, and most of all SPREAD THE WORD to any strangers that’ll listen… Canberra music RAWKS!



Friday 11am @ The Majestic
Friday 4:00pm @ The Majestic
Saturday 3:00pm @ The Majestic
Sunday 8:30pm @ The Majestic


Friday 8:30pm @ The Majestic
Saturday 4:00pm @ The Majestic
Sunday 3:00pm @ The Majestic


Friday 5:00pm @ The Majestic
Saturday 9:30pm @ The Majestic
Monday 4:20pm @ The Majestic


Thursday 9:40pm @ Flute & Fiddle
Friday 2:00pm @ Flute & Fiddle
Saturday 1:20pm @ Flute & Fiddle
Monday 3:50pm @ The Kid’s Festival


Friday 3:00pm @ The Majestic
Saturday 5:00pm @ The Majestic


8pm Saturday @ Kids Tent
8pm Sunday @ Kids Tent

Heaps cool that there is an iPhone app to help you find all the Canberra acts when you arrive. Its free and its here:

Brindabella 9:01 am 02 Apr 10

Joe Bonamassa and Buddy Guy! Awesome guitarists

…sorry folkers, they both here at today! 😉

Actually, check out Daniel Champagne. Saw his set last night at BluesFest, and he’s heading down to Canberra for the Folk Festival. He’s a great guitarist that does all of the guitar gymnastics ala Tommy Emmanuel. Great voice too.

Young bloke with a big future. Give him support!

random 10:57 pm 01 Apr 10

YMMV, but I have found that trying to look for highlights is stressful and irritating. You’re always watching the clock and it’s impossible to consistently get a decent seat. It isn’t great to get stuck at the back of the echoing, drafty vastness of the Budawang without a telescope.

I’d much rather get a good seat in a nice little venue the Troubadour or the Merry Muse and be pleasantly surprised by whatever comes up — because whatever comes up almost always is a pleasant surprise.

sepi 7:58 pm 01 Apr 10

Mal Webb is always a bit of fun.

switch 3:13 pm 01 Apr 10

Just picking three I’d recommend off the top of my head (there are too many to list that are all worth seeing; I’ve been going for over ten years): Trouble in the Kitchen, Genticorum and Les Barker.

You can get bios and audio samples from the “program: who’s performing” section of the folk festival webpage,

January.Shiver 2:59 pm 01 Apr 10

James Keelaghan was fantastic last time he was here – definitely worth seeing!

Thumper 2:53 pm 01 Apr 10

Trouble in the Kitchen are always worth it.

Ex Narrabundah College mob as well.

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