21 March 2011

National Folk Festival 2011 going off over Easter

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folk festival photo by Asher Floyd

This year’s National Folk Festival includes exciting new venues, dynamic young performers and more diverse entertainment than ever, with around 200 different acts, 90 market stalls and over 56 hours of entertainment across 30 different venues.

Headline international acts include Brisbane-based but Irish-influenced Sunas, Irish and country mate Andy Irvine, as well as Italy’s Riccardo Tesi & Banditaliana and Canada’s The Good Lovelies who are as beautiful as they are talented.

Darlings of the UK folk scene Nancy Kerr and James Fagan will feature alongside icons of bluegrass and Old Time music from the south, the USA’s Mike Compton, Bruce Molsky, Joe Newberry & Rafe Stefanini, and New Zealand’s Helen Webby and Davy Stewart who fuse harp and Celtic guitar and cittern.

These stellar overseas artists join iconic Australian favourites Eric Bogle, Ted Egan, the stunning Ami Williamson, Blues legend Fiona Boyes, The Bushwackers (celebrating their 40th anniversary), the hilarious mischief of Warren Fahey and The Larrikins and The Baylor Brothers.

For something different, don’t miss Totally Gourdgeous, whose instruments are all made from pumpkins; The Shiny Bum Singers and their parodies of Australia Public Service life; folk versions of the broadway hits in The Infinite Rocky Horror Show song contest; and environmental activist choir, Ecopella.

Those who can score a seat at The Majestic folk fringe will enjoy hotly anticipated acts such as FLAP!, The Crooked Fiddle Band featuring the amazing talents of Jess Randall, and the ‘gypsy deathcore’ performance of The Barons of Tang.

Fill your dance card with Modern Gypsy Dance, Jumptown Swing, bellydancing, Min Mae’s Dance Jam, Australian settler music and Afro Mandinko’s African dance as well as, yes, folk classics including Morris Dancing and Appalachian Clogging.

Special events this year include the inaugural Anzac Day concert ‘For the Fallen’ as well as ‘Sinners, Saints and Settlers’, celebrating the contribution of the Irish in Australia.

Add to the mix workshops, poetry, village markets, comedy, film, street theatre and circus plus gourmet food and wine – and it’s easy to see why the National attracts a loyal following of over 55,000 people every year.

The 2011 National Folk Festival will be held from 21-25 April at Exhibition Park in Canberra.

The program can be viewed online at http://www.folkfestival.asn.au/2010/08/04/program-advertiserbookings-now-open.

To purchase tickets, phone 1300 235 849 or visit http://www.folkfestival.asn.au/tickets.

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