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National Folk Festival giveaway

By Jazz 26 March 2010 14

Just 7 days to go ‘til the opening of the 2010 National Folk Festival!

It really is shaping up to be the best Festival yet – buoyed by the recent win in the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, ticket sales for the event are through the roof and the impressive line-up will include well-known acts from here and overseas as well as lots of fresh new faces!

Check out the program summary at to learn more about renowned international acts such as Chris Smither (USA), Eddi Reader (SCOT), Andrew Cronshaw (ENG), Paddy Keenan (IRE) and Beppe Gambetta (ITA), who will be joined by well-known Australians including Golden Guitar winners Felicity Urquhart and The Davidson Brothers as well as Keith Potger, Vorn Doolette, Abbie Cardwell, Natalie McGee, Mal Webb and the Handsome Young Strangers.

Don’t forget, for the first time ever, The Majestic will provide a home for folk fringe performers under the Big Top in centre arena, and promise plenty of shenanigans. Come to marvel at everything from ‘Circus Deathmatch’ to ‘Dance Jam’; local Canberra acts Mr Fibby, Voss and The Ellis Collective; the eccentric take on contemporary song of rising young Queensland artist Emma Dean, to Rafe Morris and Andrew Walker presenting songs derived from Doctor Seuss books; also, popular Melbourne-based gypsy dance band Rapskallion, and the colourful and charismatic lineup of Lolo Lovina from Sydney.

To help get us all in the mood, you’re invited to share your favourite memories of the National Folk Festival here. Keep it clean folks, and the sweetest, funniest or cleverest response will win a double Adult Day Pass to attend with a friend and create some fabulous new memories!

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14 Responses to
National Folk Festival giveaway
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January.Shiver 4:17 pm 01 Apr 10

You forgot the flowers and sticks Thumper – you can’t be a proper manly morris man without flowers and a stick…and hankies.

Gungahlin Al 1:00 pm 01 Apr 10

And it starts tonight. Woo hoo!!

Thumper 12:02 pm 01 Apr 10

It is a place where the love of all humanity flows through the totality of the known and unknown universe making us all as one with our inner beings whereby the total goodness of our pagan souls is pushed into the glowing white light of harmonious oneness with all things living and the sun shines with a particularly soft glow into all of our hearts bringing us all into the warm embrace of the earth goddess and her true wonderful being of spirit where without going out of our minds we can know all things and see all things.

And several species of small furry creatures will rejoice and groove in caves with Picts….

Actually, it’s just great fun. Trad folk music, Coopers, Mulled wine, street performers, people, noise, bloody Morris dancers*, pagan virgin sacrifices (I may have made that one up), session bar. Just brilliant 🙂

*cricketers who have had a dozen pints and found some bells and jingly things and pinned them to their whites.

phvlda 11:33 am 01 Apr 10

Last year was my first Folk Festival.
I came to it with fear and trepidation mostly instigated by the eccentric family i travelled with. I remember walking with the mother of this family as she received a phone call from her son who was in the bathroom, apparently it was going to be a big one and we should go on without him, and as she comfortably relayed this message to me i learnt that i was comfortable with all this openness. I learnt so much about myself in those few sort days. I learned i can salsa dance. I learned i can salsa dance wearing a lama-wool poncho. I became a vegetarian and ukelele player. I made life friends and obsessions with various music groups. mal web teaching me to beat-box was incredible. i can’t even remember the names of half the world music groups i saw but i can hum you their tunes. the most bewitching was a pair of harps. enough said.
it’s a life changing event- i want to share it

Secretstaircase 10:28 am 01 Apr 10

The Folk Festival is the highlight of my year. It is definitely an immersion experience; a journey to a another place and time in which people are kinder, life is laidback and music and happiness reign supreme. My favourite memories are simple moments such as dancing with my teenage children and their friends, sharing mulled wine with an old school friend that I suddenly stumbled upon, and buying crazy hippie clothes to relive my youth. The significant moments that have stayed with me throughout the year include Eddie Reader reducing a fellow Scot like myself to buckets of tears. I feel as though she’s my age (probably she’s much younger, but that’s the Folk Festival for you) and everything about her music touched a chord with me. I became quite obsessed with seeing her every performance, and suspect I’ll be up the front of every one again this year. Her accent and her stories made me remember who I am, and more importantly, where I come from. That’s just one of so many pivotal memories. Sitting up late at night with family and friends poring over the program, highlighters in hand, sharing the day’s adventures, planning the next and laughing and laughing – those are the special times that only ever happen at the National Folk Festival.

switch 11:30 am 28 Mar 10

Anyone can afford the folk festival, just volunteer. They are still calling for volunteers on the homepage,

edgie36 4:29 pm 27 Mar 10

It was about a week before the folkie two years ago. I’d just met a gorgeous woman (we’ll call her Ms F) and we were heading for a 2nd date.

I’m ashamed to say I’d never been to the folkie in my 10+ years of living in Canberra so when the invitation came to spend a day with her there I was pretty nervous for a couple of reasons – would she like me 2nd time round? and what kind of experience was I going to have? I knew it was a test!

I’d planned to meet up with Ms F on Easter Friday afternoon and spend the rest of the day with her. I had to drive back from Sydney on Thursday the eve of Easter. But, on the way back, my crappy old Commodore broke down in Mittagong and I thought I wouldn’t get there. Thanks to a combination of the NRMA, a train and a good friend I made it back home to Queanbeyan.

So crisis averted…on to Friday (thank God I have a motorbike)…
I’d received a text message – “you’re welcome to stay at mine instead of having to ride back to Queanbeyan”…(heart flutter).

The folkie was brilliant – Ms F guided me to various venues and performances in between frequent mugs of mulled wine and lively conversations between friends. I remember seeing wonderful acts like the Crooked Fiddle Band, Mal Webb, Spooky Men’s Chorale, and the Ellis Collective (to name a few). I remember walking round the venues immersed in the happy atmosphere. But most of all I remember an energy so alive you could strum it!

I think I passed the test – now, two years on we’re getting hitched – thanks to the ACT govt and a wonderful Easter Friday at the Folkie.

So now we’re saving for our wedding later in the year and can’t afford the Folkie but we’d love a chance to relive that wonderful day.

juker 9:10 pm 26 Mar 10

Walking into Budawang in anticipation of a performer I had heard good reports of and finding the place packed to the rafters and spellbound by Vin Garbutt who was singing ‘Silver and Gold’. He was a small, curly haired presence on stage and encouraged the audience to sing the chorus with him. The sound of hundreds of people respectfully singing along with him and sounding like a choir is something I will never forget, a truly magic NFF moment.

ShoulderHawk 8:57 pm 26 Mar 10

My favourite folky was my first in 2002. I was working as a volunteer in the children’s tent as a stage hand alongside my buddy, Brady. A mate, Merryn, came each morning and painted my face along with the other willing customers out on the grounds.

One of the acts we had were a well known (yet I can’t think of their name NOW) Aussie couple who did a puppet show with great craftsmanship and captivating storytelling. The children were really well behaved for them because they were so absorbed in what was happening. There was one story where a princess kissed an animal (I don’t think it was the traditional frog… but for arguments sake, lets say it was), which then turned back into a person, or prince, or other kind of majestic being.

The next day while we were closing up the tent an animal, which I’m certain was a rat, scuttled round the edge of the tent and into the scrub. Some of the children in the kid’s activity group saw the movement and argued over what kind of animal it was. A little boy, who must have been around three or four, turned to me and said that I could kiss him (the rodent)so he could be a prince again. I stood there feeling pretty special with my silver moon face paint, being a part of a weekend-long event which in itself felt very magical.

Thumper 1:38 pm 26 Mar 10

Ms thumper and myself attend every year without fail and we absolutely love it.

I believe there is a sitar workshop on one of the days so i’ll be attending that.

January.Shiver 12:42 pm 26 Mar 10

As a former Canberran who attends every year, I find my time at the National to be the 4 days of the year that enable me to get through the rest! Put simply it’s magic, it’s like stepping into another world for just a few days.

I have so many amazing memories of it, from standing with my family in the cold evenings, listening to music coming from the Troubador and drinking mulled wine, to the delight of seeing Liz Frencham appear once more on stage in yet another group or band, to sitting with a crowd of people all stomping and singing along to a Bernard-Carney-led Beatles sing-a-long. I think my favourite memory is from the first time I went though – I was sitting, on my own, listening to a group of Steiner School students from the Yarra Valley play the most beautiful music and just enjoying the feeling of being part of a huge group of people who were nice, kind, joyful, inspired and inspiring.

I’ve never been anywhere else that has such an atmosphere!
May it long continue 🙂

Gungahlin Al 12:37 pm 26 Mar 10

Got our season tickets already.

From her performance at Woodford some years back and a pub show a year or so later, I can recommend Kristina Olsen – great musician and a funny woman.

Yes Candelabra, “calming” and “earthy” are two good words for folk festivals and the people who go to them. For many people it is a wake-up introduction to a different life approach. Without needing to move to Nimbin, there is a better way for people to live their lives. Working with environment groups and campaigners back in Qld, it was always personally enriching to be with so many good people.

candelabra 11:50 am 26 Mar 10

The National Folk Fesival I went to a few years ago was a defining moment for me, and I hadn’t fully realised it until I started to reflect just now! At the time I was in a slump and I went along with a couple of guys who seemed more worldly a lot less naive than I was. I remember walking around and thinking that the world was a magical place to have something like this festival exist in it, I guess I sort of likened it to Woodstock and wondered if they were similar – not knowing much on that matter. There were all these handmade items for sale (I bought a little hat with bells on it and an ocarina) and groups of people with long hair and shawls huddled and dancing around fires. Music was everywhere, which although I’m not a musician I knew I liked it and it was calming and wonderful. I was taken to a group of cool young teens, they all had such personality and were playing earthy instruments like bongos and didgeridoo with passion and skill. Thanks for the memory walk 🙂

LlamaFrog 9:49 am 26 Mar 10

My greatest memory of the NFF was the time my then wife took my then mother-in-law to the festival and I was left home alone. I remember waiving them goodbye, walking over to the lounge sitting down and having this feeling of dread and nausea lift off and a feeling of euphoria lift my spirit. I recall being able to do what I wanted, when I wanted, how I wanted. Please give me this chance again with my current wife and mother-in-law.

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