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National Folk Festival on song with joyous weekend of music

By Ian Bushnell 4 April 2018 0

Irish songstress Susan O’Neill. Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben

The 2018 National Folk Festival lived up to its slogan of Five Days in a Perfect World, blessed with spectacular Easter weather and staging a joyous celebration of music and culture.

Festival and artistic director Pam Merrigan said the festival has had a very good year, achieving budget on ticketing which suggest numbers were slightly up on the usual aggregate of 42,000 through the gates over the weekend.

More importantly, feedback from performers and festival goers had been gratifying with the overseas artists in particular making a point of saying what a special event it was and praising the way it was run and the stages provided.

Exciting US duo Ryanhood, who thrilled the closing concert crowd on Monday night, said they had never been to a festival like it, she said.

Ms Merrigan said the international line-up had been a big hit with festival goers, and she was particularly happy with the talent her US contact had offered. Her ‘big get’ of the festival was Scottish trad band Elephant Sessions, who got the young and young at heart crowd in the Budawang jumping to their infectious dance tunes.

Photo: Adam Purcell, Melbourne Ceili Camera.

She said next year’s event was likely to include a dance venue with minimal seating that would be more attuned to those sorts of artists.

The National would aim for the same sort of mix of musical styles, to please the ‘traddies’ but include acts in the program that were going to excite young people.

“Show them that folk music isn’t for old fogies, that it can be really relevant and current. There’s a lot of top stuff out there that they’d probably connect with,” she said.

The National was also looking at collaborating with the Fairbridge festival in WA, which is also staged in April.

Ms Merrigan said the new festival layout had been a winner, allowing more space and better flow around the site.

The National also recognised some great new Australian talent with awards going to 14-year-old Sadie, the Girl on the Hill; Toowoomba brothers The Beamish Boys, and young Melbourne songwriter STAV.

Photo: Adam Purcell, Melbourne Ceili Camera.

Photo: Adam Purcell, Melbourne Ceili Camera.

Photo: Adam Purcell, Melbourne Ceili Camera.

Photo: Adam Purcell, Melbourne Ceili Camera.

Photo: Adam Purcell, Melbourne Ceili Camera.

Photo: Adam Purcell, Melbourne Ceili Camera.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.

Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services – www.facebook.com/photoxben.


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