The countdown is on! With just 3 weeks to go musicians are finalising their set lists, the design team is creating the Festival’s new look and the operations team is allocating fork lifts, mini buses and containers in preparation for moving on-site. The National Folk Festival is really the place to be this Easter, with over 200 artists celebrating the sounds of the world, a fantastic program for the kids, a new program of talks to fuel the mind, and enchanting art, dance and music experiences to soothe the soul.
There are 27 international acts in the program – don’t miss the stirring rhythms and five-part harmonies of Flats and Sharps from Cornwall, the Afro world jazzy feel of Himmerland from Denmark, the compelling addictive edge of Quebec with Les Poules a Colin and the gutsty alt-country flavour of one of New Zealand’s hottest new stars, Mel Parsons. Get ready for some bluegrass barn-raising with outstanding US act The Galax Bogtrotters or discover the incredible talent of the youngest BBC awarded folk artist, Uileann piper and singer Jarlath Henderson. There’s The Bridge Project which features artists from Israel, Turkey and Australia sharing a united spirit of musical cooperation, while Daiori Farrell Trio and The Aoife Scott Band will enrich your senses with the old and new traditions of Ireland.
There are so many outstanding Australian acts to experience you’ll be spoilt for choice. Highlights include 2017 Golden Guitar Winner Fanny Lumsden, the pizzazz and panache of Mic Conway’s National Junk Band, the dub and dancehall energy of Dubmarine and the new songs and harmonies of folk favourites The Mae Trio. Head into dark country with Heath Cullen, get bold and brassy with The Lowdown Riders or, find some of the new faces of folk like Charm of Finches, The Bean Project or Ben Whiting. And, if you really want to party catch Crazy Old Maurice and Conchillia.
FringeWorld is the National’s new playground for the cool and the quirky. A precinct with its own dedicated program of adventure, food tents, chill out spaces, crazy games and immersive workshops it presents a very different folk experience. On The Village Green you’ll find fun and games with Crazy Croquet, Bean Bags Down the Rabbit Hole and loads of pop-up activities. The Bizarre is where patrons can participate in everything from percussion jams to a Circus Death Match, relaxing yoga or the daily Rainbow Dance Eruption. And there’s a brand new venue, The Borderland featuring contemporary folk troubadours and up-beat grooves. It’s the perfect place to party with friends and encounter out-of-the-box performances and fresh content.
The National has a new Talks, Forums and Conversations program. Come on a journey of family and identity with Mutti Mutti man and award-winning artist Kutcha Edwards, a member of the Stolen Generations, in conversation with Nukuna man and award-winning author Jared Thomas. Dig up the underbelly of Henry Lawson’s life with Kerrie Davies and her new book ‘A Wife’s Heart’, for aspiring artists learn just what it takes to make your living as a folk musician with Chloe and Jason Roweth or find out what a festival director is looking for in The Director’s Forum. On Easter Sunday engage in a discussion about recognition and constitutional change in the Recognise Forum with Jason Oakley, Rob De Castella, Katrina Fanning and Justin Mohammed.
From high-end entertainment to the expression of folk-life the award-winning National Folk Festival is the ultimate celebration of all things folk. With a program designed to inspire, enliven and entertain, from traditional and contemporary grooves to the quirky and the endearing the Festival features all the key elements that make people want to come from everywhere to be part of it.
The 2017 Festival runs across 5 days and 5 nights at Easter, from 13-17 April in Canberra across 18 venues at a re-imagined Exhibition Park. Discounted tickets available till 9th April at the Festival website. BYO tent, motor home, caravan or hire a tent on-site with our Rent-a-Tent Accommodation. Purchase a ticket and share it with your friends for as little as $82.50 per day with our Package of Days pass. More info at www.folkfestival.org.au or follow National Folk Festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram