National Folk Festival 2017 – Launch

On Wednesday evening, in the marble foyer of the National Library of Australia in Canberra, the launch took place of the 2017 National Folk Festival.

At the launch, classical/celtic harpist Siobhan Owen played a short set of songs and tunes. Now based in South Australia, Owen was born in the village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, on the island of Anglesey in northern Wales, where 70% of the population speak Welsh fluently. Her final song was the Welsh tongue-twister, ‘Cyfri’r Geifr (Counting the Goats)’:

Another set of songs and tunes was performed by Canberra-based duo, Guyy and the Fox (Guy Lilleyman and Amelia Gibson –, playing guitar and violin. They completed their set with an acoustic version of the instrumental, ‘Turkish Delight’.

At the launch, it was announced that the 2017 recipient of the National Folk Festival Lifetime Achievement Award is Bob Bolton.

The National Folk Festival kicks off on the Thursday evening of the Easter long weekend, at Exhibition Park in Canberra. A variety of tickets are available, including Season Tickets (although the Early Bird I and Early Bird II offers have now concluded), Day Tickets and Evening Tickets.

For people with limited time or limited money, Thursday Evening Tickets will be available at the gate from 5 pm on the Thursday evening (13 April 2017) at a cost of $35 per ticket and Monday Evening Tickets will be available at the gate from 3 pm on the Monday afternoon (17 April 2017) at a cost of $25 per ticket.

Based on past arrangements, the 2017 program guide should be available in the next month or so on the website of the National Folk Festival ( or for purchase at the gate (don’t forget to bring your highlighting pens!).

Appearing at the National Folk Festival 2017 will be around 20 international acts and more than 180 acts from Australia. The Festival’s First Peoples’ Program includes: Kutcha Edwards (Balranald, NSW, of the Mutti Mutti people), Dubmarine (Brisbane), Jessie Lloyd and The Mission Songs Project, Genise & Nicholas Williams (Aranda people from Hermannsburg, NT), Tilly Thomas (Nukunu/Ngadjuri), David Spry (Northern Australia), Dr Jared Thomas (a Nukunu man of the Southern Flinders Ranges), The Djaadjawan Dancers and the Wiradjuri Echoes dance group.

The National Library of Australia (, a Distinguished Partner of the National Folk Festival, will be hosting a series of music-related events in the lead-up to the National Folk Festival.

Rhythms magazine ( is a Media Partner/Supporter of the National Folk Festival.