As the the sun begins to break through the clouds and folkies everywhere crawl out of hibernation it’s time to start planning how best to spend your summer months. And luckily for you Timber and Steel has decided (after some prompting on our facebook page) to give you a guide to the best folk/roots/acoustic/indie festivals happening around the country this season. And remember, if this summer is looking expensive on the festival front, most of these events offer free tickets and camping in exchange for volunteer hours – check the festival web sites for details.
Great Southern Blues Festival, Batemans Bay, NSW – 1st, 2nd & 3rd October
Don’t be fooled by the name, the Great Southern Blues Festival offers a lot more than just blues with roots and folk acts like Ben Kweller, Kim Churchill (left) and the The Travelers taking to the stage. Sadly the Court Yard Hounds have pulled out this year but it’s still a very impressive lineup.
One Movement Music Festival, Perth, WA – 8th, 9th & 10th October
Perth manages to pull out one of the best local and international lineups for this year’s One Movement Music Festival. Catch the likes of Paul Kelly, Mama Kin (right), Xavier Rudd, Sally Seltmann, Boy & Bear, Georgia Fair, Passenger and Ben Kweller. Maybe they should name this festival “Timber and Steel’s Featured Artists”?
Fleurieu Folk Festival, Willunga. SA – 22nd, 23rd & 24th October
South Australia gets it’s own taste of folk with the Fleurieu Folk Festival in beautiful Willunga. Some of the best folk festival acts going around make an appearance this year including Danny Spooner, The Lurkers (left), String Theory and more.
Folk in Broke, Hunter Valley, NSW – 5th, 6th & 7th November
What is the perfect way to watch folk music? Why with a glass of wine in hand of course! And when that wine comes from the Hunter Valley’s Nightingale Wines you can’t go far wrong. We can doubly recommend Folk in Broke as it’s Takadami’s first gig in a very long time and these guys are amazing. Other feature artists include Paul Robert Burton, FIG and The Wheeze and Suck Band (right).
Adelaide International Guitar Festival, Adelaide, SA – 25th, 26th, 27th & 28th November
Celebrating all things guitar related the Adelaide International Guitar Festival has been building a reputation as one of the top events on the Australian musical calendar. This year’s festival features the likes of Jeff Lang (left), Lisa Miller and more.
Meredith Music Festival, Meredith, Vic – 10th, 11th & 12th December
The Meredith Music Festival scored quite a coup when they enlisted The Dirty Three (right) as the headline act for their 20th anniversary. It’s probably one of the reasons the event has already sold out. That and they have a massive lineup including Little Red, Neil Finn, C.W. Stoneking, Sally Seltmann and more.
Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, Qld – 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th & 31st December & 1st January
Despite the fact that the Woodford Folk Festival is yet to announce it’s 2010/11 lineup it still has to be the highlight of any folky’s summer. Mal Webb (left) has already let slip that he and Totally Gourgeous are appearing so expect to see a lot of your favourite acts. Hopefully we’ll get a confirmed lineup shortly.
Falls Music and Arts Festival, Lorne, Vic and Marion Bay, Tas – 28th, 29th, 30th & 31st December & 1st January
A New Year’s Eve institution, the Falls Festival just gets bigger and bigger each year. This year’s lineup includes Angus and Julia Stone, Boy & Bear (right), JUNIP, Sally Seltmann and Paul Kelly.
Peats Ridge Music Festival, Glenworth Valley, NSW – 29th, 30th & 31st December & 1st January
The rock music festival with the heart of a folk festival, Peats Ridge is as much about the environment and sustainability as it is about the music. It’s also one of the most relaxing ways to spend New Year’s Eve. The first lineup is massive and includes the likes of Angus and Julia Stone (these guys get around), The Audreys (left), Cloud Control, Kim Churchill, The Seabellies and more.
Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, NSW – 13th, 14th, 15th & 16th January
Easily one of our favourite small folk festivals in the country, the Illawarra Folk Festival is held in historic Bulli just a couple of hours south of Sydney and has a real community atmosphere. No word on the lineup yet but they usually have a number of the larger folk acts in attendance. Definitely worth the train trip down from the big smoke if just to have a beer at the Heritage Hotel.
Tamworth Country Music Festival, Tamworth, NSW – 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd & 23rd January
The top event on the country music calendar, the Tamworth Country Music Festival is an absolute institution. Tickets for the festival go on sale (internet only) on the 1st of October. If you’re keen you should be booking your accommodation now to avoid disappointment.
Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy, Vic – 11th, 12th, 13th & 14th March
One of the “big three” Australian folk festivals (along with Woodford and The National), Port Fairy has been adding a larger amount of nu-folk and acoustic-rock acts to their lineup in recent years. Definitely a top destination for the folk faithful and folk curious alike, Port Fairy also has the advantage of being in one of the most beautiful locations in the country.
WOMADelaide, Adelaide, SA – 11th, 12th, 13th & 14th March
In this time of musical awareness and diversity does the term “world music” mean anything any more? Probably not, but the best way to find out will be to head to Adelaide for the annual WOMADelaide festival. The artist lineup is due to hit the interwebs this November so we’re sure to keep you posted.
Blue Mountains Folk & Roots, Katoomba, NSW – 18th, 19th and 20th March
Always a fantastic mix of the very best contemporary artists along with the cream of folk scene the Blue Mountains Folk & Roots Festival is one of the best around. Tickets sell out really quickly (probably due to its proximity to Sydney) but is definitely worth the effort.
And that’s it for the summer. Worn out yet? Well better get some rest, because Easter and The National are just around the corner…