Thank Folk It’s Friday – 27th December

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

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– Our Editor in Chief Gareth Hugh Evans released his traditional top 25 songs of the year including tracks from Aldous Harding, Bear’s Den, Big Sky Mountain, Bon Iver, Chaika, Charm of Finches, Falls, Fanny Lumsden, Garrett Kato, George Jackson, Joe Pug, John Smith, Julia Jacklin, Luke Plumb & Kate Burke, Mandolin Orange, Matthew And The Atlas, Michael Waugh, Passenger, Seeker Lover Keeper, Stella Donnelly, The East Pointers, The Maes, The Teskey Brothers, Tia Gostelow and Vetiver. Check it out here

– Our annual Chritsmas Eve list of the best folky Christmas and Holiday songs of the year dropped on Tuesday with tracks from Al Parkinson, Anais Mitchell w/ Thomas “Doveman” Bartlett, Arielle Silver, Bear’s Den, Ben Sollee, Courteous Thief, Fanny Lumsden, Good Lovelies, Jackie Marshall and Emma Bosworth, Jesse Blake Rundle, Joe Pug, Lady Maisery w/ Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith, Judy Collins & Jonas Fjeld, Lana Winterhalt, Noah, Mitch, & Kate, Phoebe Bridgers w/ Fiona Apple and Matt Berninger (The National), Richard Walters, Skinner & T’witch, Sophie Jones (Smith and Jones), Stella Donnelly, The Lone Bellow and The Shut-ins. Check out the list here

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Andrew Swift and Gretta Ziller

Caravan Park

Friday 27th December – Amberlee Holiday Park, Rosebud, VIC
Saturday 28th December – Inverloch Foreshore Camping Reserve, Inverloch, VIC
Sunday 29th December – Seaspray Caravan Park, Seaspray, VIC
Monday 30th December – Eagle Point Caravan Park, Eagle Point, VIC
Tuesday 31st December – Marlo Ocean Views, Marlo, VIC
Wednesday 1st January – Mallacoota Foreshore Holiday Park, Mallacoota, VIC
Thursday 2nd January – Eden Beachfront Holiday Park, Eden, NSW
Friday 3rd January – Tathra Beachside, Tathra, NSW

Gigs Next Week

Áine Tyrrell
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Alana Wilkinson
Saturday 28th December – Inverloch Sounds of Summer, Inverloch, VIC

Alice Skye
Monday 30th December to Wednesday 1st January – NYE on the Hill, Loch, VIC

Amanda Palmer
Monday 30th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Andrew Swift and Gretta Ziller
Friday 27th December – Amberlee Holiday Park, Rosebud, VIC
Saturday 28th December – Inverloch Foreshore Camping Reserve, Inverloch, VIC
Sunday 29th December – Seaspray Caravan Park, Seaspray, VIC
Monday 30th December – Eagle Point Caravan Park, Eagle Point, VIC
Tuesday 31st December – Marlo Ocean Views, Marlo, VIC
Wednesday 1st January – Mallacoota Foreshore Holiday Park, Mallacoota, VIC
Thursday 2nd January – Eden Beachfront Holiday Park, Eden, NSW
Friday 3rd January – Tathra Beachside, Tathra, NSW

Archie Roach
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Austral
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Barleyshakes
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Ben Mastwyk
Tuesday 31st December – Union Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th January – Western Weekender, The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Blair Dunlop
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Bluegrass and Boilermakers
Thursday 2nd January – Rio Bar, Sydney, NSW

Bonnie Kay and the Bonafides
Friday 27th December – The Unicorn Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 29th December – Shady Pines Saloon, Sydney, NSW

Brooke Russell & the Canyon Callers
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th January – Western Weekender, The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Cat & Clint
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Charlie Collins
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Chloe & Jason Roweth
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Cigány Weaver
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Cloudstreet
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Colin Lillie
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Dave Wright & The Midnight Ramblers
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th January – Western Weekender, The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Dope Lemon
Saturday 28th to Tuesday 31st December – Falls Festival, Lorne, VIC
Sunday 29th to Tuesday 31st December – Falls Festival, Marion Bay, TAS
Tuesday 31st December to Thursday 2nd January – Falls Festival, Byron Bay, NSW

Dyson Stringer Cloher
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Elephant Sessions
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD
Thursday 2nd January – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 3rd January – The Bellingen Brewery Co, Bellingen, NSW

Emily Barker
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Falls Festival
Saturday 28th to Tuesday 31st December – Lorne, VIC
Sunday 29th to Tuesday 31st December – Marion Bay, TAS
Tuesday 31st December to Thursday 2nd January – Byron Bay, NSW

Fiona Ross and Shane O’Mara
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Fred Smith
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Freya Josephine Hollick
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th January – Western Weekender, The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Gareth Leach
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th January – Western Weekender, The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Georgia State Line
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th January – Western Weekender, The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Great Aunt
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th January – Western Weekender, The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Gretta Ray
Monday 30th December to Wednesday 1st January – NYE on the Hill, Loch, VIC

Gulgong Folk Festival
Sunday 29th to Tuesday 31st December – Gulgong, NSW

Harry James Angus
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Hat Fitz and Cara
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Inverloch Sounds of Summer
Saturday 28th December – Thompson Reserve, Inverloch, VIC

Jack Carty
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

James Ellis & the Jealous Guys
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th January – Western Weekender, The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Jeff Lang
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

John Thompson
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Jordie Lane
Tuesday 31st December – Secret Show, VIC

Kasey Chambers
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Kate Miller-Heidke
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Kay Proudlove
Sunday 29th December – Red Dog on the Green, Figtree, NSW

Kyle Lionhart
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Lachlan Bryan & the Wildes
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th January – Western Weekender, The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Lior
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Little Wise
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th January – Western Weekender, The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Mal Webb
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Martin Pearson
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Matt Joe Gow
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th January – Western Weekender, The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission
Wednesday 1st January – The Archies Creek Hotel, Archies Creek, VIC

Milky Chance
Saturday 28th to Tuesday 31st December – Falls Festival, Lorne, VIC
Sunday 29th to Tuesday 31st December – Falls Festival, Marion Bay, TAS
Tuesday 31st December to Thursday 2nd January – Falls Festival, Byron Bay, NSW

Nariel Creel Folk Festival
Tuesday 31st December to Wednesday 1st January – Nariel Creek, VIC

Narrownecks
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Nathan Seeckts
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th January – Western Weekender, The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Niq Reefman
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

NYE on the Hill
Monday 30th December to Wednesday 1st January – Loch, VIC

Of Monsters and Men
Saturday 28th to Tuesday 31st December – Falls Festival, Lorne, VIC
Sunday 29th to Tuesday 31st December – Falls Festival, Marion Bay, TAS
Tuesday 31st December to Thursday 2nd January – Falls Festival, Byron Bay, NSW

Pierce Brothers
Monday 30th December to Wednesday 1st January – NYE on the Hill, Loch, VIC

Raised By Eagles
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th January – Western Weekender, The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

RAPT
Sunday 29th to Tuesday 31st December – Gulgong Folk Festival, Gulgong, NSW

Rick Hart Trio
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th January – Western Weekender, The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Rose Zita Falko
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th January – Western Weekender, The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Round Mountain Girls
Tuesday 31st December – Seagulls Club, Tweed Heads, NSW

Russell Morris
Thursday 2nd December – Malt Shovel Taphouse, Sunshine Coast, QLD
Friday 3rd December – Soundlounge, Gold Coast, QLD

Sahara Beck
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Sean McMahon
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th January – Western Weekender, The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Stag 2020 NYE feat. Magpie Diaries, Johnston City, James Thomson, Lyle Dennis Express, Dashville Progress Society
Tuesday 31st December – The Stag & Hunter Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Stu Tyrrell
Sunday 29th to Tuesday 31st December – Gulgong Folk Festival, Gulgong, NSW

The Black Sorrows
Saturday 28th December – Caravan Music Club, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 29th December – Wonderland Spiegeltent, Barwon Heads, VIC
Thursday 2nd January – The Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 3rd January – Ballina RSL Club, Ballina, NSW

The BordererS
Tuesday 31st December – Para Hills Community Club, Adelaide, SA

The Brother Brothers
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD
Friday 3rd December – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

The Bushwackers
Sunday 29th to Tuesday 31st December – Gulgong Folk Festival, Gulgong, NSW

The East Pointers w/ Laura Hyde
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD
Friday 3rd January – The Imperial Hotel, Eumundi, QLD

The Little Lord Street Band
Saturday 28th December – Clancy’s Fish Pub, Fremantle, WA
Sunday 29th December – Margaret River Brewhouse, Margaret River, WA

The New Graces
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

The Swamp Stompers
Friday 3rd December – Murrah Hall, Murrah, NSW

The Weeping Willows
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th January – Western Weekender, The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Thelma Plumb
Saturday 28th to Tuesday 31st December – Falls Festival, Lorne, VIC
Sunday 29th to Tuesday 31st December – Falls Festival, Marion Bay, TAS
Tuesday 31st December to Thursday 2nd January – Falls Festival, Byron Bay, NSW

This Way North
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Tia Gostelow
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Tin Star
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Western Weekender
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th January – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Woodford Folk Festival
Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January – Woodford, QLD

Z-Star Trinity
Saturday 28th December – Mansfield Hotel, Townsville, QLD
Tuesday 31st December – Riley, Cairns, QLD

Friday Folk Flashback

“Woodfordia” – The East Pointers

The Best Folky Christmas Songs of 2019

Fiddle

It’s Christmas Eve which means it’s time to publish our favourite Christmas tracks released this year with a folky flavour.

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone! Looking forward to folking with you in 2020!

Joe Pug – “The Letdown”

Richard Walters – “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”

Jackie Marshall and Emma Bosworth – “Christmas At The Hotel Grand”

Phoebe Bridgers feat. Fiona Apple, Matt Berninger – “7 O’Clock News / Silent Night”

Bear’s Den – “Only Son of the Falling Snow”

Bear’s Den – “The Star of Bethnal Green”

Fanny Lumsden – “These Days”

Arielle Silver – “Lonely Time of Year”

The Shut-Ins – “Daddy’s Drinking Up Our Christmas”

Courteous Thief – “Mountains And Sea”

The Lone Bellow – “Marshmallow World”

Skinner and T’witch – “The Winter Song”

Stella Donnelly – “Season’s Greetings”

Sophie Jones – “Tamworth For Christmas”

Al Parkinson – “I Get Through The Year Just Fine”

Lana Winterhalt – “The Holly & The Ivy”

Lady Maisery, Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith – “Sing We All Merrily”

Judy Collins & Jonas Fjeld – “River”

Noah, Mitch, & Kate – “O Come O Come Emmanuel”

Anaïs Mitchell w/ Thomas “Doveman” Bartlett – “I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day”

The Good Lovelies – “Song of the Magi”

Ben Sollee – “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”

Jesse Blake Rundle – “Silent Night”

Review: Blue Mountains Music Festival

Blue Mountains Music Festival
Image Courtesy of the Blue Mountains Music Festival

To start, an admission: I’m a terrible festival attendee. My handful of must-sees quickly gives way to a fickle drifting, distracted eyes and ears rarely attentive for a whole set. I’m also, as you’ll quickly discover, musically illiterate yet fascinated and enthralled by a language I don’t understand. Lyrically, I feel adept to make comment; instrumentally I flounder and use inappropriate and often incorrect words. You’ve been warned: what follows is a review of the beautiful Blue Mountains Folk, Roots and Blues Music Festival by a musical illiterate with a deep love and appreciation for what she hears.

Thanks to Timber and Steel’s Editor in Chief Evan Hughes plans to marry one of my oldest (very youthful) friends, the lovely Sarah Tuz, and my convenient home in the misty, mystical Blue Mountains, I’m writing my first review for Timber and Steel.

Like many fellow festival attendees, I spent the preceding week checking the weather forecast, anticipating a repeat of last year’s perpetual rain and shin-deep mud bath (not atypical in the Bluies). Yet I also knew, as you can read in Evan’s review of last year’s festival, that the residents of the Blue Mountains and those attending from afar, are resilient and undeterred by a bit of soggy trudging between venues, and well-equipped with assorted gumboots and waterproof parkas.

The seventeenth Blue Mountains Musical Festival was, as the program described, the usual motley affair of folk, roots, blues, latin, world, jazz, bluegrass, Indie, reggae, blessed with artists from the quirky, theatrical The Beez, to the determined and socially conscious Blue King Brown. Young local musicians such as the passionate young Claude Hay played just metres away from the iconic Judy Collins, tackling themes from the intimate to the comical to the political and everything in between.

A “favourite five” glimpse of what we saw:

Fred Smith and Liz Frencham

Fred Smith is a songwriter of 15 years. He’s also an Australian diplomat who has been posted to far corners of the earth – from Bouganville to Uruzgan. Skilfully, he combines these two personas as a master storyteller, conjuring hope, despair and laughter in his audience. I was suitably curious to see him on both Friday and Saturday evening.

Fred began his collaboration with the beautiful, cheeky, passionate Liz Frencham at the National Folk Festival in 2002. Liz on vocals and cello brought balance and intimacy to Smith’s performance on Friday night, enthralling the audience with her vivacious enjoyment of her instrument, balancing Fred’s dry humour with a distinctly feminine presence onstage. The evening mixed the political – such as “Blue Guitar”, reflecting on his time in the Solomon Islands, to the everyday and personal, such as “In My Room”.

Throughout Saturday evenings Dust of Uruzgan (the title of his new album) performance, Smith used a combination of story, song and multi-media to tell of his time posted in the Uruzgan province of Afghanistan. What left the audience hopeful, despite his often tragic stories of distrust and fear, was Smith’s wry yet playful sense of humour, and his overt belief that in spite of the everyday horrors he witnessed, peace is still possible.

Liz Frencham and the rest of the band served as instruments by which Smith added life to his stories. Smith gave voice to the men and women of the armed forces in the province, describing the monotony of constant threat, the loss and death and ceaseless dust. It was not all bleak- from within the reality of war; Smith described uplifting friendships, a spot of ‘Schwafelen’ (brush up on your Dutch to translate this one) and plenty of laughter. A memorable and poignant experience.

Abigail Washburn and Kai Welch

Abigail Washburn’s sweet drawl and croaky laugh is just as compatible with Bluegrass as with traditional Chinese folk songs (hand gestures included). Vivacious, Nashville-based Washburn, complimented by co-writer and singing partner Kai Welch, blessed their Blue Mountains audience with some ramblin’ afternoon tunes, from the delicate “Dreams of Nectar” to the traditional Chinese folk song whose title (ironically for the weekend) translates ‘The Sun Has Come Out and we are so Happy’. Some soul-quietening, smile-delivering entertainment to bring in the Saturday evening.

My Friend the Chocolate Cake

Aptly described by our MC as ‘fizzy and effervescent pop’, My Friend the Chocolate Cake played us a range of tunes from their 21 years at the forefront of Australian Music.

Pianist and vocalist David Bridie started us on a melancholy note with “Strange Crumbs From the Suburban Fringe”, quickly swinging between the carnival and the cinematic in a set filled with songs you recognise but can’t quite place – probably from their presence on a plethora of Australian film and TV soundtracks.

Having never seen them before, I’m unsure if this is typical, but apart Bridie steering the show, and quirky Hope Csutoris on Violin, the rest of the band played along unobtrusively as if willing the audience to ignore the band and draw upon and use the music to conjure up their own images and memories. Bridies’ lovely shy young daughter joined the band on vocals for a rollin’ rendition of “25 Stations”, as My Friend the Chocolate Cake used suburban symbols integral to the Australian identity, music like the voice of a familiar and comfortable old friend.

Harry Manx, Judy Collins, Claude Hay

Bringing in Saturday evening, living up to my wandering tendencies our 7pm timeslot was filled with three very different artists I was very curious to see.

Firstly, a storytelling session with the diverse and bewitching Harry Manx accompanied by the extraordinarily talented and energetic virtuoso Hammond Organ musician Clayton Dooley. I sat, mesmerised as Manx minimised talk between songs, telling tale after tale, fusing eastern musical traditions with the Blues. Disappointingly, our time was cut short by the desire not to miss out on the legendary Judy Collins.

We skilfully edged into the jam-packed Big Top tent for a glimpse of Judy Collins, looking radiant, relaxed and all decked out in glitter and grin. At 71, Judy’s career spans more that half a century, and judging by the composition of the audience, attracts fans spanning many generations and backgrounds. The air was thick with nostalgia, and the voices of hundreds of festival attendees reminiscing in unison. The lyrics of Bob Dylans’ “Mr Tamborine Man” could no doubt be heard halfway up Katoomba St, Judy leading the crowd. Unfortunately, due my partner’s sore foot (see below paragraph), we hobbled across to the RSL stage where we discovered a whole generation perhaps untouched by Judy Collins.

Claude Hay had a collection of Blue Mountains youth dancing furiously to his Blue and Roots tunes. Feeling strangely old (especially compared to the rest of our time at the festival), we sat and watched the ‘young people’ shake and groove and chant along to defiant lyrics, while we polished our dentures and moaned about our arthritis.

Eric Bibb

A beautiful conclusion to my second Blue Mountains Music Festival. Eric Bibb, accompanied by Swedish guitarist Staffan Astner, bestowed upon the audience an exceptional set of traditional and contemporary folk-blues tunes. It was Erics’ fourth Blue Mountains Festival, and second time visiting the Mountains in the space of a year- he played at Blackheath Community Centre in April 2011.

Everything about Eric contrasted with the pervasive fog outside the tent, from his bright orange shirt to his infectious and radiant smile. Staffan, dressed in black, hat obscuring his eyes and occasionally bemused smile, was Eric’s quiet yet brilliant shadow. From “Stagger Lee”, “Floodwater”, “Troubadour”, “Tell my Baby” and “Going Down the Road Feeling Bad”, Eric played a mixture of covers and originals which created a warm and contented audience, pleased to be sharing the moment and the music with hundreds of others in the Big Top, rather than outside in Katoomba’s best mist and drizzle.

Blue Mountains Music Festival Announces First Artist Lineup

Beoga
Image Courtesy of Beoga

The Blue Mountains Music Festival was by far one of our favourite events on this year’s music calendar (despite the torrential rain – check out our review here) so we got pretty excited this morning when the first round of artists for next years event landed in our inbox. The Blue Mountains Music Festival celebrates music from a variety of genres but it definitely always has a strong folk, roots, blues and bluegrass contingent on its roster and next year is no different.

Rather than try and single out our favourites from the first announcement we though we’d just give it to you in one hit and let you see just how good it is. Ready? Here we go:

Judy Collins (USA), Abigail Washburn (USA), Harry Manx (UK/Canada), Pierre Bensusan (French Algeria), Staffan Astner (Sweden), Krystle Warren (USA), Ben Sollee (USA), Blue King Brown, The Shane Howard Band, Fred Smith, Eddi Reader (Scotland), April Verch (Canada), Noriana Kennedy (Ireland), Truckstop Honeymoon (USA) While and Matthews (UK), My Friend the Chocolate Cake, Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band (USA), The Beez (Germany), Frigg (Finland), Beoga (above – Ireland), ahab (UK), Afro Mandinko, The Buddy Knox Blues Band, Alwan, The Quarry Mountain Dead Rats, Chris Wilson, Fiona Boyes, Rescue Ships, Claude Hay, George Kamikawa and Noriko Tadano, Cass Eager, Phil Davidson, Daniel Champagne, Tonks Green, The Simpson 3 and more.

Pretty impressive eh? The Blue Mountains Music Festival is held in Katoomba, NSW from the 16th to the 18th March. Earlybird tickets are available from now until the 31st December. Check out the official site for more information.

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