Details of the 2016 Cobargo Folk Festival

Image Courtesy of Cobargo Folk Festival

By Peter Logue

As it is for many things in life, for folk festivals, timing is everything. With the festival calendar now stretching from September through to late April, it becomes difficult to keep festival artistic programs fresh and exciting.

I have attended hundreds of folk festivals, here and in Europe, over the past 45 years and – I know it’s a big call and I’ll be accused of bias because I’m on the organising committee – I’ve never seen such an outstanding small festival line-up as you’ll see late in February in Cobargo.

Cobargo, in the magnificent Bega Valley, this year boasts eight world-class international acts, most of whom will go on to headline at major festivals like Port Fairy, Blue Mountains and the National in Canberra.

This includes heavy Celtic influences from the likes of Ireland’s Rambling Boys – lead by Four Men and a Dog bodhran master Gino Lupari – Canada’s exciting East Pointers, Irish bouzouki whiz Beth Patterson from the US and Nicola Hayes and Hélène Brunet, now based in Brittany.

The English tradition is also strongly represented with the multi-talented Kirsty Bromley, troubadour Alistair Brown who’s becoming a Cobargo regular, and one of my personal favourites Vin Garbutt – still making people laugh and cry at the same time.

A late and welcome inclusion from the US is the punk/bluegrass/soul duo Truckstop Honeymoon. I’d need a whole article to describe what they do – but here’s a clip that might explain them better than any words.

When you add local talents like Trouble in the Kitchen, Fred Smith and Liz Frenchman, blues legends The Backsliders (in acoustic mode), Daniel Champagne, Danny Spooner, the outrageous Old Empire Band and many, many more – it’s quite festival for such a small, but perfectly formed, village.

We’re particularly pleased to receive a grant Arts NSW’s Country Arts Support Program for Neil Murray, formerly of the Warumpi band, to run workshops in the Dhurga language with the local Yuin Community.

Back to the issue of timing. Cobargo Festival does not have deep pockets or particularly wealthy sponsors.

Most international acts tour for a month to six weeks at the most and generally time their run to take in the major festivals in March and early April.

Cobargo does well because it has a great reputation for hospitality, great scenery not far from a hundred pristine beaches, and knowledgeable audiences – many of whom have been coming to the festival for the 21 years it has been going.

It gives acts time to settle in, shake off the jet lag and get their sets in order, plus they can cover expenses and seel a lot of CDs to the 3000 plus people who attended.

Run by volunteer from the community, Cobargo spends any profits it makes wisely. Since last year it has worked closely with co-venue partners the Showground Trust to improve facilities, adding a big new shower and toilet block and improving camping areas at the Showground.

We’re expecting a bumper crowd this year and are thankful for a grant from Destination NSW to help promote the festival outside our area. Of course, we don’t want to get too big and lose that wonderful intimate atmosphere of the small festival.

Dates are February 26th-28th: so get in early and look for tickets on

Brunswick Music Festival Announces Full 2013 Lineup

Lucy Wise
Image Courtesy of Lucy Wise & The B’Gollies

The Brunswick Music Festival in Melbourne has finalised its 2013 lineup and it’s looking like it’s going to be huge once again. Showcasing the best in folk, roots and world music the Brunswick Music Festival takes over the inner-north Melbourne suburb of Brunswick from the 13th to 24th March as well as hosting a massive street party on Sydney Road on the 3rd March.

The lineup this year includes some legends of the folk scene as well as some of our favourite up and coming performers including Seth Lakeman, Lucy Wise & The B’Gollies (above), Vin Garbutt, Enda Kenny, Dougie MacLean, Mike Compton, Eric Bogle, Archie Roach, Finbar Furey, Bill Jackson, Andy Irvine, Paul Brady and many more.

For the complete program and information on how to get your hands on tickets check out the official site here. The full list of performers for the 2013 Brunswick Music Festival is below:

Go Jane Go, Sweet Jean, John McCutcheon, Luke Plumb & Peter Daffy, Seth Lakeman, Lucy Wise & The B’Gollies, Vin Garbutt, Enda Kenny, Dougie MacLean, Fiona Ross, Purple Dentists, Nicola Hayes & Hélène Brunet, Mike Compton, Buffalo Nickel, Eric Bogle, Chris Wilson, Three Kings, Archie Roach, Skin Choir, Meyhané, The Cartridge Family, Miserable Little Bastards, Finbar Furey, Saoirse, Mary Coughlan, Kelly Auty, Boris Conley, David Olney & Sergio Webb, Bill Jackson Trio, Brunswick Women’s Choir, Judy Small, Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club, Apodimi Compania, La Voce Della Luna, Kavisha Mazzella, Sean Taylor, Dan Lethbridge & Shane O’Mara, Chris Smither, Marisa Yeaman, London Klezmer Quartet, Zaporozhets, Shaking The Tree, Bronwyn Calcutt, Sweet Mona’s Choir, Nilusha Dassenaike, Alex Pertout, Andy Irvine, Paul Brady, Dancehall Racketeers, Baylor Brothers, Mike Cooper, Alasdair Fraser

The 2013 Cobargo Folk Festival Lineup

Perch Creek Family Jug Band
Image Courtesy of The Perch Creek Family Jug Band

Cobargo on the NSW South Coast may have a tiny population but it also bost a reputation for holding one of the best small folk festivals in Australia. Taking place this year from the 22nd to 24th February the 2013 Cobargo Folk Festival will feature the likes of David Ross Macdonald, Don’t Mention The Wall, Kim Churchill, Martin Pearson, Modhan, The Bon Scotts, The Perch Creek Family Jug Band (above), Vin Garbutt and many many more.

When you consider that tickets for the entire weekend of music are under $100 this has to be one of the best value festivals going around. For more information on the Cobargo Folk Festival check out the official site here. The full list of artists are below:

All At Sea, Battlers’ Ballad, Big Bug Quartet, Black Joak Morris, Brown Mountain Bogtrotters, Canberra Union Voices, Chooks on a Hot Tin Roof, Craig & Simone Dawson, Cresswell & Co, Dale Robert Huddleston, David Ross Macdonald, Dingo’s Breakfast, Doctor Stovepipe, Don’t Mention The Wall (Germany), Fiona Boyes Hammond Trio, Folklore, Franklyn B Paverty, Glover & Sorrensen, Graham Wilson, Innes Campbell, Jali Buba Kuyateh and Afro Diyaa, Jazz Train To Budapest, Kade Brown Trio, Kim Churchill, Kristina Olsen (USA), Lesley Rose. Lily & King, Lisa Maris McDonell, Malumba, Marcus Corowa, Martin Pearson, Michael Menager & Friends, Mike Martin, Miss Molly’s Maypole, Modhan (Scotland), Mumbulladahs, Nicola Hayes & Helene Brunet (France), No Such Thing, Once Upon A Song, Paul Carr, Pete Denahy, Peter Hicks and Ross Smithard, Ruido Flamenco Blues, Ryebuck Bush Band/Pastrami on Ryebuck, Sam McMahon, Senor Cabrales, Shortis & Simpson, Tabla Bellydance, The Blue Ruins, The Bon Scotts, The Little Sisters, The Miss Chiefs, The Perch Creek Family Jug Band, The Puddin Eaters, The Silver Strings, Vic Jefferies, Vin Garbutt (UK), Zondrae King

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