The award winning Australian National Folk Festival celebrated its 21st birthday in Canberra this weekend, featuring a world-class music and dance program providing a total folk arts experience from slick concert performances to grass roots foot stomping, hands on activity.
The first ever folk festival was held in Port Philip Bay in Victoria in 1967 and, for the following 20 years, was held in a different Australian state. Organisational logistics and the need for financial stability saw the management of the event adopted by the Australian Folk Trust in1992. Since then, the National Folk Festival has been held on the Easter weekend at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) and every year a different state is featured 'to reflect the touring tradition of the event'.
International folk superstars from around the world headlined this year's National Folk Festival. The 2013 lineup of close to 800 musicians and singers, and 450 dancers, includes Irish singer/songwriters Paul Brady and Andy Irvine, Seth Lakeman from the UK, Finbar Fury from Ireland, Kieran Kane from the USA and David Francey from Canada. Other highlights featured spectacular and colourful 'street' performances by The Con Artists (musicians from the Community Ensemble of Wollongong Conservatorium of Music), Canberra-based Tribalista Bellydance, folk singer Tim Humphreys, French pop gypsy swing group Belle Jar, as well as lively Morris Dance flash mobs, among many others. One word: OUTSTANDING!
Peter and I attended the event on Easter Sunday thanks to the generosity of the kind folk on the marketing committee of the National Folk Festival. I'd like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you for hosting us at this memorable event!
Tell me, have you ever attended the National Folk Festival in Canberra as a visitor or performer?
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