National Folk Festival (Australia)
The National Folk Festival - Australia’s premier folk festival event – is a colourful and diverse family orientated celebration attended by over 50,000 people.
It is the best Easter week-end in Australia!

The festival also sets itself apart from other festivals by the degree of participation - everything you see and hear at the festival you can learn to do!

Winner of the National Qantas Australian Tourism Award for Best Festival in 2009, it features over 20 stages with vibrant world-class artists, ‘blackboard’ opportunities, workshops, craft, themed bars and cafes and delectable food! The festival is staged at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) every Easter from Easter Thursday - Easter Monday.

Exhibition Park in Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...



The festival was first held in Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

 in 1967. - initiated by The Victorian Folk Music Club, The Monash Traditional Music Society, the Burwood Teachers Folk Club and performers Martin Wyndham Reed and Glen Tomasetti, it was inspired by the Newport Folk Festival in the United States. From 1969 until 1991 the festival traveled interstate each year. It was hosted at least once in Melbourne, Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

, Adelaide
Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide has an estimated population of more than 1.2 million...

, Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

, Brisbane
Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred around Brisbane, encompasses a population of...

, Fremantle
Fremantle, Western Australia
Fremantle is a city in Western Australia, located at the mouth of the Swan River. Fremantle Harbour serves as the port of Perth, the state capital. Fremantle was the first area settled by the Swan River colonists in 1829...

, Alice Springs
Alice Springs, Northern Territory
Alice Springs is the second largest town in the Northern Territory of Australia. Popularly known as "the Alice" or simply "Alice", Alice Springs is situated in the geographic centre of Australia near the southern border of the Northern Territory...

, Perth
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000....

, Kurunda and Maleny
Maleny, Queensland
Maleny is a small, scenic town north of Brisbane on the Blackall Range overlooking the Sunshine Coast hinterland in Queensland, Australia. Nearby towns include Landsborough, Montville and Peachester...

. The increasing size of the festival made it harder for the hosting states to organise the festival every year, so since 1992 the festival has been held each year in Canberra, with a 'feature state' on the program - providing increased performance opportunities for artists from that state.


The Festival takes place at Exhibition Park in Canberra, which for the duration resembles a small, vibrant and colourful village full of music and dance venues, cafes,themed bars and stalls, as well as a unique 'Community Arts' area for demonstrating and workshopping a range of arts disciplines, as well as the 'Tradition Bearers' demonstration area where you can view the making of a range of Australian craft and purchase unique gifts. There is a traditional Stockman's Camp to take you back in time to an archetypal bush scenario with authentic performances and delectable bush-style damper and stew and Billy Tea! Camping is provided adjacent to the Festival grounds for up to 5,000 people. In 2011 the event was attended by approx 50,000 people. Upwards of twelve hundred volunteers make the festival possible.

The festival has over 100 concerts, a film festival, numerous impromptu street performances, workshops on making, playing and repairing musical instruments, visual art, storytelling and poetry, and many dance workshops. There are at least 60 craft stalls, 30+ food vendors and 4 delightfully themed bars with dedicated restaurant areas. For the 5 days of the festival, there is also an almost continuous Session
Pub session
A pub session refers to playing music and/or singing in the relaxed social setting of a local pub, in which the music-making is intermingled with the consumption of ale, stout, and beer and conversation...

 in the world-famous "Session Bar", known as the 'London Underground' of folk music, that only stops briefly due to alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

 licence restrictions in the early morning and kicks off again in mid morning for another round the clock session of musical mayhem and general bonhomie

International and Australian performers are featured, with the organisers firmly committed to representing the full spectrum of folk/ethnic/Indigenous music.

The festival has an exciting Opening and Closing Concert in the 3,000 seat Budawang Pavilion - and every night the festival has a grand dance
Dance is an art form that generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting....

, starting with a Scottish Ball
Ball (dance)
A ball is a formal dance. The word 'ball' is derived from the Latin word "ballare", meaning 'to dance'; the term also derived into "bailar", which is the Spanish and Portuguese word for dance . In Catalan it is the same word, 'ball', for the dance event.Attendees wear evening attire, which is...

 on the Friday night, an Irish Ceili on the Saturday, and an Australian Colonial
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

Ball on the Sunday night - as well as a colourful range of diverse dance styles including Latin, Tango, Flamenco and Contra Dance.

The National Folk Festival is probably the most 'luxurious' festival in that it features several large permanent indoor venues - providing an all-weather safe haven - where you can enjoy your favourite artists in warmth, comfort and perfect acoustics - hail rain or shine!

External links

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