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Powered by goodwill The National Folk Festival celebrates human diversity

January 07, 2008
Powered by goodwill The National Folk Festival celebrates human diversity

Like a pilgrimage The National Folk Festival from March 20 to 24 in Canberrais powered by goodwill, people just want it to work, it's like a coming home throughall forms of music to celebrate humanity in all its diversity.

This Easter music festival is held in Canberra but is truly The National Folk Festival, focusing the whole nation in a celebration of Rock 'n' Roll, Blue Grass, Jazz, Country and Western, Celtic and many diverse national styles plus the many traditional folk styles.

Australias festival flagship, the National, draws together people from all around Australia and the world at Exhibition Park In Canberra (EPIC). They come to share in the songs, dances, tunes, and verse that have flowed through the ages from many communities into Australian folk culture.

Through the generousity of the Festival organisors visitors to GoSeeAustralia have a chance to win two season passes plus camping! for the National Folk Festival 2008 - that is five days and four nights of some of the best music and best company that you have ever experienced.

Competition is now closed the closing date was Monday March 3 at Midnight.
The winner is MsIrinaof Watsons BayNSW.

Tickets can still be purchased on line from the Festival Website or the festival ticket office.

Editor's note: The season passes prizes do not extend to meals and related personal essentials.

Children have their own Festival venue every day where quality performers and arts workers introduce them to the fun of the Festival.

The Kids Festival inside the main grounds is a purpose-made area for children's performances and participation for children, and professionally supervised child care is also available in the Childcare facility.

Every year more and more young people are being drawn to the Folkie, as performers, audience and volunteers. This is a Festival that is fun for every age.

It takes more than 1200 people working behind the scenes to make our festival happen; only 6 of them are paid staff; the rest of them are volunteers.

The festival is managed by a volunteer board, and about 40 volunteer teams are organised by volunteer team leaders or co-ordinators.

Ticket sales are open on the National Folk Festival website - - for 2008. Follow the Tickets link on the left hand menu of the National Folk Festival Home Page. 1st Early Bird Tickets are available for a limited time so get in quick.

There is a sliding scale of Season ticket prices, or Day and Evening tickets are available (food and drink is not included). Camping is an additional fee. Early Bird Ticketing operates on-line.

Tickets are available only at the gate after early bird ticketing stops. Season Camping tickets are from March 20 to 24. Prices range from $60 Children under 5 are free. There are concessions.

The National Folk Festival website - - has full details.

Mike Compton (USA)
Mike Compton (USA)

The themes for 2008 are - Music of the Celtic Nations and Australia at Play. New South Wales is this year's feature state.

Acts include:

Bob Fox (England), Women in Docs, The Duhks (Canada), Wheelers and Dealers, Cloudstreet, George Papavgeris, Mike Compton (USA), Genticorum (Canada), Faerd (Denmark/Sweden), Pacific Curls (New Zealand/Scotland), Marcia Howard, King Curly, Les Barker (England), Dancehall Racketeers, Big Rory and Ochie (Scotland), Truckstop Honeymoon (USA), Judy Small, The Wheeze and Suck Band, Jan Wositzky and Tim Heath, Voicepopfoible, Pekka Pentikainen and Catherine Strutt (Finland/Australia), Devlish Mary, Rory McLeod (England), Peggy Seeger (USA), Jim Conways Big Wheel, David Arden, Fabio da Lapa (Brazil),and the return of The Spooky Men's Chorale.

At this stage Artistic Director, Dave O'Neill has 200 acts performing in 22 venues for four and a half days. A full schedule of acts will be available in March.

The first National Folk Festival was held in 1967 making this the 42nd with music to suit every taste. The festival can breakdown artificial cultural and social barriers and bring people to a sense of belonging to an extended family with common interests.

GoSeeAustralia was particularly moved last year by the exceptional harmony of Nicole Murray and John Thompson who are the duo called Cloudstreet.

As well as many original works their love of harmony and unaccompanied vocals is a pleasure to listen too. Driving guitar and Irish flute support their enthralling vocals.

The National Folk Festival is held every Easter weekend in Canberra. Anyone who has time on their hands can volunteer some of it and get a full weekend pass and join the 1200 plus volunteers who make the weekend run so smoothly.

Cloudstreet duo Nicole Murray and John Thompson
Cloudstreet duo Nicole Murray and John Thompson

This has been enthusiastically taken up by many of the Grey Nomads as it makes the weekend free including parking the caravan or motorhome.

The festival is a fantastic experience for all ages from young children who are pampered at their special kids venue to those 80 years old and beyond.

Australias festival flagship, the National, draws together people from all around Australia and the world at Easter.

They come to share in the songs, dances, tunes, and verse that have flowed through our history from many communities into Australian folk culture.

For five days Exhibition Park in Canberra dresses up and becomes a magic place, filled with colour and sound. Hundreds of the worlds best musicians perform daily, in a non-stop flow of entertainment across 22 venues.

The Festival has an extensive program that covers performance and workshops in music, dance, spoken word, theatre and street theatre as well as craft workshops.

The National Folk Festival is noted for its annual dance program from all around the world - Africa, Spain, China, Ireland, Egypt, Scotland, Argentina, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Lebanon, the Balkans and beyond colonial and Scottish balls, bush dancing, square dancing, clog dancing dance workshops and dance displays.

Bellydance session courtesy Bob Bolton
Bellydance session courtesy Bob Bolton

Bush poets delighted many as they performed every morning.

Dancers included many national dance groups, belly dancers, Irish jig experts and western styles kicked up a storm with their enthusiasm.

Numerous buskers and street performers also brought their skills to the Exhibition Park Complex in Canberra on the capital's outskirts.

This festival is great value as the one entry fee gets access to all venues and performances. Like selecting at a smorgasbord the biggest problem is deciding what to see next.

The Festival site at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) at the corner of Northbourne Avenue and Flemington Road in the suburb of Mitchell is just 15 minutes drive from the city centre.

Autumn in Canberra is a glorious time of year with warm and sunny days around 20C. In the evenings the temperature cools down to around 7C but for some reason the enthusiasm of 'the folk faithful' warms up.

Genticorum (Canada)
Genticorum (Canada)
Peggy Seeger
Peggy Seeger
MusselInnWilly Cloudstreet
MusselInnWilly Cloudstreet