Music and politics, two of the passions of Federal Environment and Arts Minister Peter Garrett, combine at Canberra's National Tally Room tonight when the former Midnight Oil front man opens the 44th National Folk Festival (NFF).
He will also present folk music icon and original founder of Larrikin Records, Warren Fahey, with the Australia Council's prestigious Don Banks Music Award.
Peter Garrett will also use the Festival opening concert to present folk music icon and original founder of Larrikin Records, Warren Fahey, with the Australia Council's prestigious Don Banks Music Award before an audience of over 2,000 festival-goers.
"It's a pleasing and fitting coincidence that the National Folk Festival and Warren Fahey - both national treasures - have received major awards this year, with the NFF winning the best Festivals and Events Award at the Qantas National Tourism Awards in Hobart in January," National Folk Festival Managing Director Sebastian Flynn said.
Wild fiddle at the Folk Festival
Writer, broadcaster, music publisher, music collector and renowned performer of rude and satirical songs, Warren has been an intellectual and emotional bellwether of the expansive and expanding Australian Folk scene for more years that he would care, or dare, to remember.
He has watched as the National Festival has grown and developed to be the greatest participatory and educative music festival in Australia.
As Sebastian Flynn said: You can come to the National and just sit and watch dance and music performances or listen to spoken word or just enjoy the fabulous Session Bar: Many people do that every year,
But most people - including the Warren Fahey's of the world - come to join in or to teach, to dance, to sing, to play instruments or learn to play instruments or to learn about the history and culture of the vibrant, multi-faceted and ever-evolving world of folk music and dance, he said.
This is what makes the National different - getting up and taking part, contributing and learning, said Mr Flynn.
Scots reel set Folk festival fans alight
We're delighted that a seasoned musical performer like Peter Garrett has agreed to make his own contribution by opening our festival and we hope he'll return in coming years and maybe pass on some of his own knowledge and skills, perhaps at a slightly lower decibel level than he's normally used to! Sebastian Flynn said.
The National Folk Festival runs from 1-5 April at Exhibition Park in Canberra and tickets are available at the gate. For more information, visitwww.folkfestival.asn.au or phone 02 6262 4792.
For more information on the Don Banks Award and the Australia Council visit
1 Having a good time
Jam time at The Sessions Bar
KUD Razigrand matedonka dance at the festival
The Sessions bar set take their work seriously