“5 days in a perfect world” is the slogan for the 2015 National Folk Festival. How we wish it could be; a perfect world of any kind that is, but at the least the happy folk who produce and present this almost 50 year old event (that’s next year ) have set their bar high and you will be the judge of the level of perfection. Of course it’s over the Easter weekend and there’ll be 900 hours of entertainment, so resist all temptation to garden, paint, build, or repair at home and bring the family to this fabulous festival for all kinds of folk.
There’s lots to love about this event that is an anytime one where you can stroll along and immerse yourself in a festival of music, music making, singing, dancing, eating, drinking, playing and enjoying an eclectic mix of over 200 International and Australian acts from a diverse mix of music styles with blues, roots, world, acoustic, folk and country. There’re stalls, plenty of food and drink, a happy band of volunteers to steer you in the right direction and everybody smiles.
For the official launch at the National Library of Australia local singer songwriter and diplomat Fred Smith sang a couple of his seriously superb songs with one a little ditty for his newish baby girl Olympia, aptly titled “beautiful girl”, another from his ‘Dust of Uruzgan’ album and my favourite with a singalong chorus called 7 Ways to Pass the Time of Day from his days time wasting in Washington as an unemployed spouse hoping to find fame and fortune as a folk singer. Well it took a stint in Afghanistan to get that happening, and we reckon he’s famous.
Fred will be among the talent performing - with Liz Frencham - and featuring his new album ‘Home’
Ted Egan will be there too; a singer songwriter who has just completed his 30th album and is a former Administrator of the Northern Territory. I phoned him many years ago to ask a favour. He was unable to fulfil it, but I was so impressed and enjoyed a memorable chat. And that’s what he’s all about, always welcoming, good for a chat and a formidable entertainer.
The festival team recommended the following, All our Exes Live in Texas, My Friend the Chocolate Cake – yes they were at Flix in the Stix – Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen and our own Griffyn Ensemble. And in the Indigenous Program seek out Guy Ghouse and Gina Williams who also perfomed at the launch flying in from Perth especially to be there with the hypnotic voice of Gina singing in her Noongar language. And that’s just a few of many wonders to find during this ‘5 days in a perfect world’.