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If you’re not sure what a ‘Folk Festival’ is all about then the National Folk Festival at Exhibition Park is the ultimate giant learning curve where by the time you’ve done the rounds, eaten your fill and joined in the fun you’ll have a hankering for more.
Now in its 51st year there’s no chance this most successful award winning event will rest on its laurels, and judging by the 2017 program it will be an Easter weekend to enjoy schlepping around 18 venues, featuring 180 acts from around Australia and 29 international artists, guided and advised by some of the 1300 volunteers with plenty of stalls to find treasures, food and drink outlets for all manner of alternative and mainstream preferences and be among an average of 10,000 like minded folk over each of the five days.
For the launch held at the National Library of Australia it was a catch up with the fantastic group of people who run this amazing event and be entertained by Siobhan Owen whose ethereal voice and tongue dexterity for the language of her homeland, Wales, was captivating as she sang contemporary Celtic songs and tear jerking traditional laments while accompanying herself on the harp.
The National Folk Festival was officially launched by ‘new boss on the block’ Gordon Ramsay, MLA and Minister for the Arts, who is I’m reliably informed a nice bloke, and though never having attended the National Folk Festival due to other commitments as the Reverend Gordon, will be making the trek to a very different kind of experience.
So time to check the program at www.folkfestival.org.au, get your tickets, gather your tribe and make time for this year’s National Folk Festival from 13-17 April.