Blue Mountains Music Festival




Eric Bogle added to Blue Mountains festival line-up

by Bob Charter

TN161 Feb 24

Bob Charter, Director, Blue Mountains Folk, Roots and Blues Festival (BMFF) contacted Trad&Now to let readers know that he was very pleased to announce that folk legend Eric Bogle will be performing at the 2024 BMMF.

The festival will be held from 15 to 17 March in Katoomba, NSW.

Eric describes himself as ‘a respected folk singer who has been inflicting his music on innocent bystanders from New York to Nimbin for the last 40 years.

“Last here in 2014, he will be appearing in trio format with Pete Tichner and Emma Luker”, Charter said.

New to the bill is sensational Canadian duo ‘Quote The Raven’ who will deliver a harmonious blend that’s incomparable.

Also having a long awaited return to BMMF are Adelaide residents/ Scottish sensations, ‘The Borderers’.

Jim, Alex and the band will shake up the stage with unforgettable and energetic Celtic shows, despite having said publicly that they were “handing up their kilts”, as published in Trad&Now 160.

Appearing for the first time are locals Runcible Spoon, a duo with close harmonies and witty lyrics about family life, and also the amazing Gypsy sound of The Raduga Trio, whose raw Gypsy style will take you on an Eastern European musical journey with audience participation through dance, clapping and singalong.

Local contemporary folk singer-songwriter, Steve Appel aka King Curly will also be making a long awaited return with his three-piece ensemble.

These wonderful acts along with the previously announced energetic bands like Gnoss (Scot), Gangar (Nor) and The Crooked Fiddle Band, will make BMMF 2024 an unforgettable experience.

Some weekend and daily tickets are still available from which directs you to the Ticketbooth site.

‘Afterpay’ is now also available.


Irish performers a feature at Blue Mountains Music Festival

by Bob Charter


Earlybird tickets are now on sale for BMMF 2024 and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone back to Katoomba for our 27th Blue Mountains Music Festival, on the 15th, 16th and 17th of March, 2024.

International performers will feature an Irish contingent of seven incredible performers.

Leading the way is the world renowned musician, Sharon Shannon and her band.

Returning to Katoomba is absolute BMMF favourite, Luka Bloom, and one of Ireland’s most successful singer-songwriters, Eleanor McEvoy.

Newcomers joining the line-up are rising star Lorraine Nash and highly acclaimed Irish fiddler Manus McGuire with Adam Ogle will be joining us at the festival in March.

So get out the dancing shoes and celebrate St Pat’s Day at BMMF #27.

Making festival debuts in 2024 are American singer-songwriter and storyteller John Craigie (Oregon) and from Canada comes country heavy pop-folk artist, Cat Clyde.

We are absolutely thrilled to feature two home grown musical talents as part of an amazing line-up for our 27th festival in Katoomba.

Multi ARIA Award winning singer songwriter, Ella Hooper, will make her first appearance and Blues guitarist, Ash Grunwald, will make a very welcome return.

Melbourne multi award winning songwriter and composer, David Bridie, will return to BMMF in duo format with renowned Pitjantjatjara singer songwriter, Frank Yamma.

Also gracing our stages in March will be sensational vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Karen Lee Andrews and her band and Melbourne Blues legend Owen Campbell and his band.

Sydney’s The Crooked Fiddle Band will also bring their energy and multi-layered chainsaw folk back to BMMF in March.

As if that’s not enough, more artists have recently joined the 2024 line-up.

American folk singer songwriter ONDARA with an unforgettable voice, amazing African musician, Julian Belbachir and his all-star band, sensational fiddle duo, Teho from Finland and wild Norwegian band Gangar will be taking the boundaries of folk music to another level.

From Scotland comes the sensational young powerhouse band GNOSS and joining the line-up are UK duo’s Katherine Priddy and George Boomsma, plus the soft harmonies of Winter Wilson.

From Melbourne come rising star Ernest Aines and the comic duo, Tuckshop Ladies.

We are also delighted to have all-time favourites Australian blues legend Fiona Boyes, Lily and King, The Pigs and The Spooky Men’s Chorale returning to BMMF.

We are looking forward to March and a weekend of folk, roots and blues music, songwriter and instrumental circles, Heartland Conversations, the Poet’s Breakfasts and more.

We thank you again for your continued support and look forward to seeing you in March! Tickets at


Blue Mountains Music Festival 2022

 Review by Annette Sale

Photos by Noel Plummer

 Published in T&N 152 November 2022


Worth the wait!

They all made the trek, up and over the Blue Mountains and into Katoomba, NSW, for the Silver Anniversary Blue Mountains Festival, after two cancellations and one postponement.

Friday night began with the powerful Welcome to Country and ended with Kasey Chambers and her great band feeding the hunger left by two years in the desert of Covid 19.

Her music, her Aussi humour, and her outstanding performance left us all feeling that the cold rain and muddy boots were worth it!

On Saturday, the great music continued, and the torrential rain poured down.

The contingent of overseas artists was very small this year and Harry Manx, from Canada, once again touched our souls with his original blended Indian blues and amazing banjo and guitar accompaniment.

If you don’t know Kiwi Kerryn Fields, keep an eye out for her and listen for her unique voice and hauntingly beautiful lyrics.

When I heard the big band sound of MZAZA playing, it took me back to the lively smoky music bars in Budapest, the blend of old and new folk played by great musicians from different parts of the world.

Whitetop Mountaineers from the high hills of Virginia, USA, are a duo from a family band who entertained with real old-time mountain and roots music.

This festival, we were fortunate to hear many talented Blue Mountains’ performers like Aurora Li, who is already a seasoned folk, rock, and indie performer at 18, with her beautiful voice and original songs.

Other local talent included Sarah Humphreys from Eagle & The Wolf, who played solo as her husband, Kristen Lee Morris, hurt his hand and couldn’t attend.

A Few Good Spooky Men were a smaller group of performers, because many of their tribe were not available, and the those that performed were in top form with many of their fun songs and spooky tricks.

The crowds were treated to other locals like Jimmi Carr with his raw intensity and honest lyrics, Isobel Knight’s quiet, strong story telling in song and Jerrah Patson’s original songs related to his daily life.

Other Katoomba groups included the talented Linda Mizzi Trio and previous Spooky Man, Nic Danta, performing his own pop folk music.

Phil Davidson was born in Northern Ireland and although now based in Katoomba, his roots are strongly Celtic, as are many of his best songs.

Pat Drummond has had an extensive career as a singer-songwriter and his songs come from events in his life and actual interviews, so his lyrics always hit home.

Mic Conway, a veteran vaudeville entertainer with the Beez, all now living in Katoomba, entertain so well together!

It was great to see Uptown Brown as Performer at Large, popping up in unexpected places!

Not having so many overseas acts made it also possible to have many Australian groups like Miss Eileen & King Lear, brother and sister act from the Perch family with Lear playing standing drums and Eileen singing a powerful rendition of Held by the Air.

Montgomery Church, a duo from the Snowy Mountains write beautiful songs and while passing The Shed, I was drawn across the muddy grass by the strains of a haunting song and stayed to listen to the wonderful melodic sounds, song after song.

Storying telling ballads and Rory Ellis & The Devil’s Right Hand go hand in hand and I caught him singing his great ballad of the bottle, his grandfather, and the Church Bridge.

Rory was accompanied by the amazing Peter Kreft on Bass and world-famous Christian Marsh on harmonica.

Two acts I hadn’t seen before were This Way North, a duo with addictive drumming which causes reactive moving and dancing and the uniquely soulful original sound of Kelly Brouhaha.

19-Twenty with their own brand of highly energetic unpredictable blues captured the audience and packed the wonderful new RSL Blues Room.

There was plenty of blues for the fans with the famous Big Merino, The Blues Preachers, a good old-fashioned blues mix, and Dom Turner & The Rural Blues Project.

Dom, of Backsliders’ fame, needs no introduction.

It was great to hear Better Things, a song written by Kee’ahn, a proud Kuku Yalanji, Jirrbal, Zenadh Kes song woman from North Queensland.

Shanteya and Jo are Saije, a very professional Aussi contemporary folk duo who look and sound the part from their superb outfits and promotional material to their incredible soulful song writing which seems to spring from a deep well of understanding of themselves and their connection to land.

The multi award-winning Aussi duo, The Weeping Willows, featuring Andrew Wrigglesworth and Laura Coates, have amazing attention to detail and weave magical stories through lyrical song writing.

The Grigoryans, Slava and Leonard, are classical guitarists and were well received and played to a crowded Big Top audience.

If you love the Waifs, you’ll know Vikki Thorn, who performed with her band, ThornBird, and showcased many of her great original songs written while living in the canyons of Utah.

Lior and Domini began writing many of their songs in 2019 and during lockdown, and it was great to be able to listen to their storytelling songs from the past two years.

Mama Kin Spender, aka Danielle Caruana, and producer, Tommy Spender, work well together.

Loved the fresh energetic standing drum performance of Mama Kin and the synergy between her and Tommy.

The highlight of the festival for me was John Butler’s performance on Saturday night in the Big Top, which was spectacular with the tingly atmosphere and John’s breathtaking guitar playing.

Staying home and practising for two years certainly showed.

A guest appearance from Mama Kin singing with John was unexpected and a rare treat.

John Butler and Danielle Caruana joined Heartlands Conversations on Sunday morning.

The conversation was raw and honest and there weren’t many dry eyes in the audience.

They talked about meeting, family life, feminism, bringing boys into manhood, support and mentoring for young musicians and mental health support for musicians.

True to form, the festival was well organised by Bob Charter and the BMMF 2022 Team, from the excellent program booklet to the set-up of one Big Top and six smaller stages or venues.

There was plenty of amazing food and the staff and members of Katoomba Public School and P&C Association worked tirelessly assisting in various capacities, particularly with organising an excellent recycling regime.

Also. a shout out to the 300 volunteers!

The calibre of the musicians, the joyful atmosphere, and the outstanding performances, I’m not sure but the music seemed sweeter, and the mood of the audience could not be dampened by the relentless rain.

Being at the festival and hearing live music after lockdown was magic.



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