Bundanoon Folk Festival





Brand new festival fires up music scene in Bundanoon

by Winsome Hall


The Bundanoon Folk Festival is the first for Bundanoon village in the NSW Southern Highlands, otherwise known for the Scottish flavoured Brigadoon.

The Bundanoon Folk Festival brings over 65 acts for a three-day weekend festival of music, spoken word, tune and singing sessions and kids-fest.

Playing to crowds from 24 – 26 November, new and favourite artists will be performing in indoor settings around the village, all within easy walking distance of the railway station and village shops or via the festival bus.

Rosie McDonald, Artistic Director, said: “To say we are super excited by our line-up for the first festival is an understatement.

“Whether it’s the Stiff Gins, We Mavericks, Fred Smith, Emily Rose and the Wild Things, The Water Runners or Fiona Ross, they are performers at the top of their game.

“Many are fresh from playing to packed performances at the recent Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival.”

Also playing is Enda Kenny, an Irish-born songwriter who has made his home in Australia since the late 1980’s.

His thoughtful, descriptive stories of his adopted homeland have struck a chord with festival audiences.

His songs are always memorable and spiced with plenty of humour.

Enda was awarded Artist of The Year 2023 at Newstead Live Music Festival in January.

Another artist, Felicity Dowd, has won a slew of awards including the Gill Rees Memorial Award at the 2023 National Folk Festival and most recently the AFMA’s Australian Youth Artist for 2023.

“Felicity is a star performer, and we are so glad to have one of Australia’s most promising up-and-coming musicians at our very first festival” says Rosie.

With deep stories and humorous tales, don’t miss the chance to see this young troubadour in her element.

Festival Convenor, Anthony Woolcott, said “the impetus was to build an annual festival which brings new visitors to Bundanoon after the years of fires, floods and pandemic, and gives artists a new audience in picturesque Bundanoon.

“But ultimately, festivals are where magic happens,” he said.

“Whether it’s discovering new favourite musicians or impromptu sessions at campsites and cafes, they are a place to connect and reconnect with people from all walks of life.

“We invite audiences to join us for 3 days immersed in a weekend of wonder as we explore music, dance, stories and community, celebrating the best of humanity in a beautiful setting.

“It’s also a showcase for the array of talent in the regions.

“There are some real finds of emerging and experienced regional artists that are hidden treasures.

“Thanks to the Country Arts Support Program, ten emerging artists are on our program.

“Whether it’s Sam Fletcher (Snowy Mts/South Coast), Jess Howell, (Southern Highlands), Harriet Lowe (Crookwell), Cavell Martin (Southern Highlands), or Indie and Will (Exeter and Alpine respectively), all give breath-taking performances.”

Based in the Southern Highlands, Peter Campbell’s music career includes playing with and supporting Peter, Paul and Mary.

His songs are witty and intelligent with roots in the activism of the 60s and 70’s that speak to hope and the human spirit.

“Peter is brilliant entertainment, and we are lucky to have him on the program” says Rosie.

Perhaps most impressively, this start out Festival is producing a new work, The People Have Songs, built from local tunes, songs, poems and even characters offered up from the local community.

It will be performed at the second last concert on the Sunday.

Funded by Festivals Australia, it is shaping up to be an extraordinary event telling local stories of the fires, our surrounding environment, and extraordinary people.

There are many options for accommodation in the area, including the nearby and beautiful campground, which is proving popular, and local houses available to rent.



New grants projects for a new festival

by Winsome Hall

 TN157 Aug ’23

A new kid on the block, the Bundanoon NSW Folk Festival will be playing to the crowds on the last weekend of November, 24-26.

Festival goers will get the chance to see new and favourite artists in intimate indoor settings all within easy walking distance of the railway station and village shops or via the festival bus.

We aim to establish an annual festival which encourages community participation in all its forms.

Dave Johnson has ably led Bush Orchestras and Bush Dances in the Highlands and is a strong advocate for folk festivals to provide plenty of opportunity for ordinary folk to get together and make music.


The People Have Songs Project

Together with chorale composer, Miguel Heatwole, instrumentalist and arranger, Marriama Mitchel, and dance caller and choreographer, Claire Stoneman, this group of intrepid collaborators are part of The People Have Songs Project.

With a Festival Australia grant of just over $9,000, this is a collaborative community project to create new and original works.

We are calling for poetry, tunes, and lyrics that tell the stories of Bundanoon’s people, place and history to develop into a final performance of poetry, choral and instrumental music and dance.

A series of workshops for local choristers and musicians will rehearse the works leading to the Festival and festival goers will also be invited to take part with easy to rehearse segments learned over the weekend of the Festival and to be part of the final concert.

We are particularly excited by this rather ambitious project and have already started receiving contributions and stories from the Bundanoon and surrounds community.


Dress Our Venues and Streets

Dress Our Venues and Streets is a local community arts project to create a festive atmosphere throughout the village and some of our lovely venues.

With funding for a community project leader and materials, we are looking forward to some beautiful and exciting creations.

Bundanoon locals who love to sew, knit and variously create are excited to be involved with this project and to what they may create.

Probably more than most events, folk festivals can provide opportunities for our younger musicians to stretch their performance wings.

We were delighted when the Country Arts Support Program awarded us $3,000 to support 10 young regional NSW artists between 18 – 25 to perform at the festival and at a lead up concert beforehand.   Applications are now open, so get your applications in.


The Bundanoon Folk Festival is ramping up towards an exciting and engaging 3 days at the end of November.

We hope to see you there!

Tickets and camp bookings and more information about projects can be found at www.bundanoonfolkfestival.com.au



Inaugural festival to be held in Bundanoon

TN 156 July 23

We are excited to announce that an inaugural festival will be held in Bundanoon, NSW, on 24-26 November, 2023.

The festival will have a vibrant weekend program of live folk music, dance and spoken word performances across six indoor venues in the village of Bundanoon.

Organisation is already a pace for an exciting and engaging festival in beautiful Bundanoon.

Performer and Volunteer applications together with tickets and all the details can be found on the website – https://bundanoonfolkfestival.com.au

Bundanoon is close to the Morton National Park and easily accessed from Wollongong, Goulburn, Sydney and Canberra by road and rail.

All the venues are within 10-15 minutes walk from the centre of the village and a dedicated festival bus service will carry festival-goers from the festival campsite to each of the venues and back at regular intervals throughout the weekend.

A concert to promote the event and raise some funds will be held on July 8 at the Anglican Church in Bundanoon.

Labelled “A taste of Folk”, it will feature “We Mavericks” and “Antipodeans”.

All are welcome to experience two premier acoustic acts and to find out more about the festival.



There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Bundanoon Folk Festival”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *