Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival





Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival 20 years on

by Bridget Rees   Published in T&N 150 September 2022


In 2002, just over 300 people, mostly visitors, gathered at the Dorrigo Showgrounds.

Together, they were there to enjoy and participate in the first ever Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival.

Supported by the Dorrigo Arts Council, a 17-year-old’s vision unfolded and so was planted the strong seed that today has come to encapsulate all the elements of a successful and family friendly acoustic music festival.

The picturesque venue is still the same and the nights can be chilly, but the heart of that first festival has kept growing over the years, as has its popularity amongst musicians, performers, and volunteers, who all help to create a unique atmosphere during a full weekend each October.

The Festival has grown a little, but not much else has changed, and the festival is still passionate about affiliating with other groups in our community and providing opportunities for the community to partner with the festival.

We hope the Dorrigo mountains beckon you this coming October, as we look forward to welcoming you into our music community.

What’s happening?

We are delighted to let you know that the Dorrigo Old-Time Music School is happening for three days leading up to the festival.

This is a unique opportunity to learn and play alongside international, award winning old-time musicians.

This year we are excited to welcome Smith Allen Peterson, the Whitetop Mountaineers, and Shay Garriock as our tutors from the US.

It has been a long two years and we are very much looking forward to catching up and making new friends.

We have not reinvented the wheel, rather gathered strength in knowing that what we do best has been learnt over the last twenty years with input from all of you who have supported the festival.

Beginning Friday, October 21, from 6:00pm, through to late afternoon on Sunday, October 23, we will be holding concerts across five performance venues and two workshop venues.

There will be an old-time dance (Friday), an Irish Ceilidh (Saturday) and a farewell Cajun dance (Sunday).

The famous Pitts Family Circus will be there to entertain in more ways than you can imagine.

In addition to storytelling, poetry, open mic, and jam sessions, we will have workshops for the kids and some hands-on activities to encourage their creative spirits.

And let us not forget, we will have performers from all six states, and a few surprises from across the way!

We are very grateful for the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund, which supports art in regional and remote Australia.

Because of their support, we have been able to promote the Festival in our local and surrounding regions.

If you have friends in the 2450 area who have never been to the Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival, we would love your help spreading the word!

Ask your friends and family to sign up to our Newsletter.

We’d love to see our music community grow within the local communities.

So get your tickets booked, tell your friends, have your traveling shoes ready and come join us this coming Spring as part of our 20th festival, helping to take us onwards to many more.
















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