Folk by the Sea Music Festival



Third time lucky as Folk By The Sea returns

by Nick Hartgerink

Published in T&N149 July 2022


Kiama’s Folk By The Sea music festival is back for the first time in three years, with a line-up including some of Australia’s leading folk performers announced for the two-day festival at the Kiama Pavilion on September 23-24.

Illawarra Folk Club Artistic Director, David De Santi, said the club was delighted to be able to stage the festival in 2022, after the 2020 and 2021 events were called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s line-up of more than 20 acts features talented Indigenous performer, Shellie Morris, from Queensland, the influential singer-songwriter, Judy Small, from Victoria, powerhouse folk-bluegrass band, The Button Collective, Victoria Celtic band, Saoirse, soulful Tasmanian singer, Daniel J Townsend, Sydney’s spicey tango-folk band, Chutney, the Redfern Shanty Club and local Kiama favourites, The Water Runners and Penny Hartgerink.

“It is just so good to be planning a folk festival again.

“All the performers are just itching to get back to what they love doing, and I am sure that music fans will feel the same,” De Santi said.

“Folk By The Sea had built up a great tradition in Kiama, and we were devastated that we had to cancel for the past two years.

“Fortunately, most of the performers that we had booked for last year’s cancelled festival are available for this year’s dates, so it was very much a matter of keeping faith with the performers and our audience by keeping to a very similar line-up.

“We are so happy to be back putting on a great line-up for this year’s return.

“Judy Small, for example, is an absolute icon and one of the most influential singer/songwriters that Australia has produced, known for her protest songs,” he said.

“With 12 albums and having written hundreds of songs, Judy is known as the Grande Dame of Australian folk music and we are so fortunate to have her at our festival.”

The Water Runners singer-songwriter, John Littrich, echoed De Santi’s excitement about being able to perform again.

His band has performed at Tamworth Country Music Festival and other major events around the country, but Littrich says they love to return home and perform in Kiama.

“Folk By The Sea has special meaning for us.

“It’s our local festival and it was the first festival we ever played at,” Littrich said.

“It hasn’t been able to run since 2019 and so we are really looking forward to being part of it this year, playing our music and mixing with other musicians and members of the ‘folk’ family.”

Littrich said there was a bittersweet element, after the passing in February of long-time festival organiser, Rod Cork.

“Rod was such a big part of the festival, but I know that he’ll be there in spirit,” Littrich said.

The festival will be held on the evening of Friday September 23, with day and evening sessions on Saturday, September 24.

Tickets and the full program are available on the Folk By The Sea website

The full festival lineup is: Amie Grisold (Vic), The Button Collective, Chutney, The Con Artists, Dale Dengate & Bush Songs from A Woman’s Perspective, Daniel Kelly, Daniel J Townsend (Tas), the dixie chOOks (Vic), Fiddledance, Jane Brownlee & Sam De Santi, John Tubridy & The Carefree Road Band, Judy Small (Vic), Kiama Pipe Band, Linda Mizzi Trio, Penny Hartgerink, Redfern Shanty Club, Robyn Sykes, Rusty & Friends, Saoirse (Vic), Shellie Morris (Qld), Stonybroke, and The Water Runners.



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