Sydney Folk Festival



30 acts to perform indoors at Sydney Folk Festival 2023

by Pam Merrigan

TN 156 July 23

Sydney’s coolest little urban winter festival returns to the Surry Hills precinct in the heart of Sydney this August 18th-20th.

At least that’s how we like to think of Sydney Folk Festival, an intimate and up-close urban folk gathering showcasing the diversity of folk music through an especially curated suite of bespoke concerts.

Forget winter camping and cold frosty mornings!

We can’t think of a better way to warm the heart and nourish the soul than settling into one of our cosy venues to enjoy some truly wonderful live music.

In 2023, Sydney Folk Festival will feature some 30 acts presenting folk in its broadest sense.

You’ll experience some brilliant contemporary and traditional folk, roots and acoustic music across our three venues.

From Tom Mann Theatre, with its intimate atmosphere, and the lively Gaelic Club to our up-close acoustic space in the Quakers’ Hall, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

All SydFolkFest23 venues are just a stone’s throw from Central Rail and within a short walk of each other, making it easy to move between concerts, catch up with friends or just hang around taking in the atmosphere.

We’re also delighted that Molly Malone’s, right next door to the Gaelic Club, has come on board where you’ll be able to experience participatory workshops, sessions and jams on the upstairs mezzanine level.

Artist announcements keep rolling off the press and include The Weeping Willows, 3 x CMAA ‘Golden Guitar’, FAA and Music Victoria award winners, iconic Sydney duo, The Stiff Gins, WA’s renowned ragtime men, The Paper Collar Pickers, popular Sydney sextet Chaika with their Balkan infused melding of folk, jazz and classical and, Felicity Dowd, a rising young talent whose acoustic performances tell stories that intertwine the experiences of the world around her, portrayed through a youthful, contemporary lens.

Our first Sydney Folk Festival was held in 2019 but since then we’ve had three years of COVID cancelled or interrupted events.

So, in 2023, our festival will be a small and intimate affair with the intention to grow steadily over the next few years.

Festivals, whether big, small or in between, are the lynch pins of our folk sector providing the stages for our artists to share their craft and the places where we all gather to celebrate and immerse ourselves in all things folk.

SydFolkFest23 invites you to join us for two nights and two days of folk in our inner-city urban setting.

There’s no better way to find your folk.

Whether you like it a little bit trad, a little bit revival, or spiced up with modern grooves and catchy hooks, you’ll find plenty to engage your senses.

Get your folk on this August when Sydney Folk Festival comes to town.

Early Bird Season Tickets are on sale until 16 July unless sold out prior to that date with general ticket sales to follow. Experience the music, the culture, the community – Sydney Folk Festival 2023.

For more visit


Sydney Folk Festival in Review

Published in T&N153 December 2022


The success of SydFolkFest22 can be measured from two key perspectives.

The first and most important is the creative, cultural and community impact it had.

Feedback from attendees both at the festival and through our survey has been overwhelmingly positive regarding this and there is no doubt that the program and range of activities offered was top drawer.

From Fred Smith to the Raduga Trio, Equus to the Young Folk Artist Awards, and shows such as Sydney: The Folk Musical and Speewah, there was a lot on offer.

Festival audiences, volunteers and performers were genuinely pleased to be connecting, mixing and enjoying the festival atmosphere and the general feeling was, it’s good to be back!

Unfortunately, this didn’t quite transfer into a break even outcome and the festival took a small financial hit.

By the time the Government started announcing a predicted third wave of COVID for August and generally frightening people off, we were past the point of no return as far as cancelling and in fact we wouldn’t have done that in any case.

After two years of lockdowns and cancellations, we saw 2022 as a time to rebuild.

We lost a few acts due to COVID, some people purchased tickets and then chose not to attend, some didn’t purchase tickets at all and while that was disappointing, a wonderful spirit of community and coming together prevailed, and that’s something money can’t buy.

Pure magic!





Sydney Folk Festival is back… at last! 

by Pam Merrigan


Published in T&N149 July 2022


Sydney’s winter, urban festival is returning this August 19th – 21st 2022 after a two-year COVID induced hiatus.

Sydney Folk Festival is a new kid on the block but, its first festival in 2019 was such a success that the 2022 edition is much anticipated.

Due to such a rocky road over the past two years which saw the festival go online in 2020 as a way of supporting performers and then, a cancelled event in 2021, the 2022 festival will be a little more compact than its 2019 predecessor.

Presented by the Folk Federation of NSW, the festival will take place in the heart of Sydney across two main hubs in Surry Hills, not far from Central Station, and within 700m walking distance of each other.

The NSW Teachers Federation Conference Centre at 37 Reservoir St will provide two concert venues plus presentation and workshop spaces, while the Gaelic Club, 1/64 Devonshire St, will host a range of concerts throughout the weekend.

Organisers are especially delighted that Fred Smith and his Band will be joining the program along with the Miriam Lieberman Trio, Victorian singer-songwriter Michael Waugh, award-winning trans-Tasman duo We Mavericks, Queensland’s Penny Davies & Roger Ilott and high energy, four piece Australian Celtic outfit, Austral.

A special focus of SydFolkFest22 will be a celebration of the creativity, diversity and talent of folk arts and artists from across the State of NSW.

As well as Sydney favourites like Kejafi, Traditional Graffiti and SqueezeBox Boogaloo, the regions, from the Blue Mountains to the Central West and the North and South Coasts will be well represented with artists like Saije, The Water Runners, Nerida Cuddy and Genni Kane.

This festival will not only embrace traditions old and new from our own backyard but also those from across the world, including the cross cultural trio Pansuri, whose influences range from Indian, African, Latin and Jazz, to Tibetan folk artist Rinchen Dorjee and Equus, with their contemporary take on Mongolian world music.

Opening the three-day celebration of folk music and culture is Milan Dhiiyaan, led by Wiradjuri/Wailwaan songwoman and senior cultural educator, Nyimirr, and Wailwaan/Yuin songman and senior cultural educator Millmullian.

Milan Dhiiyaan, meaning “One Family” or “One Mob”, will present a very special acknowledgement of country as well as sharing Aboriginal cultural immersion experiences with festival attendees over the weekend.

With over 35 acts on a program designed to take you on a musical adventure, there’s no better way to find your folk.

Whether you like it a little bit trady, a little bit revival or spiced up with modern grooves and catchy hooks, you’ll find plenty to get your folk on.

Early Bird tickets are currently on sale and prices have been kept the same as they were in 2019.

For a full performer list, bios and ticket information visit


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Sydney Folk Festival”

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