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.
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 www.sydneyfolkfestival.com.au
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