Top Half Folk Festival




Ted Egan AO appointed official patron of Top Half Folk Festival

by Glenyss Rae

TN162 Mar 24

The 2024 Top Half Folk Festival, NT, is very proud and excited to announce that Ted Egan AO will be the official patron of this year’s festival.

Ted Egan is a passionate performer and supporter of folk music, and a regular attendant at the Top Half Folk Festival.

A long term resident of Alice Springs, Ted was a big draw card in the tourist scene in the 80s and 90s, performing regularly at the Stuart Arms to bus loads of interstate visitors. Age will not weary him, and Ted Egan performed just this January at the Illawarra Folk Festival and Tamworth Country Music Festival.

A truth teller and passionate advocate for First Nations people, Ted encapsulates the wonderful balance of story teller, entertainer and historian.

His songs give us intimate insights into the lives, experiences and emotions of people from all walks of life.

In 2023, Ted and Nerys Egan launched a beautiful and thought provoking children’s book, ‘Foundation Day’, and an accompanying video made by Chris Tangey.

We look forward to having Ted and Nerys as special guests at the 2024 Top Half Folk Festival at Ross River Resort on June 7-10.

The headlining artists at this year’s festival will be triple Golden Guitar winners Felicity Urquhart and Josh Cunningham, plus Mic Conway (Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band) with Robbie Long.

Also performing will be the rising star of the folk world, Brodie Buttons.

Brodie is an authentic Australian character who lives and breathes folk music traditions in his daily life.

With a voice rugged but sure, his songs distil an essence of our time and place that is too often lost to the hum of progress and modernity.

The festival will feature loads of Territory folk stars, a bush dance, several of the Alice Springs choirs, workshops, kid’s activities, and Queer As Folk cabaret, all in one beautiful space at Ross River Resort.

Cafe/restaurant will be operated by Watertank Café, so there will be plenty of delicious and wholesome food.

Camping is available at the site, but if you want a bit of luxury, you can book a cabin at the resort by calling 08 89569711.

Early bird tickets are now on sale!

Discounts are available for Alice Springs Folk Club and Top End Folk Club members.


Austral to headline at Top Half Folk Festiva

by Melody O’Meara

 TN155 Apr 23

Mary River Holiday Park have altered the arrangement we had in place for the festival.

We are currently working to resolve the issue and are continuing to gear up for this year’s Top Half Folk Festival over the June 9-12 long weekend.

The committee is currently negotiating with several parties and will stay in touch as changes develop.

Festival favourites include the folk quiz, songwriters’ round robin and a tribute to the late, great Aunty Kathy Mills, combined with an exploration of the rich cultural legacy of old Darwin tunes presented by Jeff Corfield.

On top of this solid foundation, the Top End Folk Club is proud to present the fully charged four piece Australian tunes band Austral.

Awarded the Traditional Folk Album of the Year at the 2022 Australian Folk Music Awards, Austral combines didgeridoo, Irish pipes and high energy fiddling with journeying songs and energetic foot percussion.

Austral is shaping a new face for music.

The group will be performing on stage and conducting a number of workshops during the Festival.

Past interstate headliner, Bill Jackson, recalls his experience of playing at the Festival with partner and Australian folk music songstress, Ruth Hazleton, as “an experience I will always treasure.

“You don’t ever forget a show on a warm Saturday night under mango trees playing to a beautiful and receptive audience.

“I can’t wait to get back there and would highly recommend it to any music lover.”

Festival organisers look forward to welcoming new guests along with regular attendees.

Early bird adult tickets are $140 (direct bank transfer only) until April 30.

Tickets for 12-18 years are just $50, day tickets $90 and single concert tickets are $40.

Don’t miss out – book now!

Visit for details and email with any queries.


The Top Half Folk Festival is back in the Top End

by Anna Grosvenor

 Published in T&N 153 December 2022

The Top End Folk Club is excited to be hosting the 51st Top Half Folk Festival (THFF) at the lovely Mary River over the June 2023 long weekend.

With a refreshed committee and energy, the focus for the Festival will be on young and emerging artists and building knowledge, expertise, talent and skills in music, performing and song writing.

These artists will be performing alongside the stuff that has become legend at the Top Half, such as a presentation by Paul Stewart, the Folk Quiz (eat your heart out Tom Gleeson) presented by Dave Evans and our many other long term contributors.

An exciting program is being formulated so if you’re keen on getting involved by performing, running a workshop or holding a presentation, please contact us now.

We will try our best to accommodate everyone who wants an opportunity.

Send your expression of interest to:

The venue is Breeze Holiday Parks – Mary River, located 110km east of Darwin on the Arnhem Highway –

The park has been booked for the Festival long weekend with accommodation options including bungalows, pool side and family rooms, powered and unpowered campsites.

To make a reservation either call the venue on 08 8978 8877 or email the manager at

Make sure you let them know that you are attending the THFF and do not use the online booking option.

If there is a shortfall of accommodation on the Friday evening, the Folk Club has cabins reserved at the Bark Hut Inn.

Contact: to access.

Follow our social pages to find out more about the Festival and to keep up to date with folk happenings in the Top End.






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