I went to Woodford, Cygnet, and Illawarra folk festivals, then the Blue Mountains, Port Fairy, and The National. All “folk festivals”, although they define folk the way Miles Davis did – it’s music for folk, not for martians or lizards.
My favourite musics from the hot days of January were Dubmarine, Lucie Thorne and Hamish Stuart, and Afenginn (especially the Cygnet church concert). Then Pokey LaFarge, Jon Cleary, Archie Roach at Port Fairy (with the full band), and Dubmarine again.
The most audacious punter was the girl at The Basement who, during The Crooked Fiddle Band’s set, picked up the setlist from in front of Mark and added a song. That’s the way to make a request! and they played it!!
The best travel experiences were both with Afenginn – in Tasmania Alexandra (our billet) took us bareback horseriding in the river, and in Newcastle Josh from The Vanishing Shapes lent us his board to go surfing at Bar Beach.
Port Fairy easily had the best lineup – locals i know and love played excellent sets (The Band Who Knew Too Much, Things Of Stone and Wood, Archie Roach), touring bands exceeded my expectations (The Good Lovelies, Pokey LaFarge, Jon Cleary), and most hours of the day i had to choose between three bands i was desperate to hear.
I started this post at the end of January, and now it’s the start of May. The next Australian festival is in October, but my next one will be Colours of Ostrava in Czech.