Sunday, 28 April 2013

Fairbridge Folk Festival

We've just got back from a lovely weekend of camping and folk music at the Fairbridge Folk Festival.

Out came our bell tent for a nice relaxing couple of days.

The festival has been running for 21 years, and is based on a national heritage site called Fairbridge village.  It  is a small complex of land and buildings that was originally built as a kind of school/community project back in 1912. Orphaned and deprived children from Britain were shipped out to be educated here to ensure the colonies continued to be populated with 'good Anglo-Saxon stock'. I'm not sure if the children had much choice in the matter, those early settlers sure had some crazy ideas.

Now it's mostly used for tourism, youth groups and camps, and during the festival some of the old buildings were used as venues for the music acts.

The chapel is the most interesting building, with amazing acoustics for performances held inside.


Getting slightly rotund.

All the venues were either inside buildings, or inside big marquees, keeping the (still hot for autumn) Australian sun off, and doubling up as shelters from the torrential rain, which we experienced all day Saturday (just like a good old British festival!)

It was a really well organised festival, with a real family feel to it. The standard of all the artists and musicians was really high, with varied performers from all over Australia, Ireland, the UK, Eastern Europe and America playing throughout the weekend.

The musical highlight of the weekend was probably Mama Kin, a Fremantle based singer who headlined on Friday night.

She was joined for one song by her husband John Butler.

We love the smaller festivals, folk festivals in particular seem to have really nice chilled out vibes. All the artists hang around at the festival after they have played, and you can have a chat with them and the people around you. 

The mainstream festivals in the UK just seemed to be getting a bit too crazy and crowded for our liking, but perhaps we are just showing our age. 

We may well be back next year for Fairbridge (with our little Smallard in tow).


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