Folk festival goes international


By Philippa Stanford

The SA State Folk Festival is again being staged by the Folk Federation of SA, from September 29 to October 30 at Victor Harbour.The state's largest community arts festival has thrived in this location and has earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the highlights of the year.

This year the festival promises to be bigger and better then ever, with 700 performers including international and national performers in a wide range of genres. Overseas performers include Gentra Madya, a unique 20-piece Indonesian music and dance group from Java, Kofi Walker, a sensational Caribbean dancer from Jamaica, and renowned Welsh harpist Robin Hugh Bowen.

The wide range of Australian performers includes Judy Small, Australia's leading singer/songwriter, Ted Egan, all female blues band the Mojos, charismatic African singer Jean Paul Wobatai, Alistair Hulett and many more.

It is not just the big names, however. The festival provides a stage for local and young performers such as the Raelene Brothers, Djembe Oye, Earth Circus, Weird of Mouth, Kelly's Revenge, Sabor Latino, Hoza — just to name a few. There are also a number of competitions, such as the "Busk Off", the poetry competition and Young Traditionalists and Storytellers Award, in which up and coming artists can promote their work.

The festival manages to combine professional entertainers with lots of community involvement. There are 30 participatory workshops, community arts, games and other activities for festival goers to participate in. Between activities festival goers can relax at the hawker-style international food court and on-site pub. The site provides wheelchair access, and there will be a shuttle bus running between the festival site, Victor Harbour town and the camping site.

With 12 main venues and performances all day and well into the evening the festival is well worth the ticket price of $60 ($50 prepaid).

The festival is being officially launched with a number of events in the weeks before September 29 — one at Victor Harbour on September 2 and one in Adelaide on September 9. (See Meetings, Parties Anything, page 29, for details.)

To book tickets or for more information about the festival, contact the Folk Federation of SA on (08) 340 1069 or GPO Box 525, Adelaide SA 5001.