Folk music, dance, drama, poetry and short-story telling will be some of the features of the first Newcastle and Hunter Folk Festival, to be held at Morpeth over the August 30-September 1 weekend. Included will be a strong Aboriginal content of dance and music from members of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dance Troupe.
Folk music from Latin America, the Philippines, China and South Africa will also be featured. Participants will be invited to dance to the rhythms of Ireland, Scotland and Latin America as well as the traditional Aussie bush dance.
Displays of Filipino dance and the Appalachian clog will be given. Well-known artists who will appear include Trevor Knight, Margaret Roadknight, John Dengate and Coolangubra. They will be joined by some of Australia's most prominent poets such as Newcastle local, Professor Norm Talbot, and the master of fun and satire, Denis Kevans. Leading Aboriginal poet Ken Canning and Keith McHenry and Kevin Baker will also be on hand.
The festival kicks off on Friday night with a blues concert with the Alligators, Ian Milroy and Larry Hughes. Other highlights over the weekend include the almost forgotten art of short story telling with Brian Hungerford and John Dengate; theatre with the Footlice Theatre Company; workshops with a range of topics; vintage cars and buses; an open session for anybody who wants to get up and perform; and a walking tour of historic Morpeth. There will be a full children's program with clowns, puppets, marionettes and dancing.
Tickets are $15 or $25 a double if pre-booked and $20 or $30 a double if bought on the weekend. Accommodation is available in tents for $3 per night, or in the Conference Centre for $7 and $11 per night. For bookings or information phone John Queripel on (049) 26 5297 or Brent Rodgers on (049) 58-4033.