National Folk Festival: two weeks and counting

Image courtesy of the National Folk Festival (Australia)
Image courtesy of the National Folk Festival (Australia)

In two weeks’ time, on Thursday 28 March 2013, the grounds of EPIC (Exhibition Park in Canberra) will eschew all traces of horse floats, cattle-judging, burnouts and street cars named ‘WarnieRoolz’, and will burst into life, colour, song, dance, percussion, spoken word and related arts for the 2013 National Folk Festival.

I stopped across its threshold in 2005 for the first time ever; never mind that I grew up two decent golf swings away from its front door.

I’ve been making up for this yawning gap in my musical life ever since.

On that first night in situ at Flemington Road, Mitchell I fell hopelessly in love with an event and a music genre/genres.

(I also fell in love and found another almost-ex-Mrs-Quinn in the CD Shop, but that’s another story…)

Bodhrans in the Grandstand. Photo by Billy Quinn.
Bodhrans in the Grandstand. Photo by Billy Quinn.

Eight years down the track, gearing up for a ninth consecutive, I’m excited again as the Canberra air chills in the early mornings and late evenings, as the leaves decide they’ve had a good run over summer and now it’s time to turn brown, red, or amber and see if they can jag an invitation to go meet the ground.

I’m excited as I drive past the EPIC show grounds every couple of days, and sense movement at the station and strange new structures being erected or imagined.

No, it’s not a car show. Dorothy, we’re not in Deniliquin anymore.

It’s the National Folk Festival. Arrayed in a slightly different configuration this year, with some changes, tweaks and sundry twists and turns.

If you were sat at home thinking, aw, might give it a miss this year, my suggestion would be this.


Firstly, for Canberrians, ACT is the feature state in this Canberra’s centenary year. So Canberra will be well-represented for the festival and the world to see.

Spoilt for choice. Photo by Billy Quinn.
Spoilt for choice. Photo by Billy Quinn.

Secondly, there is an eye-watering line-up of quality music and song and all that other stuff catalogued above.

Over the next two weeks and across the festival itself, I’ll be bringing some tastes and teasers and forecasts of things to come and those that are here and now.

The microphone’s primed, the camera (lol) is warmed up and the video camera has just been fished out of the garage sale pile.

Join me as I preview the National Folk Festival 2013, and please do join us all as we welcome the world in this year again at Easter at our church of the blessed folklore in Canberra. And much as in Rome there will be white and black smoke issuing from the……………………… fire buckets. Where did you think I was going with that?!

Full program available in read only format here:

Tickets available here (early bird tickets on sale until Sunday 24 March):

Handy set of FAQs:

Billy FJ Quinn

Overheard Productions

Reporting from EPIC, this is Overheard Productions...
Reporting from EPIC, this is Overheard Productions… Oh, just for clarification, I’m not with Artsound FM anymore, and the dongle and laptop have also gone to meet their makers. The beer too has been drunk (unlike the drinker).

A treasured moment from 2012 National Folk Festival — The Miss Chiefs are back and on the program this year. Listen to my interview with them earlier this year here:

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