Arts & Entertainment

What the folk!

Miriam Lieberman Trio play Sydney Folk Festival

The streets of Surry Hills are going to come alive with joyous strumming, energetic drumming and melodic humming. The Sydney Folk Festival is back with a heel-kicking program of music, dance, workshops and all things folk-infused for the folk-enthused. 

Presented by the Folk Federation of NSW, this three day festival celebrates music across cultures, genres, and timelines. Forget images of daisy-filled dreadlocks and billowy paisley shirts – the Sydney Folk Festival offers a dynamic range of artists whose music spans the spectrum from simple, soft acoustic to multi-timbral hybrids,  from folkish rock to jazzy folk and beyond. 

Singer/songwriter, Australian diplomat, Fred Smith. Photo: Geoffrey Dunn

SydFolkFest22 takes place in two major hubs: The NSW Teachers Federation Conference Centre and the Gaelic Club, both mere minutes walk from each other and from Central Railway Station. They’ll host workshops, creative sessions and concerts, sharing more than 35 acts over the three day weekend from 19 – 21 August. 

The festival begins with a very special Acknowledgement of Country by Central West based Aboriginal cultural group, Milan Dhiiyaan. Milan Dhiiyann (which means “one mob” or “one family”) are an educational/arts/ceremonial company who provide immersive traditional experiences. 

Trans-Tasman duo, We Mavericks

Highlights of this year’s festival include the extraordinary raconteur and musician, Fred Smith (partially his real name) with his all-star band. Smith has a unique dual career as a singer/songwriter and Australian diplomat. His songs and poetry are funny, sad, raw and real, echoing his reflections on human nature, and his experiences in places like  Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea. 

Also of note: string strumming duo, We Mavericks; Michael Waugh, whose songs are heart-achingly honest; esoteric Taiwanese-Australian songstress Kim Yang;  powerhouse all-girl group the Miriam Lieberman Trio; high-energy, four-piece Australian Celtic outfit, Austral; and long-standing duo from Queensland, Penny Davies and Roger Ilot. 

Taiwanese-Australian indie folk singer/songwriter, Kim Yang

Torch-bearers of the future will get special focus with the Young Folk Artist Awards to be presented at a special concert on Saturday August 20 with contenders including: Charlie Gastineau-Hills, Emma Foote, Felicity Dowd, Sean Cooper, Bodhi Turner.

SydFolkFest22 aims to be a celebration of the creativity and diversity of folk arts and artists from across NSW. The the inaugural SydFolkFest was in 2019, but thanks to two years of nothingness, this year will be only the second live event. And it’s going to be a cracker. 

So for folks sake – get your tickets now! 

Sydney Folk Festival 2022

August 19 – 21

www.sydneyfolkfestival.com.au

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