2018 Festival

More Artists and events announced & limited early bird tickets still available

Well what a week! Subscriber tickets sold out in record time. Early Bird Tickets are flying out the window and events and artists are flying in. 2018 will be filled with exciting collaborations, not the least being the magnificent Grigoryan Brothers with Adam Page. Slava, Leonard and Adam are currently writing music and developing ‘points of departure’ for Port Fairy Folk Festival, their first outing together as a trio.The result will be an amazing combination of music both written and improvised, sounds looped and distorted, embracing elements from their own worlds … and beyond!

King Marong and Afro Mandinko will perform and lead workshops to delight all ages and the Hussy Hicks make a welcome return to the festival. We are thrilled to be presenting two special On The Couch sessions with Brian Nankervis, one will focus on the the power of the political song … ‘for what it’s worth’ and feature a magnificent mix of our guest artists including Nano Stern, Steve Poltz and more to be announced. Humour will also shine in 2018 with The Funny Side featuring The Topp Twins, Greedy Smith and Ted Egan just to name a few, and we are delighted to welcome the Lost Ragas, 10 String Symphony (USA), Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker (UK), Hillbilly Goats and La Busca to the festival for the first time.

We are absolutely thrilled to be presenting two very special performances of Exile: Songs & Tales of Irish Australia, featuring Troy Cassar-Daley (AUS) Declan O’Rourke (IRE), Shane Howard (AUS), Pauline Scanlon (IRE), Andy Irvine (IRE), John Spillane (IRE), Leah Flanagan (AUS), Lynnelle Moran (AUS) John McSherry (IRE) and an 8 piece band of traditional musicians….If that isn’t enough to whet your appetite we are also presenting an exciting mix of festival debutantes and favourites.

Festival alumni of the highest calibre are returning for 2018 and include Alan Kelly Gang (IRE), The Band Who Knew Too Much, Big Rory & Ochie, The Black Sorrows, Blair Dunlop, Chris While & Julie Matthews (UK), The Davidson Brothers, Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys (CAN), Harry Manx (CAN) performing two special concerts with the Warrnambool Symphony Orchestra Nonet, Nano Stern (Chile), Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Rebecca Barnard, Red the Clown, Steve Poltz (US), Ted Egan, Tina Sparkle and The Topp Twins (NZ).

We are also delighted to be welcoming the following artists to Port Fairy Folk Festival for the first time: The Ahern Brothers, Amistat, Ben Waters Band with Derek Nash (UK), The Brothers Comatose (USA), Faith I Branko (Serbia/UK), The Frank Burkitt Band (NZ), Gina Williams & Guy Ghouse, Jack Broadbent (UK), Lily & King, Mental As Anything, The Mexicans (A Broome Reggae supergroup featuring Tonchi McIntosh, Bart Pigram, Brendan Clarey, Dan Houston, Gavin Pigram, George Bishop and Star Smith), Pirateman Michael, Rory Ellis Trio, Sophie Koh, The Teskey Brothers, Victoriana Gaye and YolanDa Brown (UK).

To discover more about the artists please visit our artist line-up page. Stay tuned for further announcements and our workshop and forum program.


Saturday Night Country House Concert ABC Local Radio Port Fairy Sessions

ABC Local Radio have just released the full recording of the Saturday Night House Concert from Stage 5. Hosted by Felicity Urquhart and featuring Folk Uke, Neil Murray, Sarah Carroll, Skeleton Club, Dori Freeman, Mick Thomas, Melody Pool, Suzannah Espie, Barb Waters, Kerri Simpson & Alison Ferrier, Willie Watson, The Scrims, and Bennett, Bowtell & Urquhart, it’s a truly talent-packed, spontaneous and heartwarming listen. You can listen to the concert here.

Felicity Urquhart and Neil Murray – photo by Tex Miller

The Festival Experience

From the glories of designing special events to the all-important task of addressing audience movement, we work hard to ensure that everyone has a chance to see all the artists they want. In 2018 we need all members of the festival community to work with us to eliminate the days where people can mind several seats at a time and/or gaze at a device or newspaper whilst they wait for an act or artist who is on in hours …. now this just isn’t the true folk etiquette …… Imagine if you are the artist on stage and you are performing to someone fixated on a device or newspaper right at the front, and to top it off they are minding seats? Imagine if you are a person who loves the artist on stage and can’t get in because said person is adamant that they are just minding seats for a minute … and the minute turns in to hours… we’ve all got to find our inner folk spirit and truly enjoy and share the festival experience. We will advise you of our new strategies shortly, it will be gentle and respectful and will ensure that everyone can continue to enjoy the festival.

Port Fairy Folk Festival

– behind the scenes and up front and centre

A snapshot of what makes this festival so special

In 2017 the Port Fairy Folk Festival Committee commissioned a mini documentary to be made to highlight the many special attributes of this extraordinary event. The 41st Port Fairy Folk Festival continued the tradition of celebrating music, arts, culture and community. This documentary gives you a snapshot of the camaraderie of the volunteers, the special place the festival holds in the hearts of artists and audiences alike, and what this event means to the sea side village of Port Fairy. It is a unique story and one that is worth telling. We hope you enjoy and discover just that little bit more about the festival.

Produced by The Port Fairy Folk Festival Committee
Filmed & Directed by John Handby
Interviewer: Derek Guille, Port Fairy Folk Festival Ambassador
Artwork: Reg Mombassa