2018 Festival



Port Fairy Folk Festival 2018 Celebrating Excellence and Diversity


Photo: Port Fairy Folk Festival 2017, 41st Opening Ceremony by Ferne Millen

The 42nd Port Fairy Folk Festival Opening Ceremony will welcome all to this internationally acclaimed event with a very special local Aboriginal story. Through dance, song and imagery, local Indigenous artists and members of our local community will bring one of these stories to life. Many of the local Aboriginal stories come from the constellations of the night sky.

The 2018 ceremony is called Kuurokeheaar, the Kirrae Whurrong word for the Pleiades constellation – also known as The Seven Sisters. The Kuurokeheaar story tells of Waa the Crow, Ngeeanggar the Eagle and her sisters – Kuurrokeheaar  (The Pleiades). Stories about the Pleiades constellation are found in Indigenous cultures all over the world – the story is universal.

There are Seven Sisters stories in Japan, India, China, South America, North America, Ireland, Greece and numerous indigenous Australian communities. Just like the Port Fairy Folk Festival, the Opening Ceremony will bring together cultures from all over the world.

Earlier this year, local indigenous artists worked with school and community groups to re-create story and now we all gather in ceremony to welcome all and open the festival with stories, dance and song from this country.

Kuurokeheaar will feature the Koontapool Kaarweeyn Dancers, local musicians Brett Clarke, Lee Morgan, and other local indigenous artists, community group and school representatives. Local indigenous artist Fiona Clarke has created the images used in this ceremony.

For tens of thousands of years, the Pyipgil Gunditj clan has gathered for ceremony on this country. For the past 41 years the Port Fairy Folk Festival has been celebrated each year in the lands of the Pyipgil Gunditj clans, in Peek Whurrong country.

The Port Fairy Folk Festival Committee pays their respects to elders past, present and emerging and acknowledge that the land that we gather on each year for the Festival is the traditional lands of the Peek Whurrong people.