Minding your Ps and Qs – Folkie etiquette 101


If you wouldn’t know a Folkie chair if you fell over it or if you’ve never had the pleasure of doing the Folkie shuffle, this quick guide to Festival etiquette is for you.


Go with the flow! We invite you to get in the Port Fairy vibe and just relax. Almost all artists will be performing at least twice during the 2018 program, so there will be opportunity to see your faves if you miss out first time around.

Take a seat. We’ll be offering permanent, auditorium-style seating in Stage 3 at the 2018 Festival. For all other venues, you’re welcome to bring a rug or a chair. But unless you’ve got a note from your mum, we really do prefer you have a traditional ‘Folkie chair’ – the low beach chairs that you see slung across the shoulder of experienced Festival-goers everywhere – as opposed to a throne or step ladder.

Get in the zone. To make sure everyone gets a view, our larger venues will have line-markings to delineate areas that are OK for regular camping chairs, and areas for low, Folkie chairs. To avoid committing the ultimate Folkie faux pas (ie setting up a high chair in the midst of a sea of Folkie chairs), check the zones.

Dance like no one’s watching! We love to see folk up on their feet! But, because gyrating bodies can obstruct the view of seated patrons, we will have designated ‘dance zones’ marked. Dance-friendly venues will be highlighted on your Festival program, so if your feet are getting itchy, check your program to see where you can join other Festival groovers!

Do the shuffle! Between performances, our MCs will invite you to stand up, stretch your limbs and do the Folkie Shuffle! This clever little ritual not only guards against pins and needles (yours), but also ensures there’s room for others to come on in and join the fun.

Share the space. Reserving space for extended periods of time is a definite Folkie no-no (insert frownie face). By all means, pop to the loo, or grab a coffee, but if you plan to be gone for any length of time, please take your chair/rug and belongings with you. Otherwise, you may return to find another family has moved in to claim adverse possession in your absence! Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Be a good neighbour. And whilst we’re on the topic of territorialism, do be kind to those around you. Try to avoid stepping on limbs (or heads) whilst picking your way through venues. And try not to spread out more than you need to. Manspreading is actively discouraged in Port Fairy!

Be kind to our volunteers. Our volunteers are almost all locals who are passionate about their community and their music. As volunteers, they don’t get paid enough to get yelled at, so think happy thoughts and give them a smile!


The Port Fairy Folk Festival all happens over the long weekend in March. Tickets are on sale right now!

Helping us to find our voice

Folk music has always played an important role in helping people to find their true voice. Over many generations, it has helped communities and cultures to transmit ideas, stories, histories and cultural practices aurally.

With this in mind, the Port Fairy Folk Festival has created a unique program to help a new generation of people to find their own voice. The Finding a Voice program includes a series of songwriting and singing workshops for all people – including those living with disability.

The workshops, hosted by musician Tom Richardson (pictured), will be launched by the Find Your Voice All Abilities Choir on Friday 9 March as part of the festival program.

Early this year, Tom will also conduct songwriting masterclasses with local secondary school students in our region as part of the Songwriting in the Schools Project. This project will culminate in a performance of the students’ original works on the Folk Festival Railway Stage on Sunday 11 March.

The Finding a Voice program, which was introduced to the festival program for the first time in 2017, will also feature artists Andy Irvine, Chris While and Julie Matthews and Nigel Wearne.

Festival tickets are on sale now!




Festival fun for little folk!

Proving that art and culture is not just for grown ups, the Folk Festival has created CRAFTworX – a super fun program of art and craft workshops for little folk during the 2018 Festival.

All the action takes place in the brightly decorated Children’s Arena, where children can choose from five concurrent, hour-long workshops with activities ranging from hula hoop action, tie-dying silk, juggling balls, making lanterns and more!

Tots under five need not miss out on the fun, with a special area set aside just for them and their parents or carers.

Workshops will take place on the Saturday and Sunday of the Festival, with registrations opening at 10am on each day. There is room for up to 1000 children across the two days.

It’s all part of our very cunning plan to introduce a new generation of Festivalgoers to the delights of art, music and culture! And we also know it provides an important reprieve for little ones (and their parents) from all the sights, sounds and movement of the Festival outside.

There is more detail about CRAFTworX here.

Third release tickets to the 2018 Festival are on sale until February 15, unless sold out prior.



Top 10 things to do in Port Fairy!


The Port Fairy Folk Festival has attracted more than 500 international acts in its 41-year history.

We’re convinced that it’s not just the chance to be a part of one of Australia’s most iconic music festivals that lures them here – it’s probably got a lot to do with the location itself.

You might be familiar with the Folk Festival, but there’s more to this little village than just seriously great music.

Here are our top 10 things to do in Port Fairy.

  1. Walk Griffiths Island. This lovely, 30-minute walk takes in protected beaches, the historic lighthouse and the Moyne River precinct. You’re highly likely to see the resident wallabies and, if you’re lucky, a pod of dolphins swimming just offshore.
  2. Hit the beach. Port Fairy is renowned for its sandy white beaches. East Beach is regularly patrolled by local Surf Life Saving Club members, whilst the protected lagoon Pea Soup at the south of the village is particularly popular with young families.
  3. Step back in time. Port Fairy is dotted with historic buildings and old whalers’ cottages, many of which are National Trust-registered. You might also take in Battery Hill, established in 1887 to protect the town from foreign warships, or the historic Port Fairy cemetery. Pop into the local Visitor Information Centre for a walking tour map.
  4. Do coffee. Or lunch. Or dinner. For a small village, Port Fairy punches well above its weight when it comes to food and dining. From casual cafes through to “hatted” restaurants, there is a smorgasbord of opportunity!
  5. Swing a club. Most serious golfers will already be well aware of Port Fairy’s 18-hole natural links course. It’s listed in the top 100 courses in Australia, after all.
  6. Watch the mutton birds arrive home. Port Fairy’s Griffith Island is home to a protected colony of mutton birds, or short-tailed shearwaters. The birds are a spectacular sight as they arrive back to the burrows after a big day of fishing. Best viewed at dusk each day over summer until about April when they leave on their annual Pacific migration.
  7. Indulge in some retail therapy. Explore boutiques and speciality stores, the likes of which you’ll not find elsewhere. Need we say more?
  8. Get arty. Port Fairy boasts a dynamic and vibrant arts community There are several galleries throughout the village, most of which are owned and operated by local artists.
  9. Go to market. There are several markets held in Port Fairy throughout the year, including a regular farmers’ market and, during the busier summer tourist season, art and craft markets.
  10. Get festive! No matter what your musical taste, Port Fairy is likely to have a festival to suit you! These include the Winter Weekends, Spring Music Festival, Jazz Festival and, of course, the iconic Port Fairy Folk Festival (tickets on sale now)!

We’re declaring our own war on waste!

Did you know that the majority of single-use coffee cups can’t be recycled?

Here at the Port Fairy Folk Festival, we’re waging our own war on waste! In 2018, we’ll be trialling the use of reusable coffee cups throughout the Festival arena.

Our committee has purchased 500 12oz re-usable, souvenir coffee cups for use at any of the five coffee vendors within the arena. They’ll be easy to spot as they’ll be emblazoned with the Festival brand.

And coffee lovers can rejoice in the fact that they will receive a 50-cent discount each time they refill their souvenir coffee cup!

We’re so committed to this idea that we made it a condition of trading at next year’s Festival that all coffee vendors had to agree to the discount arrangement.

And it will be up to individual vendors as to whether they choose to offer a discount to those who present with other re-usable coffee cups.

So pick up your special souvenir coffee cup at the 2018 Festival and join us in our ongoing war on waste!

Remember – Early Bird tickets end this Friday 8 December!

Camp without the hassle – the Folkie’s new Tent City option!

Finding accommodation during the Folkie need not be intense. Instead, it can be in tents – literally! (Sorry, we couldn’t resist!)

In 2018, Port Fairy’s Consolidated School will be transformed into a fully-equipped tent city just 500 metres from the Festival arena.

This is a brand new accommodation option available to ticket holders only.

Options range from a one-person tent through to tents larger enough to sleep six people.

The best part? You don’t even need to bring all the gear! The basic pricing option includes stretcher beds, mattresses, an LED lantern, regularly serviced toilets and hot showers, use of a small camp kitchen with cool room and car parking.

Bring your own sleeping gear, or book additional extras including sleeping bags, eskies and pretty much everything else you might need for a camping holiday!

Breakfast is even available at an additional charge.

This fabulous initiative is managed by the lovely teachers and families of Port Fairy Consolidated Primary School with the expertise of the Rent A Tent Group.

But remember – you must be a ticketholder for the 2018 Port Fairy Folk Festival to make a booking for the Tent City accommodation.

Bookings available here.

Early Bird tickets for the 2018 Port Fairy Folk Festival are on sale until December 8. Book online via our website today!