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!