is a girl-about-town and general, adventurous, know-it-all.
Welcome to Maldon
Maldon is a charming little town in Central Victoria, famous for its colonial styling and main street shopping area, where each footpath is edged with stone. The stores in Maldon have been lovingly maintained in heritage colours and retain their original, late 1800's, style. Many of the local homes are the cottage type, with picket fences, honeysuckle crawling over the verandahs, pretty apple trees and an abundance of roses.
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Each October however, this usually sleepy township comes absolutely alive for its annual Folk Festival. It's where traditional forms of music are celebrated in a full weekend of over 150 concerts and events. Cultural groups, like the colourful Morris Men dance in the street, buskers play and it's not uncommon for a spontaneous sing-a-long or accordion battle to breakout down at the Grand Hotel.
Maldon's Folk Music Festival incorporates a range of styles. You can expect to hear celtic ballads, gypsy bands, appalachian harmonies, authentic southern blues, honky-tonk cabaret, and modern Australian roots music there. Among the instruments; banjos, fiddles, slide guitars, masterfully played mandolins, harmonicas, slapped double basses and a collection of drums; all of them wonderfully unaided by digital effects.
Back in the olden days.
Held over a full four days, a popular way to attend the Folk Festival is to purchase a weekend entry ticket with campsite pass. There's a massive site, under the tall peak of Maldon's Mount Tarrengower, where hundreds of families set themselves up in tents and camper vans. The campsite has generator-powered toilet and shower facilities hired in for the event and is close to the main music venues.
In addition to the campsite stages, there are over 20 different locations throughout Maldon which play host to musical acts. Festival goers get to experience a range of performances from loud, energetic dance acts to the softer more intimate gigs, and also get to see inside Maldon's historic churches, clubrooms, scout halls and galleries. A free shuttle bus ferries passengers to and from the campsite and all over town, however Maldon is small enough that it's possible to walk from one venue to another.
Apart from the concerts, some of the other festival attractions include the masterclass workshops, where after watching their favourites perform, the audience can attend special sessions where the musicians teach some of their techniques. Also, market day; held at the local primary school, with hula hoops competitions, face painting, a reptile handling zoo and didgeridoo performances mixed in among stalls of clothing, cd's, garden art and more. There are public sing-a-long, songwriting competitions, and bush dances as well.
Maldon's rustic charm
The Maldon Folk Festival is on October 28th – 31st during 2011 and ticket prices are as follows;
Single day $60.00 (Saturday or Sunday only). Full weekend $110.00. Family packages $220.00
(Two adults, two children under 12 years, free).
Bush camping sites $40.00.
Upon a glance at the extensive festival program it is not difficult to see that the Maldon event offers one of the best value for money experiences around, and being there makes you feel as if you've been let in on the secret of one of the most well-organised bush parties that there is. Importantly as well, the Maldon Folk Festival is a family friendly event with appeal for people of all ages.