In its 42nd year, the Port Fairy Folk Festival was established in 1977 by Jamie McKew and members of the Geelong Folk Music Club. This outstanding festival has put Port Fairy firmly on the map as the centre of folk music on the world stage. Located in the South West Coast of Victoria, approximately 290km from Melbourne and 28km from Warrnambool, it'll take around 3.5 hours of travel time from Melbourne by car if you go via the Princes/Hamilton Highway and 6 hours if you take the Great Ocean Road scenic route.
The Festival arena itself is just a short stroll from the centre of the township; one of Australia's top 10 charming beach towns. Get your tickets here for the adults, with kids 12 and under going free. In addition to online sales, the Festival operates a Box Office Mon-Fri 10am-12pm, contact - firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (03) 5568 2227. A $5 admin fee applies for purchase over the phone or by mail. Please read all terms and conditions of ticket sales for youth (13-17years) and more.
Aside from the usual accommodation sites, new this year, a Rent A Tent City will be operating for accommodation and will be located on the oval at the Consolidated school, corner Albert and Campbell street, approximately 500m from the Festival arena. For an additional cost, breakfast can be supplied as well. For pricing and booking, click here.
The children are well catered for at this year's festival with a range of art and craft workshops at CraftworX in the Children's Arena. There'll be 5 workshops running at a time, with a 'special' activity area for children 5 and under, along with their carers. Register for all activities at 10am Sat & Sun for all workshops taking place on the day of rego. Rego is not needed for the 5 and under activities.
This years program is filled with performances from both international and Australian artists in genres of folk, roots, blues, jazz, world, country and bluegrass in both ticketed and free venues. There's also comedy, spoken word, street performers, craft and market stalls, workshops, theme concerts, festival choir, family-friendly activities, and one of the best exhibitions of Australian made, handcrafted musical instruments in the country. The program of fun basically begins late Friday afternoon in the village, and travels to the arena from 5pm onwards, winding up on Monday afternoon around 1.30pm.
The main music program is held in the Festival Arena (Southcombe Park Sports Reserve) which boasts 9 major venues, 2 of which are licensed. The Arena is open to ticket holders only. There are nine other venues around the town, including churches, halls, the Theatre, and clubs, and free entertainment on Fiddlers' Green and the Railway Stage. The three market areas are on Sackville Street, Railway Place and Fishermans Walk. Many of the venues in town are free. For all other information, including details about the Music Shuttle Bus, the Warrnambool Festival Bus Schedule, and the festival map check here. Bookings for all buses are essential and a gold coin donation would be appreciated.
Saving the best for last, the ARTISTS! You'll be spoilt for choice with amazing locals and international performers lining up to entertain you. All timeframes of each performance is listed on the individual artists' link. Australian greats like the Black Sorrows, Archie Roach, Melbourne Ska Orchestra, The Tesky Brothers, Troy Cassar-Daley and more will be gracing the stages, alongside international artists from the UK, USA, Scotland, Canada, Ireland, Serbia, NZ, Chile and Italy., plus a trio that mixes it up with musicians from Mongolia, Bulgaria and France, performing an irresistibly wild fusion of energetic rhythms and harmonies. For all themed concerts, family and kids friendly performances, and workshops, be sure to check the artists link.
For one of the largest interactive handmade instrument exhibitions in Australia, look no further than the Instrument Makers Exhibition. Get an up-close and personal experience with the beauty and craftsmanship that goes into creating your favourite instrument. This is no static exhibition, but a vibrant, bustling hub of knowledge and information, filled with the joy of creativity. Talk to the makers and watch some of the instruments crafted before your very eyes. If you're buying this is the place for your next unique instrument. Exhibition times are Sat & Sun 10am to 5pm and Monday 10am to 1pm at the Instrumentworx marquee in the main arena. The exhibition culminates in a special Australian Made & Played concert, featuring instruments from the exhibition played by a stellar lineup of both Australian and International performers. This is a Festival that has it all! A must for music lovers and for those who just want to escape to a beautiful place and be entertained all weekend.