Highlights of Tamar Valley Folk Festival 2018

Tamar Valley Folk Festival 2018 promises to be bigger and better featuring Tasmanian, Australian and Irish acts from 19 to 21 January 2018 at George Town, Tasmania

LAUNCESTON, 10 January 2018. If you fancy folk, fiddle or poetry, you’d find yourself with very good company at the 2018 edition of the Tamar Valley Folk Festival. This cultural and musical fiesta brings largely Australian and a few international artistes together over three days by the scenic river in northern Tasmania. Mark your calendar with a few of the musical and artistic acts lined up (see some highlights of the programme below) at venues spotted around within the historical George Town where the Tamar River flows through.


The festival has come a long way since 1992 – yes it has been going on for more than 20 years – to bring you themed concerts, intimate solo performances, children's activities, poetry readings, dance, and more in a small town setting. You’re bound to enjoy street music too alongside town folks. And bring a mat for a picnic at the park where there’ll be free airing of bluesy and folksy tunes.

Proudly Tasmanian, the Tamar Valley Folk Festival also celebrates the unique sounds rendered by recognised musicians who were either born or bred, or both, in Tasmania. This would include performers such as Alex Myers, Malcolm Turnbull, John Lavery, Tony Newport, Daniel Townsend, Kerry McGuire and members of Seagrass such as Tim Saunders (banjo, guitar, vocals), Rowlie Walker (mandolin, vocals), Mark Phillips (bass, vocals). Seagrass combines blues with bluegrass acoustics.

Suzette Herft

Suzette Herft

So how about getting a slice of Australian culture at this festival? We’ve highlighted a few artistes below while you can check out of the rest of the performers on the website. Ticketing information on both weekend or single day tickets can be found here.

Pick of Performers

Kym Pitman is a soulful poet and songwriter with a haunting voice. Kym's songs are deeply entwined with the spirit of the country. Kym has enchanted festival audiences across Australia and beyond. Her songs have received awards from The Australasian Song Writing Association, North Coast Industry Awards, and from the Eco-Arts awards (USA). Kym blends a unique contemporary folk-roots sound with intimacy of landscape, spirit and story.

Luke Robinson - A solo song singer-songwriter, originally from Gippsland, Victoria, who, after a decade of working around Australia as a doctor, has now settled back in Melbourne. With a rich powerful bass voice accompanied by acoustic guitar and crafted lyrics Luke's songs range across topics diverse as our nation's relationship with its First People, refugees, fracking, war, vagaries of Australian politics with some light hearted commentary on modern life.

Joe Lynch - the ‘Authentic Irish Storyteller, singer and Poet’, born in the mountains of Cork, an area steeped in the ancient art of storytelling. Joe's stories and poems are deeply romantic, thought provoking and often hilarious. You'll laugh, cry and feel like never before.

Suzzette Herft - Suzette is a soulful songwriter who shines with a natural grace and presence. Suzette has won wide acclaim for her brilliant tribute show to her hero - Joan Baez for being the voice of the ' voice of the voiceless' at numerous festivals around Australia. She is a masterful facilitator of singing sessions and a' song catcher' with her wide ranging repertoire and her passion for inclusivity and 'giving everyone a voice'.

Danny Widdicombe - Danny is part virtuoso guitarist, musical director, songwriter, singer and story teller. Based in Brisbane, Queensland and best known for his folk-country-blues stylings but he's also heavily influended by jazz, indian, bossa nova, classical and anything in his meticulously documented record collection. Danny has released three albums as a solo artist, three more with The Wilson Pickers and appeared on a myriad of albums playing as a session musician.

Luke Moller - Fiddle and mandolin player Luke , originally from Brisbane is now based in Nashville, TN. Toured with Carrie Underwood, Lana Del Ray, Jon Pardi, The BoDeans, Cracker, Maddie & Tae, Eric Paslay and Delta Goodrem.

Tamar Valley Folk Festival 2018 Programme Snippets (See the full programme here)

Friday 19 January 2018  

3 pm  - Welcome Afternoon Tea in the Supper, Room near our office, Memorial Hall. Join the George Town Soroptomists for a delicious and reasonably priced afternoon tea. Story Teller, Irish Joe Lynch will entertain at the afternoon tea from 3.30 Pm.

7 pm - The Meander Men's Choir - Tribute to Danny Spooner; Suzette Herft; Daniel Townsend; La Busca; Kym Pitman; Luke Robinson. Door Sales $25

Saturday, 20 January 2018

 10 am - noon - A Display of Hand made musical instruments by Local Craftsman, David Herring will be featured near our office at Memoria Hall. See David's Therapy, lap and little Harps and meet the maker.

10:15 am - The Twilight Zone - A Themed Concert by Tony Newport at York Cove Centre Sorell St (Senior Citz building) Code 5 on your map. Between infinity and divinity, infirmity and utility, remembrance and reality. A lapsed Catholic reflects on aging, guilt, refugees, early 1960s Sydney,mutton birds, the blues and original sin. Original stories and songs from Tasmanian story teller, singer and songwriter, Tony Newport. Door Sales $15

11 am - Celtic Tales and Tunes by Michael Manhire at Bass and Flinders Centre - Elizabeth St. ( code 4 on your map). Folk tales, myths and legends of magic, Mystery and Supernatural. Here are stories and songs from the Celtic lands of the British Isles - Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall and beyond. Linked by short folk tunes on the concertina. Tales told by Michael Hanhire with songs from Scotty Balfour, Stan Gottschalk and Kerrie Maguire. Door Sales $15

Joe Lynch, an Irish poet, will helm the Breakfast Poetry session at Tamar Valley Folk Festival 2018

Joe Lynch, an Irish poet, will helm the Breakfast Poetry session at Tamar Valley Folk Festival 2018

11:45 am - Meet the Poet. Irish Joe Lynch at Yacht Club (Code 6 on your map). Enjoy an informal workshop for poets where Irish Joe will chat about his work and help and encourage others to write and recite. Bring a note pad and feel free to bring your poems. Door Sales $15.

1245 pm - Images of Strong Women - A themed Concert. Presented by Phil Beck, Paul Stewart, Scotty Balfour, Bob Barford ,Bob Sharp ,Alex Green,Stan Gottschalk on slides. York Cove Centre - Sorell St. (key 5 on your map)

2:30 pm - Songwriters Concert - Songs of Conscience and Country Featuring Kym Pitman, Luke Robinson, Teri Young and Suzette Herft. Join these acclaimed Singer- Songwriters as they share their work on the subject of Country and conscience. Door Sales $25 without weekend or day ticket.

3:30 pm - Guitar Workshop with Whimsy. Graham Fairless. An interactive workshop that caters to a range of skill level. Whimsy members will give a brief demonstration of some acoustic folk and blues guitar styles, after which workshop participants will be encouraged to ask band members to demonstrate/ break down some common riffs, chord patterns or techniques. Entry $15

Luke Moller

Luke Moller

7 pm - Saturday Evening Concert at Memorial Hall. Bar opens in Supper Room at 6.30. Danny Widdecombe and Luke Moller. Mick Flanagan. Heart Collectors. Whimsy. Suzette Herft. Scott Balfour and Bob Barford. Door Sales $25

7 pm - Saturday Evening Concert at York Cove Centre - Sorell St. (key code 5 on map). Teri Young and The Restless. Malcolm Turnbull and John Lavery. Daniel Townsend. La Busca. Kerry Maguire. Matt Gibson. Door Sales $25. Tea and coffee available- gold coin donation.

Sunday, 21 January 2018 

9 am - Poet's Breakfast - Memorial Hall (Supper Room). Irish Joe Lynch , our Festival Poet 2018 will host the breakfast. Come along and present your poem or dine in and enjoy the poetry.

1030 am - New Holland Honey Eaters - Fiddle Tunes and A Hard God at York Cove Centre Sorell St. (Code 5 on your map). In recent years there has been an explosion of interest in Appalachian music worldwide. In this concert, Fiddle Tunes and a Hard God, the Band takes a look at that place called Appalachia. Using songs, tunes slide images and vibrant radio format, they will talk about why the Scots- Irish, Germans and English came and settled there, what the social and economic forces were that shaped their lives and how all of this produced a vibrant music that developed into the phenomenon we see today. Door Sales $15

11.am - Louey Hesterman's Whimsy Concert/ CD Launch. Bass and Flinders Centre Elizabeth St . Code 4 on your map. Louey Hesteman's Whimsy will perform songs and instrumentals from their debut CD Heart and Soul. Appollo Bay musician Louey and his band will present a range of material highlighting the varied talents of band members Christy Cooney ( Cobbers and Cooney's Brew), Cyril Moran ( Lawson Patterson Songwriters award Port Fairy), multi instrumentalist Ben Rogers and singer /songwriter Cora Browne. "Wondrous Melodies to make your heart sing". Door Sales $15

11.30 am - Underneath the Bright Silvery Moon -Songs and Tales of the Silver Planet. A themed concert at Yacht Club Code 6 on your map. Featuring Alex Myers , Hetty Binns, Malcolm Turnbull, John Lavery and Neil Gardner. This presentation is perfectly timed to coincide with a January which has a Blue Moon coupled with a total Lunar Eclipse. Door Sales $15

11.30-1 pm      Music in the Park. The Bandstand Area featuring Suzette Herft, Luke Robinson, Matt Gibson. A Free Event

1:00 pm          Singing Session - Pier Hotel Verandah

1:30 pm          Farewell Concert - Memorial Hall featuring La Busca, Forte, Danny widdecombe and Luke Moller, Heart Collections, Kym Pitman, The Festival Choir with Cora Browne, Farewell Tribute to Danny Spooner by Phil Beck and his Crew. Door Sales $25

Tamar Valley Folk Festival 2018 Ticket purchase: http://www.tamarvalleyfolkfestival.com/TicketPurchases.html

Images courtesy of the organisers of Tamar Valley Folk Festival