Dear Port Fairy Folk Festival Friend,
In October 2018 The Port Fairy Folk Festival in partnership with ABC Radio introduced a competition to embrace the talents of regional Victorian artists. Entries flooded in and the ABC Radio and Festival teams had the joyous task of listening to great music from across the State. The highly sought after prize was to be professionally engaged to perform at the 2018 Festival and join a stellar line up of Australian and International artists.
It is with great pleasure that Port Fairy Folk Festival and ABC Radio announce that Nigel Wearne is the inaugural recipient of this competition.
Nigel is based in Woodford, Victoria and has been writing songs for over 17 years, channelling a variety of topics and themes. From stories of social justice and observation, to emotional reflection, travelling and historical tales, Nigel captures unique perspectives. He draws inspiration from everyday people from all walks of life. Growing up on a farm, working as a high school teacher and having travelled the world, his experiences are as varied as his writing. Some songs are autobiographical and personal, but many are other people’s stories and an amalgamation of truth, observation, personal experience and fiction. Nigel continues to challenge himself to write songs on broad topics, and he has a particular interest in writing songs to preserve Australia’s colonial history, which is most evident in his recent collaboration with fellow singer-songwriter Luke Watt in their side-project, Above The Bit; a concept album exploring tales of mutiny, civil disobedience and oppression that lie in the shadows of Australian history. Nigel will be showcasing songs from the album during his performances at the Port Fairy Folk Festival. For Nigel, music is a candid, human and important messenger for stories and moments in time.
Gospel, Bluegrass, ukulele & workshop sessions
In 2018 we are thrilled to be presenting a mighty Gospel session on Sunday night. An all star line up which is growing daily will include Kerri Simpson, Chris Wilson, Suzannah Espie, Sarah Carroll, Jack Broadbent, Lily & King and the special event ensemble of the festival The Band Who Knew Too Much. In addition to the Festival Choir workshops we will also be presenting Gospel workshops with one of Australia’s leading exponents of this divine form, Kerri Simpson.
From the glories of gospel to the beauty of bluegrass, in 2018 Felicity Urquhart will host a massive event featuring Grammy award winner Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band and some of America’s finest contemporary artists in this field, The Brothers Comatose and 10 String Symphony.
For the lovers of the ukulele the Thin White Ukes will take you through the genius of David Bowie, making 2018 a big golden year.
Earlier this year we also promised we would be getting you dancing to folk music of all cultures. In 2018 we will have workshops in Tarantella with Oi Dipnoi direct from Sicily, Tango with La Busca and of course we can’t forget the Celtic roots of our region with Irish Set Dancing workshops with Marie Brouder culminating in a big family Ceilidh, and you can learn rhythmic moves from King Marong & Afro Mandinko and then put your style to the test as they perform on stage 2.
From dancing to yoga, tai chi to singing, the 2018 festival will give your bodies and minds a great injection of vitality and joy.
Warmest regards as always,
The Program Team x