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Folks Flock to Autumn Canberra Festival

April 9, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

For five days Exhibition Park in Canberra will be transformed into a magical world full of music and colour in celebration of the National Folk Festival.

National Folk Festival director Pam Merrigan said each year more than 50,000 people flock to the national capital to experience hundreds of nationally and internationally recognised performers over the Easter long weekend from 17-21 April.

One of the headliners of the 48th festival is American Blues legend Woody Mann.

‘Woody Mann has never been to Australia before. We’re bringing him out especially for the festival. He is one of the world’s leading performers of American Blues,’ Ms Merrigan said.

Mann will be joined by high calibre international acts including British Folk Icon Martin Carthy, Damien Dempsey (Ireland), Tift Merritt (USA), Lindi Ortega (Canada) and the Alaskan String Band (Alaska).

Aria Award winners lead the charge of Australian performers with the likes of Joseph Tawadros, Chris Duncan and Catherine Strutt set to take the stage alongside Jordie Lane, Heath Cullen and the Crooked Fiddle Band.

Ms Merrigan credits the festival’s ability to adapt and change for its long-running success. She said organisers aim to produce a different program every year to keep the festival exciting.

‘As trends change the festival changes with those trends. We’re always exploring new avenues of the more quirky avenues of folk,’ she said. ‘There are always new and up and coming artists there to excite audiences.’

The festival will celebrate Australia’s rich Indigenous history with a special dedicated program, featuring outstanding Aboriginal singer-songwriters Archie Roach, Leah Flanagan, Frank Yamma, Dubmarine and Wiradjuri Echoes.

There will be 14 venues including a delightful and entertaining KidzFest, ArtefACT offering hands on art experiences and workshops, an exhilarating mini festival of quirk at the Majestic, as well as hundreds of poetry, dance and music experiences and workshops to indulge in.

‘The whole site is dressed up for the occasion,’ Ms Merrigan said. ‘The idea is to give them the feeling they’re entering another world, a difference space if you like, so they can blow away their cares and enjoy the festival.’

You can set up camp with a season camping ticket from as early as Monday, 14 April and stay for up to eight days, so why not stay for the week and explore the national capital?

Visit the National Museum of Australia, a social history museum with a focus on Indigenous histories and cultures, and histories of European settlement. Discover treasures from the Australian War Memorial’s archives in the ANZAC Voices exhibition. Come face to face with the famous, the infamous and the sometimes forgotten icons of Australian history, from the distant past to the absolute present, at the National Portrait Gallery. In Canberra you can also visit the home of Australia’s National Art Collection, the National Gallery of Australia, which has more than 165,000 works and includes Australia’s largest collection of Indigenous Australian artwork.

As well as a thriving cultural scene, Canberra is home to many memorable food and wine experiences. You’ll find more than 30 boutique cellar doors within 35 minutes drive of the city, while bistro-style cafes and quality quick eats blend perfectly with stylish restaurants and sleek high-end dining experiences in Canberra. Explore the hot new dining precincts like Braddon, NewActon and the Kingston Foreshore.

Book your National Folk Festival tickets now. For more information about what’s on in Canberra this autumn and to book accommodation, go towww.visitcanberra.com.au or download a free iPad edition of the Canberra Region Visitor Guide from the App Store.

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