Below is the current list of Performers for the 2018 Festival.
Please note: The National Folk Festival and its Director reserve the right to alter the program and the acts as circumstances deem necessary.
"Ask for forgiveness not for permission. No rules, no limits. The closest to punk the Blues will ever get. Raucous and manic." 19-Twenty have been whipping up a frenzy on the festival scene. They are electric. An infectious riff and groove based blue-billy-grass-rockin'-roots band.
Australia's favourite family puppet show returns to the Nash in 2017. The Amazing Drumming Monkeys Show combines a unique blend of puppetry, live music, comedy, and heart warming themes, to deliver a fun filled interactive show for the whole family.
Originating from Europe, the twins Josef and Jan developed their sound in Melbourne, Australia. Since relocating to Melbourne in 2012 the duo has released two EP's and their debut album "Parley" in 2016 which saw them embark on a number of Australian and European tours.
My personal find of the festival – Paul Hutchinson and Paul Sartin play like no-one else you’ve ever heard. Their music is breathtaking and wickedly inventive and the between-tunes interchange as intelligent and hilarious as the music. But don’t let me give you the impression they’re a lightweight comedy act: they finish the set with a haunting piece of oboe and accordion magic which has the audience spellbound.’ BBC Radio 2 Mike Harding Show online, reviewing Sidmouth Festival
Voted 'Folk Band of the Year' & 'Album of the year' at the 2016 Scots Trad Music Awards and twice nominated 'Best Band' at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards; Scottish Breabach deliver a thrilling and unique brand of contemporary folk music that has earned them international recognition on the world and roots music scene.
Re-imagining trad Australian folk music until the unfashionable is transformed into rebellious beauty. Favourites of the UK art- folk scene, awarded runner-up Roots album of the year and a 5 Star review in BBC Music Magazine.
CARA tour worldwide with their unique interpretations of Celtic music. Their sound is firmly rooted in the Irish and Scottish tradition yet their innovative arrangements even of well-known material sets them apart and make them instantly recognizable. Their own exciting compositions have received wide critical acclaim.
Cat and Clint will have you mesmerized by sweet harmonies and dancing and hollering to old time fiddle and banjo. They hail from Blackwood, Vic - one of the big Old Time Bluegrass hotspots of Australia. Clint's original songs are featured as well as a traditional ballad, fiddle tunes and vintage country blues.
Sensuous, cinematic, irresistibly danceable: Sydney sextet Chaika weave spine-tingling vocal harmonies into instrumentals influenced by the Balkans and jazz. They will launch their 3rd album at the festival. "It is easy to be enchanted" - The Australian. "Mesmerising, Extraordinary" - Fine Music FM
Winners of the 2017 National Folk Festival Gill Rees Young Musician's Memorial Award, Melbourne teen sisters Mabel and Ivy Windred-Wornes, Charm of Finches, make entrancing folk music with their sublime harmonies and songs about heartbreak, solitude and whispering trees. Their debut album "Staring at the Starry Ceiling" has been praised nationally.
The Chordwainers play elegant instruments by world-renowned leather sculptor, Garry Greenwood. Influenced by an eclectic mix of world music and years of exploring, we've captured our discoveries in original songs: whimsical, seductive, raucous, jazzy or straight.
Here is a treat for dancers! The last time this trio of Scottish fiddle, piano and double bass played for the Scottish Ball at the National they blew dance pumps off with their powerful rhythm and Scottish music groove. Back for more fun, these well respected dance musicians and three of Australia's leading Scottish Country Dance musicians, have become festival favourites.
"The undisputed queens of British female folk continue their love affair with Australia, 1st class songs delivered with faultless harmonies, immaculate musicianship & melodies that lodge themselves in your brain". The Guardian.
Infectiously fun, The Coconut Kids defy genres to create French-influenced world folk using ukulele, brass, bass, keys, violin, mandolin, percussion and powerful vocals. Their unique sound will have you dancing one minute and in tears the next.
'Daniel Champagne is a crossroads. Fusing the strong traditions of blues, folk, and other roots arts with pop showmanship, virtuoso guitar and phenomenal lyrical ability' The Indie Blender, Toronto
Nominated in the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Faustus are three of the leading lights of their generation: Benji Kirkpatrick (Seth Lakeman Band, Bellowhead), Saul Rose (Waterson:Carthy, Whapweazel) and Paul Sartin (Bellowhead, Belshazzar’s Feast). They have a plethora of experience between them, brought together here in a virtuosic display of musicianship and testosterone. Rooted deeply in the English tradition, in 2007 they received a 75th Anniversary Award from the English Folk Dance and Song Society.
Songwriter, comedian, raconteur and author Fred Smith joins forces with an all-star band including Liz Frencham and Carl Pannuzzo to present songs from his rich back catalogue and his new album "Great". The new album offers a wry interrogation of American history, politics and pathologies, while expressing Fred's deep love of American musical forms.
Frumious are a vibrant, high energy five piece from Hobart Tasmania. Borrowing from many styles and cultures, they combine folk, jazz and gypsy music to create a contemporary and original sound with many inspirations.
Incandescent vocals and musical brilliance. Noongar singer-songwriter rejoins forces with Guy Ghouse and friends to bring a new album of songs in Noongar language. Winner: 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016 Indigenous Act of the Year (WA Music Industry Awards) & winner, 2017 West Australian of the Year Awards.
JUNO and four-time CFMA Award Winners, this Canadian trio delights with their uplifting three-part harmonies and beautiful song writing. Wielding mandolin, acoustic guitars and banjo, their witty on-stage banter and constant instrument swapping have been charming audiences all over the world.
Gordie MacKeeman exemplifies the term natural showman. An ace fiddle player nicknamed "crazy legs" for his frenetic loose-limbed step-dancing, he just loves to perform. Combine that exuberance and onstage dynamism with the stellar musicianship of his multi-instrumentalist comrades His Rhythm Boys, and you have an unstoppable roots music force.
Gippsland-born troubadour Harry Hookey mixes Dylan-esque wordplay, Weddings Parties sing-along stomp, and occasional country twang. His trio with respected Fremantle musicians Lucky Oceans and David Hyams was an instant hit on debut at Fairbridge 2017 and voted second most popular act by punters
Hat Fitz and Cara can in no way be mistaken for a dainty duo. They are festival favourites around the world. It has been said they pack more energy into one song than most have in an entire career. A unique combination of hill-style Gospel blues with old timey flavourings and stripped down to just voices, guitar and vintage drums. Launching their fourth album "After The Rain"
Captivating songwriting, warm vocal harmonies and virtuoso Americana/bluegrass arrangements. John has been compared to James Taylor and Paul Kelly and described as "one of Australia's finest lyricists". The Trio deliver a dynamic live show varying from humorous and uplifting to moving and thoughtful.
Indie Award nominee Katey Brooks is best described as a female Jeff Buckley, with all the haunting intensity and every bit of soul. After stunning three full houses last year with her "voice to melt glaciers" (Venue Mag), she's delighted to return as part of her nationwide Australian tour for the brand new album!
As a vocalist, Lindsay Lou falls into an elite category, along with her band of equally gifted musicians playing their own brand of Americana, Lindsay Lou is a not to be missed act on the festival stage.
"I'll Cry If I Want To" is the latest work from young Australian company; Madhouse Circus. We enter into a children's surprise birthday party, the place for glitter, tantrums, and laughs. Not the place for reserves or embarrassments. Games will be played and champions will be made but most of all we'll just be celebrating.
For the past thirty years, Marcia has sustained a diverse career as a professional musician, singer songwriter and backing singer, she has experienced firsthand the full breadth of live performance as a band member, bandleader and as a solo artist. Marcia released her EP, Nashville Sessions with her band at the 40th Port Fairy Folk Festival where she was named Maton, Artist of the year, 2016.
Raconteur, troubadour, balladeer and poet, Mick Thomas is best known as the song master of pub-rock icons Weddings Parties Anything. His band The Roving Commission features Squeezebox Wally on Piano Accordion and a rotating schedule of talented performers to keep the party alive with Micks unique mix of folk, roots and country.
An outlandish vagabond from another world. Specialising in nautical nonsense and sea shanty shenanigans, Pirateman brings a treasure trove of talent anywhere he goes! From crystal ball "contact juggling", LED circus arts and puppet characters quite literally hiding in his sleeves, Pirateman is sure to leave land lubbers bewildered with delight!
Boasting a wealth of diverse musical experience, Ryan & Emily's compositions, both instrumental and lyrical, on fiddle, bouzouki, guitar and stomp-box, blend Celtic with contemporary, traditional with original as Emily adds her majestic fiddle mastery to Ryan's cerebral and cynical songwriting.
Sparrow-Folk are Australia's own "sirens of satire" and the only confirmed glam-folk band. Combining heavenly harmonies and cheeky lyrics, Sparrow-Folk are the adorakable queens of the overshare - prepare to be delightfully shocked.
Steve Poltz is not normal. He was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada) but has lived most of his life in Southern California and those geographic poles are quite likely responsible for his unhinged genius. Steve Poltz positively owns a crowd when he's on stage. His shows are the stuff of legend. He can take an unsuspecting audience from laughter to tears and back again in the space of a single song. He is a master of improvisational songwriting and works without a set list to be free to react instantly to the mood of a room.
With fiddle, mandolin, accordion and guitar and four gloriously harmonious voices The Tassie Devil's Own have performed their mix of contemporary and Traditional folk at festivals around Australia and in New Zealand.
Transforming tradition with vigor, curiosity, humour and spark, this trio from Prince Edward Island wielding bodhran, acoustic guitar and violin plays seamless, polished, barrel-drum-tight, rhythmically innovative and wildly entertaining music.
The Western Flyers are churning out authentic Western swing, hot jazz, vintage country & electrifying Texas fiddle tunes. A singular musical experience and fresh take on a venerable American art form performed by three virtuosos of the genre. "Somewhere, Bob Wills is smiling" - No Depression