National Folk Festival launches country-wide search for historical treasures
November 9th, 2011 by support
The National Folk Festival (NFF) has put out a call for Australians to rummage through their cupboards and in op shops around the nation to help find three lost masterpieces.
No, not the lost songs of Eric Bogle – but some of the Festival’s famous promotional posters.
A picture can say a thousand words, and the NFF’s posters have been telling Australians about their musical history for the last 45 years.
The Festival Poster has long been a major tool used to promote the annual event. Forty-five years on, the posters provide a fascinating reflection of Australia’s cultural history and the evolution of this iconic event.
In building an archive of materials relating to the history of the Festival, the National Folk Festival has collected 42 of the 45 Festival Posters and is now launching a nation-wide search for the final three posters missing from its collection. The missing three posters are: 1971 Festival in Adelaide; 1974 in Brisbane and 1977 in Adelaide.
NFF Managing Director, Sebastian Flynn said the collection of posters documented the history of the Festival as a touring event and also revealed the growth of the festival over the years.
“In true bardic fashion, the Festival originally travelled around the country and was held in a different state each year,” Sebastian said. “The posters document the history of the Festival and an important aspect of Australian culture through music and dance. We’d like to ensure that there is a complete collection.”
The posters reveal the range of artists and performers who have appeared at the National Folk Festival.
“The posters’ chart the headlining performances over the years from the early songs and dance music of Australia’s early settlers, through to renowned Australian songwriters such as Eric Bogle and contemporary singers like Kavisha Mazella and Canberra’s own Fred Smith, who is documenting the story of the involvement of Australians in overseas conflict,” Sebastian said.
“The posters also remind us of the many overseas performers who have performed at the Festival, including Martin Carthy, Nic Jones, Mike Compton, Riccardo Tesi, Paul Brady and Andy Irvine. Many of these artists have had a big influence on Australian music and musicians. Encouraging international artists to share their skill and experience has been a very strong part of the National Folk Festival’s commitment to incubate new Australian talent.”
By the late 1980’s the National Folk Festival had grown in popularity and complexity, making it difficult for the organising folk federations in the respective states to manage.
In 1992 the Australian Folk Trust took over the Festival’s organisation and made provision for it to take place in Canberra each Easter with a stable management team. It was decided that the Festival, which takes place at Exhibition Park in Canberra every Easter, would feature a different state each year to reflect the touring tradition of the event. The 2012 featured State is Queensland.
The Festival Poster is still a big part of the NFF’s promotional activity. The NFF would like to hear from anyone who might have copies of the 1971, 1974 and 1977 festivals. Please contact the National Folk Festival office on 02 6262 4792 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The almost-complete Festival Poster archive can be seen at the NFF office in Mitchell.
For more information check the National Folk Festival website and social media pages.
Media Contact | Sophie Morrison | (02) 6273 0232 | 0407 608 441 | email@example.com