Rory McLeod (UK)

Rory is a one-man soulband, poet and storyteller, singing his own unique upbeat dance stories. He is a modern travelling troubadour using tap shoes, a cappella, harmonica, guitar, trombone, spoons, finger cymbals, bandorea, djembe and various percussion instruments! "McLeod is one of the most energetic, most generous performers I've seen." – Doug Spencer, ABC Radio.

Ross Couper & Tom Oakes (UK)

Hailing from polar ends of the UK, Ross Couper (Shetland) and Tom Oakes (Devon) have been dazzling audiences with their fiery, driving rhythms and shared passion for the infectious melodies and grooves of celtic music for the best part of a decade. Their highly dynamic mixture of power and fragility delivered with warmth and humour leaves audiences exhilarated. **** “Gleaming with musicianship. Exquisite.” – The Guardian.

Roving Unicycles

Roving Unicycles are an ACT community group with a mission to spread the unicycling bug to young and old. We are not afraid to make spectacles of ourselves and put smiles on peoples faces. Come and see just how much fun you can have on a unicycle.

Saplings Sessions Bush Music Club

A daily session just for young musicians (about 8 to 16 yrs). Bring your own instrument and come and have some fun learning Australian songs and tunes or join in with percussion (some provided). Expert tutors from the Bush Music Club will be there to help you no matter what level you play at. Music will be available, or play by ear. There will also be an opportunity to play what you have learned on stage!

Señor Cabrales

The European Celtic music of Señor Cabrales is unique, pungent and not for the faint-hearted. The Señor emerges sporadically from mountain caves to play music which can be complex, fruity and biting, mouldy, sometimes crumbly, but never predictable. It is best enjoyed with tumblers of rustic cider.

Session Experience

The Session Experience provides a welcoming environment particularly targeted to those of all ages just beginning to play their instrument with others.

Shortis and Simpson

John Shortis is a songwriter with a passion for politics and history. Moya Simpson is a singer who uses her considerable vocal range and comic flair to bring Shortis’ songs and scripts to life. Together they are Shortis and Simpson, Canberra-based performers of original shows that are always humorous, poignant, and informative.

Songs From the Australian Tradition

Songs from the Australian Tradition is an open invitation to come along each day and sing great Australian songs. This celebration of songs from the Australian tradition continues the legacy of the late Dennis O'Keeffe – singer/songwriter, folk historian and longtime mate of the NFF.


Australia's 'sirens of satire' Sparrow-Folk are the only confirmed glam-folk band, a combination of hilarious wit and heavenly harmonies. The pair have taken their deliciously naughty music around the world. Don't miss a chance to share their nest, this duo is gut-bustingly hilarious.

Strange Weather Gospel Choir

Strange Weather Gospel Choir is a non-auditioned Canberra community choir whose repertoire includes gospel and spiritual songs as well as African, folk and contemporary pieces. Members are from all ages and walks of life and are united by the love of singing together. The choir's unique sound and exuberance have seen it grow to become a very popular choir in the Canberra region.

String Contingent, The

Renowned acoustic chamber-folk trio The String Contingent have a unique sound that confidently walks the line between folk, classical jazz, and bluegrass. In 2018, Australians Chris Stone (violin) and Holly Downes (double bass) with Scotsman Graham McLeod (guitar) took a road less traveled along the Savannah Way from Cairns (Qld) to Broome (WA) to deepen their experience of Australia and form the basis of their sixth album, which is being launched at thE Festival.

Sweet Mona’s Choir

Vibrant harmonically magnificent Sweet Mona’s Choir is a Ballarat-based gospel and world music choir of exceptional quality famous for their world-class arrangements. For over 20 years, the “Monas” have continued to delight audiences with their energetic stage presence and stunning vocals. The choir focuses on a cappella and rhythm, and performs a range of gospel and world music. They are a colourful and lively human music machine!

Taylor Pfeiffer

A trailblazer in alt-country, Taylor Pfeiffer is a singer/songwriter banjoist, guitarist and yodeller. At 19, Taylor has gained airplay on Triple J, featured on national shows Spicks & Specks, Weekend Sunrise, The Voice, and Nashville’s Music City Roots, and performed with Lee Kernaghan, Troy Cassar-Daley, Beccy Cole, Kasey Chambers. In 2018, Taylor travelled to the US, attending an advanced banjo course presented by Béla Fleck and performing at the American Banjo Festival and Nashville’s iconic Bluebird Café.

Telenn Tri

Telenn Trii brings driving rhythms combined with the delicate sound of the harp, fiery fiddle and punchy accordion, to 'soothing the soul' and infectious dance music of the Celts. Featuring harp, piano accordion, Irish bouzouki, guitar and Scottish fiddle, Telenn Tri perform music from deep in the heart of Brittany, up to the Scottish highlands to give you a true taste of what Celtic music can be.

Theresa (Teri) Young. National Library of Australia guest for 2019

Teri Young is the National Library of Australia guest for 2019, in conversation and in concert with folklorist Rob Willis. Teri composes and performs simple and sincere music – songs about people, communities, death, love, and all things honest. She plays a cittern guitar and sings, telling the stories of people and place. Teri was the winner of the 2018 Alistair Hulett award for songs of social justice. Teri will be accompanied by Hamish Stevenson.

Tiffany Eckhardt

Award-winning songwriter Tiffany Eckhardt has written and recorded nine successful independent releases, and released her 10th album 'Found' in 2018. After moving to Tasmania four years ago, the album is mostly inspired by the natural environment, her animal friends and the human spirit. Global issues also creep into her songs. Tiffany plays with partner, guitarist Dave Steel, and Ross Smithard on fiddle and banjo. They are heartwarming performances to lift the human spirit.


Trioc is a collective of young Victorian instrumentalists performing Irish traditional music. They received the 2018 Peter J Daly Memorial Award in recognition of their previous National Folk Festival appearances.. Their repertoire includes jigs, reels, hornpipes and slow airs in inventive and sensitive arrangements. Trioc’s sound is at once earthy and ethereal, reflecting the band members’ respect for the torchbearers of the Irish musical tradition as well as their own unique musical vision.

Truman Smith Band

Truman Smith loves writing a good old-fashioned pop song, and he and his band know just how to deliver one. From vibin' tunes to sombre songs, his writing blends a love of classic melody-driven pop with fresh and folky flavour of production. Since teaming up with his band, Truman Smith's shows have been energetic and boisterous, which is balanced by the depth and colour of his new material.

Ukulele Republic of Canberra

The Ukulele Republic of Canberra is Canberra’s largest and longest-lived community music ukulele group. They meet three times a month and have an active performing group that has led the Ukulele Muster at the National Folk Festival for the past four years. They have more than a hundred active members and over the last decade have entertained audiences all over Australia, celebrating the beautiful little uke and its magic.

Verandah Band, The

Rob Willis, Olya Willis and Graham Seal play Australian traditional music and present associated traditions. Drawing from the rich folklore they have collected and researched they have delighted audiences at folk festivals and community events across the country and internationally.

VFMC Billabong Band

The Billabong Band is the Victorian Folk Music Club’s club band, the longest running bush band in Australia. They perform regularly, presenting both concerts and dances, including the traditional 'Woolshed Balls' twice each year.

Vila Navio (Port)

Vila Navio, the name of the artistic work of André Coelho Rodrigues presents the second album of original songs 'Ancoradouro' published in 2016. The album was reviewed by Songlines Magazine "Vila Navio has originality in mind and their quest for a different sound has been a successfull one". Musically this project is defined by the modernisation of the Portuguese traditional music involving elements of popular music with modern sonorities.

Worldly Goods Choir

Worldy Goods is a community choir led by Canberra cabaret artists Shortis and Simpson. The repertoire is music of many cultures, in many languages, and the choir regularly participates in Shortis and Simspon's more theatrical ventures. The choir turns 21 in 2019.


Hot stepping out from their local Canberra speakeasy Zackerbilks, are spreading their love of trad-dixieland jazz to the world. Join them on a high-energy musical journey that travels from the turn of the century to the 1940s. Dressed to impress this dapper eight-piece group will have your toes tapping as they play a mix of trad to modern with a vintage twist.