40 Degrees South

40 Degrees South (formerly The Roaring Forties) is a Sydney-based group renowned since 1988 for the powerful impact they make singing unaccompanied folk songs. They have a shipload of traditional maritime songs and some fascinating contemporary compositions collected on trips abroad. Don Brian, Thomas Hanson, Chris Maltby and Margaret Walters are strong individual singers who choose robust songs telling of real people, their lives and work. Whatever they are singing, choruses, harmonies and wit abound.

Bluegrass Parkway

'Truly authentic' is the first idea that springs to mind when people see this incredibly experienced band strut their stuff. Bluegrass Parkway always has a great time on stage, leaving their audiences singing and laughing. Their single mic approach to traditional bluegrass is always a must-see ant any festival!

Bruce Cameron

An opportunity for presenters, artists and listeners to get together to talk about the folk music we hear on radio. The Broadcasters Forum is facilitated by Bruce Cameron, producer and presenter of 'Come All Ye' on 2MCE-FM community radio since 1976.

Bush Traditions Concert

This is a kind of soiree, one that is both a gathering and a concert. Hear some yarns, some songs and music in a relaxed community setting.

Dave de Hugard

Dave de Hugard has had a long and active interest in folk music and in the Australian musical tradition in particular. He has performed at both overseas and Australian festivals as a solo performer and as a member of The Larrikins. An avid collector, his considerable personal collection of field recordings is now in the process of being transferred to the National Library of Australia.

Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour. The PK Wrigley Skifflejuggers

Billy Bragg recently wrote about skiffle influences in the UK, but what about Australia? From early music hall through jug and skiffle bands to early rock and roll there are stories of ‘home-made music’ in Australia. Many are recorded for the National Library of Australia collection. The ‘PK Wrigley Skifflejuggers’ (Seal, Willis, Browne, Cooper, and Nightingale) will bring these songs and stories to life. Bring your voices or kazoo and join in – you will know them!

Don’t Be Too Polite Girls

Don’t Be Too Polite, Girls is commemorating fifty years since the High Court decision on equal pay. It is a concert of protest songs and songs of women’s experience including Glen Tomasetti's anthem for equal pay. Glen was one of the founders of the festival held in Melbourne over fifty years ago that became the National folk Festival. Concert includes Kate Burke, Jessie Lloyd and Chloe Roweth with Dale Dengate and Kerith Power.

Evergreen Ensemble

Evergreen Ensemble bridges the gap between folk music and baroque music. Known for their virtuosic programs bringing together the best of Australia's early music talent and folk icons, they weave stories back through time, rediscovering the sounds of folk melodies performed on period instruments. The group launched a second album, 'Snow in Summer', in Oct 2018 with a tour through Victoria and NSW.


Feeling powerless about the current direction of Australian and politics? Then come along and participate in FASCISIMO – an outrageous musical commentary on the country's lurch to the political right, adjudicated by the (dis)Hon Tony Abbutt.

Festival of Small Halls featuring The Once and John Flanagan

Woodfordia Inc in partnership with Port Fairy Folk Festival and National Folk Festival presents Festival of Small Halls Autumn 2019: Port Fairy to the National featuring The Once (CAN) and John Flanagan (AUS). Newfoundland has a storied history of stunning songwriters poets and players. Over the course of the last decade The Once have writ and knit themselves into that story. Award winning songwriter John Flanagan has been compared to James Taylor and Paul Kelly.

Festivals and Risk

Dr Andrew Mathieson worked for many years with Glastonbury Festival in the UK and travels widely working with events to advise on safe practice and minimising risk. Andrew will give a brief overview of risk and how it applies to events such as folk festivals and the session will then take the form of a Q&A.

Festivals Forum

How do you get a festival gig? Join organisers of festivals large and small in a discussion on how to apply for festivals, what organisers are looking for and an opportunity to ask questions. Facilitated by National Folk Festival Director Pam Merrigan.

Folk Alliance Australia

Folk Alliance Australia (FAA) is Australia's peak body for the promotion and development of our folk industry. Centre piece of FAA's NFF presentations is the FAA Youth Awards Showcase Concert featuring some of the best young performers from around Australia. You can also hear them at the Folk Rising. Saturday's workshop is designed to connect performers with folk industry practitioners.

Folk Fellowship Information Forum

Come along to our Folk Fellowship Forum and hear how you can apply for this prestigious $8,000 fellowship. This forum will provide information about the fellowship and an opportunity for a Q&A. Presenters will include past Folk Fellow awardees and members of the selection panel from National Library and National Folk Festival.

Geoffrey W Graham

Geoffrey is a raconteur and theatrical communicator. He has a real knack for weaving music, verse and theatre into emotional performances. He is originally from the bush – and, as they say "you can take the man out of the bush but..." People will attest that Geoffrey is full of it.

Greening Australia

Festivalgoers are invited to join the Greening Australia team to learn about bush tucker and how to grow native plants and, on Sunday they will present a special workshop just for the kids. Greening Australia books and merchandise will also be available from the Festival shop.

Loosely Woven

Loosely Woven is a group of 20 or so ad hoc singers and instrumentalists based in Sydney’s northern beaches who stage two to three public concerts each year just for the fun of it – no money involved! The concerts are strictly acoustic (no amplification) and consist of whatever the members want to include. On this occasion they take on Gilbert & Sullivan's wonderful Trial by Jury!

Maggie Somerville

Maggie Somerville has always loved poetry and music, as seen in her solo albums: ‘Roller-Coaster’ (2013) and ‘Baloney’ (2018), plus her joint album with Stephen Whiteside of C.J. Dennis poems, ‘The Two Bees’. She has just completed a Mary Gilmore album and produced a YouTube video of Gilmore’s famous poem, ‘No Foe Shall Gather Our Harvest’. Her next project is a John Shaw Neilson album. Maggie has also written poetry, some of it published.

Mr Tim and the Fuzzy Elbows

Mr Tim and the Fuzzy Elbows are for the inner child in everyone, inspired by The Muppets and Sesame Street ideals of sophisticated music with lyrics that connect to young people! With a family show full of spontaneous songs, comedy and witty music, all ages will enjoy this spellbinding mix of blues, folk, rock, country and what can only be described as an "hypnotic Transylvanian polka". Come see them and let them rock your world!

Potpourri of Poetry

Occasionally poets of varying species leave their tribes and come together to perform in their wildly (okay, sometimes mildly) differing poetic styles. Come and hear this collection of poets perform together in peaceful coexistence with Owen Bullock, Megan Roweth, Brojay, Frances Carleton and David Hallett.

Sandra Renew

Sandra's poetry includes a range of critique and commentary on issues such war, gun violence, questions of gender, refugees, gay and lesbian politics through exploration of the themes of border crossings and inclusion. Sandra has three chapbooks available through Ginninderra Press. In 2018 her poem 'Edit' was performed by Spineless Wonders in Sydney and in 2017 her poem 'Twenty Boats' was included in the poetry production of Under Sedation produced by Adele Chynoweth in Canberra.

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.

Solid State Circus

Solid State Circus are back with their high energy circus shows and, in conjunction with Corrugated Iron (NT) and Warehouse Circus (ACT) will deliver this year's Circus program. Expect daring stunts, naughty night capers and acrobatic feats to take your breath away. Catch these performers around the Festival site every day.


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.

Stephen Whiteside

Stephen Whiteside has been writing and performing poetry for many years. In 2015, his collection of poetry for children, The Billy That Died With Its Boots On, won 'Book of the Year' at the Australian Bush Laureate Awards. Stephen is a great admirer of the Australian poet C. J. Dennis, and President of the C. J Dennis Society. He has presented much of Dennis' work with the assistance of Geoffrey Graham and Maggie Somerville.

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.

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.