Feb 18, 2020

The 54th National Folk Festival will be held at Exhibition Park in Canberra from 9-13 April expecting more than 40,000 thousand festivalgoers over the Easter long weekend.

“The National” or “The Folkie”, as it is affectionately known, is a stalwart of the national cultural calendar. The Festival brings together people from all walks of life to enjoy in “Five Days in a Perfect World” whether they are young or old, locals or visitors, musicians or music lovers. There is no better example of this ethos than with the 2020 programme.

The 2020 Festival will present over 200 acts in 16 venues including a dedicated kids festival, a smorgasbord of street food and artisan stallholders, a new Community Co-op workshop program sharing ideas around sustainability, health and wellbeing, Canberra-based beer by Bentspoke Brewery Co. (including the exclusively brewed “BentFolk” beer), local wine courtesy of Lerida Estate, an array of street and circus performances, and so much more.

An impressive 29 international acts from across the globe will be performing at this year’s Festival such as roots and blues songstress Kyshona (USA), new-wave folk quintet Elephant Sessions (SCOT), BBC Radio “Folk Singer of the Year” Jon Boden (UK), and all-female Māori roots and dance ensemble Māmā Mihirangi & the Māreikura (NZ).

These international headliners will join an all-star cast of local and national acts including indigenous songwriters such as Stiff Gins, and Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse, country royalty Henry Wagons, Central Coast alt-pop trio Little Quirks, and Festival Youth Ambassador and Canberra favourite Lucy Sugerman. This selection of international and Australia performers only scratches the surface of this year’s immense and diverse programme.

A poignant addition to this year’s festival comes in a heartfelt response to this summer’s devastating tragedies. The Festival has reached out to support fire-affected Folk Festivals at this year’s event with a host of relief and fundraising efforts. The popular Fitzroy Pavilion venue will be renamed the “Hope for Folk” Stage with 100% of proceeds from the adjoining bar going to the Cobargo, Nariel Creek and Numeralla folk communities. On Saturday of the Festival there will be a “Hope for Folk” Concert featuring performers who were originally programmed for these affected Folk Festivals. Additionally, merchandise from these communities will be on sale at the venue and volunteers will be collecting donations for Cobargo, Nariel Creek and Numeralla.

Helen Roben, Managing Director of National Folk Festival says, “there has never been a better time to come to The National. Whether it’s your first time or your fiftieth, whether you only check it out for a day or camp throughout the weekend, it’s an amazing experience with so many elements to explore. You don’t have to be a “folkie” to enjoy the Folk Festival!”

With over 50% of festival attendees coming from outside Canberra, last year’s Festival injected a whopping $4.3 million into the local economy. Tickets are selling fast for this year’s event with no signs of slowing down, truly cementing the National Folk Festival as “Australia’s Home and Heart of Folk for over 50 years”.

The 2020 Festival online programme will be available from Thursday 20 February, access it at

For informational about ticketing, please head to

For media enquiries and interviews, please contact Helen Roben at or 02 6262 4792.