THE inaugural Folk by the Sea Festival will put Kiama on the map locally and globally.
The event, on September 27 to 29, will be beamed worldwide on VOXFM.
Hosted by the Illawarra Folk Club, it replaces the regular spring festival, Folk in the Foothills, which was held at Jamberoo Valley Lodge for the past nine years.
The temporary closure of that venue was an opportunity to create a different event.
Illawarra Folk Festival president Russell Hannah said they had been buoyed by support from the council and Kiama MP Kiama Gareth Ward, but the live broadcast on the Saturday was the "icing on the cake".
"That particular concert will include Celtic band Riogh, Enda and Lindsay, Wongawilly, Ted Egan, The Rusty Datsuns, Ami Williamson and Doctor Stovepipe, and we are expecting a big crowd to not only attend this event but the whole weekend," he said.
"We are particularly thrilled to have one of Australia's favourite folk entertainers, Ted Egan, coming again this year. "Ted, who lives in Alice Springs, is 88 years old, but is still a wonderful act."
The festival opens with a Family Bush Dance on Friday night, and will be held primarily in four main venues at the Kiama Showground precinct - three in The Pavilion and the fourth at Kiama Rugby Club. There will also be free fringe events at The Sebel Harbourside Kiama and Little Blowhole Café.
People will be able to camp at the venue, setting up a music village next to Surf Beach.
Mr Hannah said the variety of artists was amazing, and highlighted local artist Penny Hartgerink and her band The Mystics; Australian Idol winner Casey Donovan; Ami Williamson, daughter of legendary Australian artist John Williamson; Irish musician and songwriter Fintan Vellely; Queensland trio The Rusty Datsuns; well-known ABC radio presenter Nick Rheinburger; and Irish band Riogh.
Another festival highlight will be the free Sunday concert in Hindmarsh Park, with two performance stages operating alternately from 10am.
Apart from the Sunday concert and events at The Little Blowhole Café and The Sebel, entry to events over the weekend will be with weekend or individual tickets.
For more information go online to folkbythesea.com.au or call Kiama Visitors Centre on 1300 654 262.
■ See the Independent next week for more festival news.