2018 Illawarra Folk Festival schedule

Organisers have finalised the schedule for the 142 acts performing at the 33rd Illawarra Folk Festival at Bulli Showground in January.

Headliners like singer-songwriter Eric Bogle, The Go Set, reggae ragers The Protesters, Mikelangelo the Balkan Elvis, revered Irish songstress Eleanor McEvoy , US country music star Kevin Welch and leading Irish traditional band Breaking Trad all have multiple gigs over the four days of the festival from January 18 – 21.

As always, the headliners will be featured on the main stage at the Black Diamond Marquee at least once, as well as playing some of the festival’s more intimate venues.

“We like to give performers the chance to play in different settings,” festival artistic director David De Santi said.

“It makes it more interesting for them, and more interesting for their audiences. For example it will be a very different experience watching Eleanor McEvoy up close and personal at The Chapel on Friday evening, compared to her shows on the main stage at the Black Diamond Marquee, which seats hundreds of people.

“And of course in a festival as big as this there are always performance times that clash, so by scheduling the main acts on multiple occasions, people have the chance to plan their festival and work out how they are going to get around and see as many acts as possible.”

McEvoy will play at the Chapel on Friday night, the Black Diamond Marquee on Saturday afternoon and the Slacky Flat Bar on Sunday lunchtime, as well as featuring in the Funny Songs show on Sunday morning.

Australia’s favourite folk singer Eric Bogle will play on Friday night at Black Diamond Marquee, Saturday night at The Chapel and Sunday afternoon at The Black Diamond Marquee. He is also involved in three other shows featuring a variety of performers throughout the festival.

However, Tamworth Country Music Festival Golden Guitar winner Darren Coggan, who now calls the Illawarra home, is the exception. Coggan will be the star attraction on the festival’s opening night, Thursday January 18 – his only appearance at the festival.

“Darren is a great act for our opening charity fundraising night,” Mr De Santi said.

“He is probably best-known for his tribute shows featuring the music of Cat Stevens and James Taylor, and his time performing in Shout, the musical about Johnny O’Keeffe, and but last year he was named Australian Vocalist of the Year at the Australian Celtic Music Awards, so he has many strings to his bow.”

De Santi described the four-day festival as a “smorgasbord of musicians, singers, bands, poets, comedians and dancers, with something for everyone”.

“The great thing about the Illawarra Folk Festival has always been the incredible diversity, and this festival will be no different. We are very happy with both the quality of the performers, and the variety of acts,” Mr De Santi said.

The full festival program will be available in print and online early in January.

Mr De Santi said the Early Bird ticket offer for $150, which saves $145 on a four-day ticket, ends on December 23. Bookings at www.illawarrafolkfestival.com.au 


Breaking Trad (Ireland), Dan Walsh (UK), Edgelarks (Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin) (UK), Eleanor McEvoy (Ireland), Faith i Branko (Eastern Europe), George Mann (USA), Himmerland with Mairi Campbell (Denmark/Scotland), Josefina Paulson & Jonas Åkerlund, (Sweden), Ken Field's Hoot Band (USA), Kevin Welch (USA), Maggie Carty & Máirtín Staunton (Ireland), Naranjarte (Spain), Oi Dipnoi (Italy), Scott Cook and the Second Chances (Canada), Steve Turner (UK), The Beez (Germany), The Small Glories (Canada).


Eric Bogle, The Balkan Elvis (Mikelangelo), Cass Eager, Darren Coggan, Taiko no Wa, The Go Set, The Protesters plus Albion Fair Morris, Baz Cooper, Black Bear Duo, Black Joak Morris, Brian Bell, Bush Music Club, Christopher Shaw, Claire Anne Taylor, Combined Union Choirs, Den Hanrahan & The Rum Runners, Devil on the Rooftop, Dom, Ella Belfanti, Franké, Glover & Sorrensen, Golden Whistler, Good Tunes, Greshka, Handsome Young Strangers, Honey & Knives, Jane Germain Duo, John Broomhall, Karen Law and Family, Lagoon Hill Zydeco, Lisa Couper, Little Foot, Lizzie Flynn & The Reckoning, Margaret Walters, Maurie Mulheron & Pat Craigie, Maypole with Molly, Merry Widows Unplugged, Michael-John Azzopardi, Nick Charles, Nick Rheinberger, Noel Gardner & Alex Bridge, Paddy McHugh, Peter Mace, Peter Willey, Richard Perso, Robyn Sykes, Rusty & The Saint, Santa Taranta, Shanty Club, Shelley's Murder Boys, Snez, Sydney English Country Dance, The Button Collective, The Grenadiers, The Honey Drippin' Mudskippers, The Northern Folk, The Raglins, The Royal High Jinx, The Scrims, The Simon Kerr Perspective, The Ten Quid Poms, Ti-li-li-li, Wally Byrne, Zumpa.


Alex Sreckovic, Atef and Sako, Az-I-Am, Beatmeisters, Big Erle, Carefree Road Band, Chord-eaux, Cinnamon Twist Belly Dance, Circus Wow, Cranky Franky, Curious Rendition Orchestra, Egypsy, Erika Steller and Fiona Davis Yoga, Gobsmacked!, Heart to Heart Storytelling, Irish Famine, Jackie Dee,  Jimmy & Shay, John Nichols & Wolfgang Kloger, Josh C Music, Kala Ilango, Kay Proudlove, Kenny Bartley, Kevin Sullivan, King and Queen of Green, Laney and friends, Lizzie Bennet, Love In the Jungle, Meridian, mUKEas, Murmur, No Such Thing, Roger Gordon Fyfe, Silver Lotus Tribal Bellydance, SingGongGo, Southern Gentlemen, Swing Booty, The Calamities, The Capricornia Project, The Con Artists, The Groove, The Humphreys, The Scratchies, The Steampunk Vagabonds, The Swingaleles, The Water Runners, Vic Janko Orkestar, Wolf Gordon, Zlatkos Balkan Cabaret.


Claire Doherty, Dear Violet, Fergus Bailey, Folkaphonic Youth Orchestra, James and Jackson, Little Glory, Paddy & The Wonderband, Shalani Thomas, The Bowhemians, Tim Lukey, Zingara.


Early Bird 4-day passes tickets are now available on the festival website www.illawarrafolkfestival.com.au 

Save $145 with a 4-day Season Pass (entry for 4 days) with the Early Bird offer of $150. Offer ends 23 December 2017. Other prices include: 2 Day Weekend Pass $150 | Thursday $30 | Friday $85 | Saturday $95 | Sunday $85. Child U12 free. Evening and youth prices available.

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