SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH AT ARC
The festival kicked off on Friday night at the Art Resource Collective (ARC) in Yinnar. The ARC Switchroom is a cosy venue with superb acoustics and as things warmed up, the tables were moved out and there was standing room only!
Performing at the launch was Lauren Taylor, with her guitar, some original acoustic pop tunes and accompanied by her father Andy, also on guitar.
Borderline – made up of three experienced musicians Dan Boothman, Terry Cupples and Carolyne Boothman, performed a wide range of songs with a bluegrass and old time flavour.
Nigella and the Celtic Rhythms is a recently formed local act that performs traditional Celtic tunes and songs from Ireland, Scotland and England. Jigs, reels, airs, laments and rollicking songs of roving and rebellion from years past were rendered with authenticity.
In Spite of Ourselves – a 3-piece group began as a “one off” support act for the Gippsland Acoustic Music Club. Based in Tyers, the group’s repertoire has grown to include acoustic folk and contemporary music, jazz, blues and electric party and rock music.
A PERFECT FESTIVAL DAY
Once again the festival proved a huge success with an estimated 7,000 people visiting Boolarra to enjoy the music, atmosphere, markets, food and catching up with friends. We were blessed with absolutely perfect weather for our 9th festival with sunlight filtering through the trees on all the festival goers.
It was a wonderful sight to look across the crowd to see couples enjoying a glass of w
ine, friends sitting together in their camp chairs, old mingling with young, picnic rugs strewn with programs, snacks and clothes, children
dancing and rolling around in the grass, – a great family atmosphere. The highlight of the festival, the music, was very well received with people coming and going from the park area as it suited them throughout the day.
The day’s entertainment kicked off with the School Drumming, led by Steve Shultz, followed by the sweet harmonies of Boolarra girls, Shelly and Jess McGrath along with Bronte Den Toom.
Jenny Biddle was a popular act with such an expressive face and sensational guitar talent. Jenny generously appeared at both pre and post festival events to rapturous applause. The Molly Maguires played set after set of Irish toe tapping tunes whilst fans of The Go Set could be seen dancing to their punk/folk/rock sound and celebrating the close of the festival.
As always the variety of music meant there was something for everyone to enjoy. From the bluegrass/folk feel of The Stetson Family and John Flanagan and the Begin Agains, to the psychedelic/country rock from singer-songwriter Kristian Mizzi and his five-piece band the Sirens. The many blues fans were spoiled for choice and kicked back to enjoy The Powerhouse Blues Band playing a variety of originals and standards, while JC Apthorpe’s high energy acoustic sound and the soulful, intense rhythm of Brody Young left the crowd wanting more. The up-tempo sound from Takin’ Time and Susan’s beautiful singing voice was very popular as was the folk/rock/pop music of The Buttons. Lloyd Bosch wowed the crowd as his folk-thick vocals, rustic strumming and ethereal chords merge and split through his performance.
The Open Mic Event on Saturday night at the Boolarra Football/Netball Club also proved very popular, with budding artists full of inspiration from the festival performing a variety of music. The tables were all full and the audience were very encouraging of the new talent performing on the night. Keep up the
good work and see you at the festival next year!
More caravans and campers than ever before set up their temporary homes, with many travellers making a detour after hearing about the festival as they made their way through Gippsland. After having such a wonderful time, many intend to make it an annual event and we look forward to their company in our beautiful town again.
Kristy Mills has taken on the role of Market Coordinator this year and her organization of the ever increasing number of stalls was very well done. Darren Cornell, a new committee member in the role of Logistics Co-ordinator, worked tirelessly from dawn until dusk with his band of helpers to keep everything running smoothly. Well done all of you for your contribution to making the day run so smoothly.
Festival President, Ray Stewart was kept very busy catching up with many people from as far afield as Ballarat, Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland.
One of the most pleasing aspects for the committee would have to be the increase in the amount of volunteer assistance this year. Volunteers staffed the wine tents, directed traffic, collected donations and sold programs amongst other vital tasks and again, thank you all for your efforts in making the festival such a success.
The committee must also thank our many wonderful sponsors: International Power – Loy Yang B and Hazelwood, Mirboo North branch of the Bendigo Bank, GippsTAFE, Destination Gippsland, Latrobe City, Victorian Government, Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority, Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, Gippsland Water, Russell Northe MLA, A & P Electronics, Young Signs, J W & H L O’Connor Pty Ltd, Latrobe Valley Bus Lines, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Churchill Lions Club and Boolarra Community Development Group. Without these generous sponsors, there would simply be no festival!
Special thanks go to the Gleeson family who generously allowed us to use their farm paddock for car parking.
Thank you also to the wider community for supporting the day in such large numbers. The festival is an important event in our local and regional calendar and next year’s celebration of the 10th anniversary of the festival will be
bigger and better than ever.
Anyone who would like to get involved in the staging of the festival is asked to contact Ray Stewart on 5169 6275 or take a look at www.boolarrafolkfestival.com for more information.