Australian folk-rock icons The Waifs and one of Britain’s most prolific musicians, Billy Bragg, will headline the 2023 National Folk Festival at Exhibition Park at Easter.
The National Folk Festival has announced the first line-up of artists performing at this year’s event, which runs April 6-10, signing a suite of folk, blues and rock musicians from around the world.
The Waifs, best known for the hits 2002’s “London Still”, 2004’s “Bridal Train” and 2007’s “Sun Dirt Water”, supported Bob Dylan on his tour of Australia and North America in 2003. .
Singer and guitarist Vicki Thorne said the band recalled playing at the National Folk Festival in its early days.
“It was a very exciting time with the enthusiastic reception of the festival crowd,” she said. “We felt like we had found our place on the festival circuit. We are very happy to be back in 2023.”
Political activist and British singer-songwriter best known for his late 1980s hits, Bragg brings a musical tale of romance, politics and protest to the festival.
Other acts playing next year’s Easter long weekend include Canberra’s Fred Smith, Steve Poltz, Jan Preston, The Pigs, Tony McManus, Apodimi Compania and ARIA Award winner Kavisha Mazzella. included.
Also on the bill are U.S. Natalie and Brittany Haas, storytelling duo Wee Mavericks, and beloved local trio Keith Potger (formerly of The Seekers) and Moya Simpson and John Shortis. , which also includes British duo Chris Weil and Julie Matthews..
The festival will also feature many of the winners of this year’s Australian Folk Music Awards. Finch Charm – Contemporary Folk Music Album of the Year. Fred Smith – Solo Artist of the Year; The Lost Clogs – Community/Cultural Project of the Year. Hillbilly Goats – People’s Choice Award Winner.
Co-artistic directors Dave O’Neill and Jo Cresswell have assembled the 2023 line-up.
Cresswell was part of the administrative and artistic team during the festival’s early years in Canberra, while O’Neill served as artistic director from 2006 to 2012.
When they were not working for the festival, they were regular performers and volunteers.
O’Neill has performed with many Australian artists including Jimmy Burns, Eric Bogle, The Bushwhackers, Fred Smith and Enda Kenny.
Cressell currently directs the Celtic Arts Agency, leads walking/music/singing trips in France, directs the Charlotte Pass Celtic Music Camp with Dave, and hosts in-house singing events with guest teachers. doing.
They bring a unique blend of artistic and organizational innovation and brilliance to National.
National Folk Festival Board Chairman David Gilkes said the 2023 lineup offers something for everyone.
“Nash is one of Canberra’s most inclusive, amazing and vibrant events. Whether it’s your first festival or your 30th, we’re excited to have everyone join us,” said Gilkes. .
“More than 15,000 visitors flock to this event each year for the music, dance and spoken language, and to enjoy the markets, food and festive atmosphere of Gunnawal Country.
“Beyond the world-class performances on stage, the festival invites everyone to participate in children’s activities, music and dance workshops, and a renowned session bar.”
“We have a strong community of supportive, friendly and loyal people who come to us every year. Many have found a real community and look forward to coming back each year to see their friends.” said Gilks.
Tickets for the five-day event are on sale now.
Originally published on Riotact by Ian Bushnell.