National Folk Festival Celebrates Cultural Diversity With First Artist Announcement by Kylie Cobb

Australia’s home and heart of folk for over 50 years, National Folk Festival today makes its first official lineup announcement for the 2019 Easter event featuring an incredibly diverse array of talent from all over Australia and the world.

Now in its 53rd year, the National is the longest running festival of its kind and looks set to make good on its promise to deliver ‘five days in a perfect world’ with today’s announcement including the inimitable, Irish Mythen (Canada), the UK’s award-winning Nancy Kerr with James Fagan, Australia’s Freya Hollick and Luke Plumb & Kate Burke plus a very exciting collaboration between the acclaimed Glenn Skuthorpe and Canada’s First Nations artists - The Homelands Tour.

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Everything You Need to Know About Australian Music Week by Tomika Steele

Australian Music Week today reveals its full 2019 live lineup and conference program making it a must for professionals, musicians and music fans who care about real music discovery, relevant industry discussions and good times with good people.

Set in Sydney’s beachside town of Cronulla 7-9 November, Australian Music Week features 150 live shows from more than 100 national and international acts, panels and masterclass workshops with over 40 industry experts, as well as a Music Film Festival (10-11 Nov).

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National Folk Festival Gives First Lineup Teaser for 2019 by Kylie Cobb

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Australia’s home and heart of folk for over 50 years, the National Folk Festival today announced a special lineup teaser for the 2019 event, which takes place in the nation’s capital, Canberra over the Easter long weekend, 18-22 April.

The first six artists revealed include the inimitable Irish born Canadian Irish Mythen, who is fast becoming an adopted Aussie, Scottish celtic-rockers, Manran, young, third-generation singer-songwriter, Lucy Wise, Australiana favourites for over 20 years, Penny Davies & Roger Ilott, the best a cappella comic trio in the country, The Ballpoint Penguins and popular Canberran bluegrass outfit, Black Mountain String Band.

Now in its 52nd year, the National Folk Festival is the longest running festival of its kind and looks set to make good on its promise to deliver five days in a perfect world next Easter.

“We are very excited to launch 2019’s program with these phenomenal festival favourites,” said National Folk Festival director, Pam Merrigan.

“The National is a world-class event where performers, music lovers and volunteers come together year-on-year to discover, share and engage in the exciting world of folk.

“Folk culture is so much more than what people often think it to be. Folk music touches on a full spectrum of genres from roots, acoustic and world to bluegrass, trad, country, rock and blues. The arts component has people engaged in spoken word, dancing, craft, music workshops and inspiring installations.

“And, combined with the relaxed, community-minded atmosphere, folk festivals are such a positive, enriching alternative to mainstream music culture. That’s why they’re more popular than ever,” she said.

With more than 750 shows throughout 20 venues over its five days, a kids festival, themed bars, food and market stalls, roving entertainment and an engaging, multi-discipline arts program, its easy to see why National Folk Festival is one of Australia’s favourite and longest running folk festivals.

Early-bird tickets are on sale now at folkfestival.org.


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Woodfordia Brings Regional Small Halls Back to Life by Kylie Cobb

Once the epicentre of regional town life, Australia’s special small halls are again coming to life thanks to the country’s largest dedicated regional music tour, Festival of Small Halls. Touring over 80 regional Australian halls every year, Festival of Small Halls brings the best in contemporary folk and acoustic music for Autumn, Spring and Summer tours, each featuring a well-known homegrown artist and renowned international act.

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EAST MEETS WEST ON INNESSA'S SPELLBINDING SINGLE 'GOLDEN WREATH' by Tomika Steele

Establishing herself in the Australian folk festival scene, Sunshine Coast songstress, Innessa, has found her niche infusing alternative folk with Eastern-European influences on her spellbinding new single, Golden Wreath, out 4 May.

Publishing her first poem in her native Russia at 12 years old, Innessa's whimsical way with words has more recently earned her a finalist spot in the 2017 Queensland Music Awards, seen her release three studio albums, and perform at some of Australia's biggest folk festivals including Woodford.

Drawing on her Russian roots and experiences travelling the Western world, Innessa's music is a magical doorway where East meets West - uniting cultures and eras using traditional instruments such as guitar, cello, violin and the Russian balalaika in modern ways.

"That feeling of East-meets-West, when different cultures come together, that's what my music is all about; celebrating the elements that make our cultures unique, and infusing these to create something multi-dimensional. It's all about connection," said Innessa. 

Inspired by an old Russian Folk custom, Golden Wreath recounts the journey of a young woman carrying a wreath in search of a husband, later placing it on the shoulder of the man she likes. With the wreath a symbol of dreams and desires, Innessa's spellbinding tune is a reminder to walk with purpose; to follow your true destiny. 

"Golden Wreath is very meaningful to me as a musician overcoming obstacles to follow my dream." 

"When I moved to Australia I basically started all over again, which was challenging. I learnt to speak and write songs in English, adapt to cultural differences and became a mother. Golden Wreath is my musical anchor - it pushes me to keep climbing mountains until I reach my sunrise."

The accompanying music video, filmed against the picturesque backdrop of the Sunshine Coast’s Glass House Mountains, sees Innessa bring the Russian folk custom to life as she makes, releases and then follows her wreath, overcoming obstacles to reach her peak. Drawing further inspiration from Eastern Europe’s Kupala Day, the video also features traditions of fire jumping, wreath making and Russian attire. 

With plans to release an album later this year, Innessa is excited to share her enigmatic new sound and bring people from all walks of life and backgrounds together.

Innessa launches her new single, Golden Wreath, at the Russian Club in Brisbane on 27 May. Tickets on sale now. Golden Wreath is available through all digital outlets Friday 4 May.


'GOLDEN WREATH' LAUNCH SHOWS

19 May | Vianta Cafe | Sunshine Coast, QLD
20 May | Folk Redlands | Brisbane, QLD
27 May | The Russian Club | Brisbane, QLD (official launch)


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CONTACT

Kylie Cobb | Kitty Kitty Bang Bang | +61 402 434 523 | powerup@kittykittybangbang.com.au

SYDNEY SONGSTRESS BREAKS FREE FROM BETRAYAL ON NEW SINGLE by Tomika Steele

Sydney multi-instrumentalist Jess Spahr delivers a wonderful contradiction in new single Betray Me, weaving dark tales of betrayal and deception around ethereal, dreamy pop soundscapes.

Selling out her debut show in Sydney last year and recently announced to support Canadian roots rocker, Terra Lightfoot, Jess is ready to bring her new music to an even bigger audience with her single launch set to take over Django Bar, Thursday 19 April.

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CANADIAN FOLK-POP TRIO SHAPE-SHIFT DOWN UNDER by Tomika Steele

Critically acclaimed Canadian folk-pop trio, Good Lovelies bring their powerful harmonies to Antipodean shores this March and April to celebrate the release of their 8th independent studio album, Shapeshifters, out now. 

Joined by The Waif's David Ross Macdonald on drums and celebrated Canadian MJ Dandeneau on upright bass, Good Lovelies have 12 special appearances coming up at Australia's premier National Folk Festival in Canberra, Blue Mountains Music Festival, Yackandandah Folk Festival, as well as sideshows throughout NSW and Victoria.

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NEW ELECTRO POP BANGER GUARANTEED TO DELIVER JOY by Tomika Steele

Gold Coast indie pop duo, Banks Of The Beautiful deliver big 23 March with brand new single 'Joy', the second official offering from their debut album, Unscheduled Departure, due out later this year.

A promising follow up to Favourite, which landed at #51 on the iTunes pop charts, Joy delivers driving beats and soaring synths over bouncing electronica that could lift even the heaviest of hearts with its moving melodies, lyrics and strong pop sensibility.

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"CRAZYLEGS" MACKEEMAN IS BACK BIG TIME FOR AUSTRALIAN FOLK FESTIVAL SEASON by Tomika Steele

For their third Australian tour, multi award-winning Canadian bluesgrass act, Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys are set to bring some "CrazyLegs" magic to premier folk festivals and venues across the country this March.

Amongst Nannup, Port Fairy, Yackandandah, Blue Mountains and The National Folk Festival appearances, Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys are performing at venues across Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, 1-31 March.

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REVERED BLUESMAN REVISITS DARK PAST WITH NEW SINGLE, TIME AGAIN by Kylie Cobb

Gold Coast’s blues rock powerhouse Mason Rack Band are set to release and tour their first ever stand alone single Time Again this February, a powerful, emotionally charged blues number reflecting on Mason’s troubled past of drug addiction, prison-time and heartache.

With 16 years touring experience and three studio albums under their belts, 2018 marks a much anticipated milestone for the three-piece with this new single, to be followed by a fourth studio album recorded with Brad Hosking of Blind Boy Studios (Amy Shark).

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