National Folk Festival 2014
Easter - Friday 18th to Monday 21st April.
Settlers Sessions in the Session Bar
These sessions have been running for 11 years. Last year at least a hundred musicians came over the three days. Another book of tunes plus CD, the 7th in this series, is ready. This takes the total number of tunes treated in this way to about 450.
Bush Band and Farewell Dance
This is for musicians who would like to join in for the Farewell Dance on Monday. Ray has organised callers, a program and the music (available here). There will be practice sessions each day from 12.30 - 1.30 up on The Terrace.
This is a 90 minute concert in The Bally on Sunday 5.00 - 6.30pm.
Festival Bush Orchestra.
Dave Johnson has arranged some beaut collected tunes into parts to inspire and challenge festival musicians. You need to be a competent sight reader or have a quick ear for this activity. There are rehearsals each day up in The Terrace from 2.30 - 3.30 (so you do need to commit to being consistently there) and then on the Monday we have a concert spot in the Trocadero from 5.00 till 5.30 to show off what we have achieved.
The music is available for download.
Singing Session in the Bar.
Since the last National Dennis O'Keeffe passed away but the tradition he has established will continue with the Bush Music Club running them on Friday, Saturday and Monday.
These "slow sessions" are run by Moir Holmes and Alan Swift and families in the Session Bar from 8.30 - 10.30 am each day. Tunes are displayed on a screen and the tempo is slow to enable beginners to enjoy the experience too. Moir includes many collected tunes in her list.
These "kids sessions" are run by the Bush Music Club to encourage young musicians to explore some bush songs and bush tunes. Tunes are presented in basic, easy and extended forms to cater for different abilities. It will be available at the sessions each day from 1.00 - 1.40 pm in the Bite Size Circus. The Saplings will also play for a short dance on Friday at 5.30 also in the Bite Size Circus.
Sixth Bundanoon DanceFest 2014
Friday 6th to Monday 9th June Queens Birthday Long Weekend.
The programme is being assembled from the offerings of our wonderful callers (details up soon after the National!).
Accommodation should be booked early to avoid disappoinment. Last year's information has not yet been updated with availability so try your luck. The YHA is not reserved for DanceFest patrons this year.
All the venues are booked for the weekend and there are no problems with availability.
Last year's programme and callers profiles are there to show the style of things to expect.
9th Goulburn Gathering 2014
The ninth Gathering will held again in October at the Old Goulburn Brewery over the long weekend.
This year is the 60th Anniversary of the Bush Music Club and so much of the programme will focus on this. There'll be special guests, workshops, concerts that feature the oldest folk music club in Australia.
8th Goulburn Gathering 2013
The eighth Gathering was held at the Old Goulburn Brewery over the October long weekend.
Some of the feedback. And a gallery of pictures from Sharyn Mattern
- A big thank you to Bush Traditions and everyone who did the preliminary organisation to ensure the Goulburn Gathering proceeded. It was a first for Gene and myself but hopefully it won't be the last. We were so, so impressed by the wonderful spirit prevailing at the Sunday night ceilidh. We felt as though we were among old friends. Tony Smith (near Bathurst)
- Thanks again for the superb weekend at Goulburn. Harry Gardner (Melbourne)
- Thanks again for another very successful Goulburn weekend....and, in particular, for slotting in the ABC intro for us.
Tony Romeo (Shell Cove)
- Great Weekend again. Thanks Dave Bill
- And an amusing one from Helen Romeo as she arrived "Thanks for a great weekend Dave. I know it is going to be so I thought I'd get in early!"
Fifth Bundanoon DanceFest 2013
June saw the fifth DanceFest at Bundanoon where dancers, callers and musicians assembled for a weekend of "unsurpassed dancing bliss".
- Loved the music as much as the dancing! I could have just sat and listened to the music and been equally as happy.
I was raised on 600 acres in what I call country but have never seen anything like what I saw this weekend. It was amazing. It was fabulous!
Many thanks to one and all Ray, fabulous couple of days for me and the people, just beautiful people.
- I'd just like to say how much I enjoyed the Bundanoon weekend. It was a great privilege to run a workshop and do some calling, especially with such a good group of dancers. I was also delighted to be working with the Strutts for the music and they have offered to work with me in the future which is a great honour. I realise that people like you do have to put in a lot of hard work in order for these things to function - it is appreciated.
- Hi Ray and Dave,
Well I enjoyed myself and thanks for all your hard work.
- Thanks for inviting us to be part of another outstanding Bundanoon
DanceFest. Like a top shelf wine it just keeps on improving. Truly the
"Penfold's Grange" of dance events.
Paul and Leslie Carr
- Gene and I had a great time at Bundanoon. Thank you very much for all the organisational work. I'm sure that the various volunteers got a round of appreciation but in my opinion, never enough!
- Well what a great weekend that was. Good to see so many new faces and younger ones getting into it too. When I was playing along with Bob McInnes for the Scottish section he came up with a few of my long forgotten favourites from away back.
Mont (Bill Montgomery)
- It was a lovely weekend, I had a great time with the Craft Circle & their friends & relatives at the front door! And, as always it was a pleasure to watch the workshops & dances.
Put aside any concerns about 2014 - the DanceFest will be on again with the full cooperation of the Bundanoon community.
Seventh Goulburn Gathering 2012
The seventh Gathering happened at the Old Goulburn Brewery over the October long weekend. The weather provided a clear test of character on Friday and Saturday with 30mm rain and strong winds, which kept camping numbers a bit low.However, the number of folk who turned out was the best to date. They reportedly had a good time.
Wayne RIchmond took lots of photos which can be viewed here.
The Gathering is the Bush Traditions event for sharing and passing on music, song, poetry and dance in sessions, sing-a-longs and workshops. The dance in town on Saturday evening as part of Goulburn's Lilac Festival was well attended with a good representation of regionals from Canberra, Sydney and the Illawarra, as well as a pleasing number of locals.
- Features this year were some great workshops by Cath Ovenden, Barry McDonald and Wendy Hodgins who led and taught a bunch of tunes collected from Joe Yates, Stan Treacy & Charlie Bachelor and others.
- Chris Sullivan hosted a couple of workshops where he spoke of his experiences collecting tunes from across the Eastern Seaboard of Australia, from Queensland to Victoria.
- Margaret & Bob Fagan presented Songs of the Battlers,
- Jason and Cloe Roweth gave some insights into how they achieve their formidable arrangements,
- Eric Eisler & Sam O'Brien introduced Tunes from the Nulla that Sam has been busy transcribing,
- Dave Johnson and the local Goulburn musicians presented local tunes and a range of songs and
- Bob Campbell showed the Irish influence on his fiddling style.
- Southern Cross stalwarts Helen and Tony Romeo were busy all weekend reciting poetry, playing dance music, running a percussion workshop and leading a sing-along.
- Don Richmond, Peter Ellis and Sandra Martens spearheaded the dance programme with workshops and calling at the evening functions.
- Alan Swift led a Yarn Session that covered topics from woodwork to crochet, and
- Keith Brown regaled us with tales of steam trains.
- Carole Helman, Moir Holmes, No Such Thing and Ray Mulligan led tune sessions that resounded beautifully off the old stone walls of the Brewery.
The format for the Gathering saw a few additions this year.
- Firstly there was a Bush Poets Concert on the Friday night that was hosted by Laurie McDonald and Mike Delaney. It was deemed a success and plans are already in hand for casting the net wider to expand this valuable aspect of the weekend.
- Secondly, Bill Arnett put up a large tent in the paddock to be a focus for community activities among the campers. This time Bush Traditions hired a BBQ and anyone who wanted was able to cook breakfast, lunch and tea for themselves. Bill’s setup proved to be robust when wind and rain tested.
- Thirdly, Alan Johnson suggested that we dig a hole, bring wood and have a fire. This fire formed a focus for activities in the paddock and Alan produced first a couple of camp ovens, some makings and cooked a meal for those who wanted one; all this while we watched the full moon rise over Lansdowne Park the home of the Bradley family, the same people who built the Brewery in the 1830s.
- Fourthly, photographer Andrew Johnson spent some 15 hours video recording a number of the attendees in a quiet spot within the brewery's southern wing. This was followed by 30 hours of editing and the outcome is a remarkable set of videos that should be an effective way to promote Australia's folk heritage.
|Belmore Park Lilac Time Concert 2011 - some photos from Ann Young - Bush Dance Display Group from ACT doing a participation dance and Claire Doherty and Dave Johnson playing a tune together on fiddles
Bronwyn Underwood, Jim Gambling, Ann Young, Wendy and Don Richmond composed this dance to the melody Boozing Jolly-well Boozing at the 2011 Gathering.
Lines of 3 dancers, (1 center of the room person, 2 middle of line, 3 outside person) facing anti-clockwise. Progressive.
1 - 8 Everyone set and turn single. Repeat.
9 - 12 All join hands along the line. 1 and 2 make arch with their inside hand - outside person (3) waltzes around 2 going under the arch
13 – 14 middle (2) follows under
15 – 16 centre (1) turns in under the arch and around
17 – 22 all waltz 2 backwards, 1 forward, 1 backward, 2 forwards
23 person 3 honours to person 2
24 person 2 honours in return
25 – 32 1 and 2 make one arch with inside hands and person 3 waltzes in front of the line, under the arch and into place 1 in the line behind.
Fourth Bundanoon DanceFest 2012
National Folk Festival 2012
- The Settler Sessions happened again in the Session Bar at 11.00am every day of the Festival with about 40 musicians in attendance each day. Dave Johnson and Ray Mulligan were the main leaders with Chris Sullivan and Peter Ellis providing some welcome guest spots as well.
Festival Bush Orchestra
- Despite a litany of venue hassles, the Festival Bush Orchestra massaged some old bush tunes and contemporary tunes into a five and a half minute spot at the Festival Final Concert in the Budawang. The group was ably led by James Johnson.
- Comments heard afterwards:
Thanks for making us work hard. It was worth it. (paraphrasing several musicians)
That was excellent - nice arrangements with plenty of energy - and you stuck to the time allocated (paraphrasing Dave O'Neill, Festival Programme Director)
- Sessions in the bar varied from night to night as they do. It was interesting to hear tunes that were practised in the mornings being given a go in the evening. All in all some great sessions.
Sixth Goulburn Gathering 2011
Another great weekend of traditional Australian music, dance, poetry, songs and general good fun.
- The Saturday Bush Dance held in conjunction with Lilac Time was a roaring success. It was held in St Saviour's Hall and a good crowd enjoyed dancing to the musicians from the festival with callers Don Richmond and Sandie Martens.
- No Such Thing with John Harpley presented a brilliant workshop on legendary fiddler, Eileen McCoy;
- Cath Ovenden came all the way from Queensland to share her interpretations of traditional Australian fiddle players;
- Bob Foggin's tribute to the music of his father kept the audience spellbound;
- Alan Swift encouraged personal anecdotes, to remind us of the importance of our own personal folklore;
- Chris Woodland briefly explored the Australian Idiom and showed us that this topic warrants further workshops in the future; Peter Ellis and Stuart Simms came from Victoria and contributed valuable ideas on playing for dances;
- Sam O'Brien and Eric Eisler introduced some lovely tunes from NZ fiddler Charlie Montgomery; and
- Ian Baxter presented a fitting tribute to Crookwell band leader and musician John Warn.
- The Sunday Night Dinner Dance and Concert initiated last year has become a favourite with its mix of song, poetry and dance.
Third Bundanoon DanceFest 2011
- Thank you so much for another magical weekend of music and dance. By the way, our Scottish friends who came are working on a return trip to Australia which will include your weekend. They were sooooooooooooo impressed! Thanks again for the best dance festival in this country! Margaret & Bill Winnett
- Thank you very much for all your work preparing and running the dancefest last weekend. Chantal and I had a fine time – the dancing and music were great, the glowworms were glowing, even the weather was conducive to being indoors and dancing. Geoff Lau
- Thank you Dave for arranging a great weekend at Bundanoon. My friend & I travelled down from the Blue Mouontains & enjoyed the whole weekend. Robyn & Connie
- Thanks for another fantastic Bunders. I was very glad we could make it. In fact, we had such a great time, Cam and I decided, while we were there, to get married. We didn't tell anyone at the time because the idea was still sinking in, but now we are letting people know. Jeanette Mill
- Thank you, and congratulations on another wonderful long weekend of dance. It was simply fabulous and Richard and I both loved it.
Do the musicians realise how much they are appreciated by the dancers? Probably not. They are amazing! And the interaction between musicians and dancers is - as Margaret Winnett said - very special and quite wonderful. Just as the musicians were packing up after the ball, a couple of dancers set off on a silent waltz around the hall. Bob McInnes pulled out his fiddle again and played for them. How good is that! A triumph! Our thanks, again. Robyn and Richard Graylin
- Greetings from Zargrab.
So glad Bunders was another great sucess. Barbara and Lance Court
- Just a wee quick email to say how much we enjoyed the weekend. We came as Irish Set dancers and went home with more skills and dances than we could believe possible. It was wonderful and the atmosphere was fantastic. I have not smiled so much in a long time. Ian and Audrey McLaren, Paisley, Scotland
- Just a quick note to say thank you for another awesome weekend.
Leslie and I clocked up 28 hours of dancing and I suspect it will take longer to wipe the smiles off our faces than it will for our aching calf muscles to recover. Paul and Leslie Carr
- Thank you so much much for you efforts over the dance weekend. I enjoyed playing guitar for the Primary school dance.You engaged the kids beautifully. I enjoyed playing for the ball and accompanying the wonderful musical leaders. Ray Martin
- THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to all the musicians, callers and organisers for a wonderful weekend. Don't change a thing! It's a perfect way to spend a weekend enjoying dance, music and each other's enthusiasm, talent & company. Fran Robertson
- We had a fantastic long weekend focussed on playing a variety of dance music for enthusiastic dancers, and we enjoyed some great dancing too. Look forward to participating again next year. Roz & Shayne Kerr
- Well, that was another great weekend.
Even learned a few new tunes from yourself and Bob McInnes. We also educated a few of the guests in the hotel lounge with the session there. Can't wait for the next gathering. Mont (Bill Montgomery)
- Thank you Dave Johnson and the bushtraditions work team for the great weekend at Bundanoon. It was most enjoyable with a great atmosphere of music, dance and fun. What a roll-up of enthusiastic musicians. All your prior preparation and attention to details over the weekend was evident and made the weekend flow smoothly.Gwen and Norm Burke
- Thanks for a great weekend again. We are looking forward to next year. We were talking with Madis and Tiina and we all hope that you would like some more Estonian dancing next year at Bunders. We all had a lot of fun. Thanks again. Helen and Greg Strutt
- Congratulations on another great dancing weekend. John Short
- Many thanks for another great music and dance festival. I think the highlight in the Australian festival calendar. Please pass on my thanks again to the musicians for the huge input into the weekend. As a dance teacher it is rewarding to see the enthusiasm at the workshops. It is noticeable the skill and confidence of the dancers increases over the weekend and this is all done with a smile. Great to see some of the musicians on the floor dancing. Anthony Simon
Fifth Goulburn Gathering 2010
A wonderful weekend with a surprise and welcome contribution from Gary Shearston who was in Goulburn and accepted an invitation to provide a bracket of songs. A nice mix of oldies including Shearing in a Bar and his newer style.
In addition to the events at the Brewery this year we ventured off site for:
- Saturday Concert in Belmore Park
- Saturday Bush Dance in Goulburn Soldiers Club
- Sunday Concert at the Railway RoundHouse
Warm thanks to our contributors who made the weekend such a pleasant gathering :
- Garry Tooth (of the old Troubador school)
- Ned Kelly historian Keith McMenomy
- Poet and singer/songwriter Tomas Hamilton
- Harry Gardner, Denise Hibbs, and Richard Ayling (from Victoria),
- the Roaring Forties (including Robin Connaughton, Tom Hanson, Margaret Walters, Chris Maltby and John Warner)
- the Bush Music Club Concert Party (including Bob Bolton, Ralph Pride, Eric Eisler, Samantha O'Brien, Bob Foggin)
- Helen and Tony Romeo,
- Chris Poleson,
- Don Richmond,
- Sandra Martens,
- the Brewery Bunch (including Dave Johnson, Peter McLaren, Keith Brown, Marilyn Buckley, Peter Perry, Ian Baxter, Adrian Wilson)
Second Bundanoon Bush Dancing Weekend 2010
- The weekend was beyond expectations from our perspective and I think you only had to look at people's faces throughout the weekend to see that it was for them too. Margaret & Bill Winnett
- A great weekend, in all ways. The whole weekend is a brilliant concept. Many thanks! Julie Bishop
- The other workshops we attended were well organised, superbly supported by the musical accompaniment, and were inclusive of both experienced and beginner dancers. Julia Smith & Arthur Kingsland
- Am I interested next year? Absolutely! John Short
- I would naturally be delighted to be involved in future years events. Paul Carr
- I would certainly be thrilled to be involved again. Jeanette Mill
- It was a wonderful weekend and I would be delighted to be a part of it again. Jim Williams
- Big thanks
and congratulations for great weekend. John & Aylwen Garden
- By the way, it was a fantastic weekend. Andrew Smart
- Great weekend, the workshops,the music, the dances,the people, the supper...Caroline Barrell
- Fantastic weekend of dancing, great music and great company. I had withdrawal symptoms when I got home. Jacqui Bogue
- I just had a ball and will make it a permanent booking for every June to come. Everything was first rate, but you really would have to go a long way to find a better line up of musicians. Virginia Carter
- For me, there is nothing in the world better (musically that is) than playing for a room full of enthusiastic dancers. Peter Logue
- The whole weekend's events had a relaxed and welcome feel and we are looking forward to next year. Helen and Greg Strutt
- Great fun! Thanks, Dave Rose Moffatt
- Great weekend again Stuart Leslie
- Great to attend an event that is aimed at
participants and not spectators! Five Stars. Denis McKay
- Well that was a bloody ripper. How about putting on another one next weekend! Mont
- Great weekend! Nice people.Thanks Judy Field
- As a first timer I was really surprised at the enthusiasm of the dancers and the variety of dances they displayed. Bob Smith
Fourth Goulburn Gathering 2009
What a beauty!
- Dave de Hugard with his inimitable laconic style - truly a national treasure,
- Lyell Sayer powered into the bush songs and his own beaut topical compositions,
- Alan Musgrove gave us some delightful fiddle tunes with Tom Walsh and then some more from Frank Forde,
- Peter Ellis - his knowledge of traditional Australian social dancing is unsurpassed and he plays his concertina with great dance drive,
- Margaret Walters as always a mainstay of the weekend singing and with Christina Mimmocchi aired some fine songs about women in Australia,
- John Warner - a powerful singer and a powerful songwriter and with Jenny Cole gave some great songs about living in the country,
- Harry Gardner's puppetry presentation of Waltzing Matilda was just incredible,
- Sally Leslie's dance calling coupled with
Stuart Leslie's concertina made a great combination for workshop and dance,
- Carole Helmann again put forward her wonderful concertina style,
- Bill Montgomery played his heart out in sessions and even led a tune or two,
- Yvonne and Kath O'Grady both good value in sessions and dance bands,
- Stuart Simms gave the dance music the traditional thump (especially in the minor keys),
- Gary Lovejoy showing his unique concertina style that embraces that of Clem O'Neal,
- Jim Moir ably played for Sandra Martens' stylish quadrille workshop,
- Alan Swift - well researched and presented family hisotory with song,
- Toby Eccles raised the bar with a well-researched treatise on marchen (fairy stories) in Australia and their overseas counterparts,
- Helen and Tony Romeo threw themselves into enjoying themselves in sessions and singalongs,
- Keith Brown, Peter McLaren, Peter Perry, Marilyn Buckley and Ian Baxter led a singalong session and enjoyed all the other sessions too,
- Sandra Nixon took the money with such a lovely smile it didn't hurt and she kept singing sessions flowing without resort to a whip,
- as well as organisers Dave Johnson and Ray Mulligan, who both just enjoyed a very special weekend with friends sharing the unique Australian culture we love.
- It isn't about numbers but this year just over 120 enjoyed the Gathering despite the rather dampened camping conditions.
- G’day Ray and Dave,
Thank you both for your great effort and congratulations on running a most enjoyable weekend. I am eagerly looking forward to the next one. John Harpley
- Dear Ray and Dave,
Thanks yet again for all your efforts towards a great Bush Traditions gathering. It was fun sharing music and dance with all those folk.
Third Goulburn Gathering 2008
What a weekend! It actually rained in Goulburn! But spirits were not dampened, and with onsite camping and forty hardy campers, the Gathering had a convivial community atmosphere. Music, song and dance were celebrated with gusto and finesse.
A huge thanks to:
- Dave de Hugard, Peter Ellis, Carole Helman, Alan Musgrove, Gary Lovejoy, Sue and Pete McMahon, Martin Chatfield, Harry Gardiner, Richard Ayling, Denise Hibbs, Margaret Walters, Chris Woodland, Ross West, Sally and Stuart Leslie, Helen and Tony Romeo, Sandra Nixon, Alan Johnson, as well as organisers Ray Mulligan, Dave Johnson, Don Brian and Bill Arnett.
- Many thanks to your good selves and all others who put in the hard yards to make a great weekend.
The sense of community - no 'celebrities' - no egos - plenty of sharing - all made it a unique 'gathering'.
Well done ! Rob Willis
- Thanks for a great weekend. Stuart and Sally Leslie
- Just a short note to say thank you to you and the other organisers of the "Bush Traditions Gathering", it was great. Bob Murray
- Hi, another good festival. Thought it might even have been a bit better than last one. Bill Montgomery
- A great time was had by all here. Many thanks for including us. Would love to do it all again. Yvonne O’Grady
- Had a fantastic time at Goulburn, well done to all the organizers. Martin Chatfield
- What a great weekend of friendship and wonderful music, thanks so much for
the organising such a " little gem" of a Festival. We will be back again next
year. Barbara and Lance Court
- I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the bush gathering at Goulburn. Thanks so much for inviting me to do the workshops. It’s definitely a special experience sharing music, song and dance like that. I know you did huge amounts of work to make it all happen, and I very much appreciate your efforts. It was especially good to be able to camp on site. Carole Helman.
- Linda and I both enjoyed the weekend. The on-site camping was much better than being off-site. We both felt more part of things than last year - coming back may have contributed but being on site was a big part of it. Alan and Linda Swift
Music for the 2014 NFF
Videos on YouTube
The videos recorded at the Gathering in 2012 have been edited and the list is here.
Ian Baxter discovered the origin of The White Cockatoo. It was named by Brad Tate because it was similar to the White Cockade but Ian shows it is The Hop Scotch Polka with this recording.
Dave de Hugard agrees and notes that "Stan, like most traditional players didn't care where a tune came from, as long as it was a good one."
Real Folk Videos
Some classic bush music now on YouTube
Music from previous events available for free download here.
Music from the 2013 NFF Settler Sessions
is available for purchase here.
Anglo Concertina Tutor
A set of bush tunes arranged with fingering and all for Anglo Concertina players.
Click here to see it
Ray and Dave visited the Kelly Homestead at Greta and took some pictures.
This website is maintained and developed by David Johnson.
Suggestions for inclusion welcome