Home' Rhythms Magazine : 2016 Sept-Oct Contents 116 Rhythms
when and where is the festival held?
One and a half hours drive from the tropical north
Queensland city of Cairns, in the historic township
of Yungaburra on the Atherton Tablelands. It’s held
annually on the fourth weekend in October — October 21-
23 this year. The festival is centred on the Heritage-listed
How long has the festival been running and who
The festival began in 1981 in Herberton and moved to
Yungaburra later that year, making TFF the longest
running event of its type in Queensland.
what are the festival’s fundamental aims?
To celebrate music, poetry and the performing arts,
showcasing local performers/artists and highlighting
the talents of touring artists who provide stimulus to
local artists. To enrich a sense of community through the
promotion of cross-cultural interaction.
How long have you been running the festival and what
persuaded you and your partner, mick Hodgkins, to
run for office?
Our band, Mangrove Jack, is in fact one year older than
the festival. As a band we’ve been involved from the
very beginning. We co-ran the festival in the ‘80s for
a few years, again in the ‘90 and we’re currently in our
third year as Director and Program Director. The festival
has given us so much over the years, as performers and
‘folkies’ — lifelong friendships, the joy of music and song.
in a nutshell, how would you describe the festival?
TFF is a small boutique festival where people are
the most important aspect, whether as a performer, a
workshop presenter, a volunteer, a local business or a
punter. The festival prides itself on its laidback, friendly
atmosphere. If you come as a stranger, you’ll leave as
a friend. We can guarantee a smile on your face as you
drive back down the Range.
so, what differentiates this event from other folk
In a nutshell: the friendly atmosphere and the natural
environment. Yungaburra is surrounded by majestic blue
crater lakes, green rolling hills and the calming influence
of the Seven Sisters volcanic mounds.
what’s your favourite tff memory as its Program
Director and as a performer?
The festival is entirely run by volunteers. On Sunday
evening when it closes we organise a party for about 100
tired but happy volunteers. Dancing, laughing, catching.
It’s great to see such hard workers enjoy their own private
festival. Even the performers volunteer their time for
this very special event. As a performer in Mangrove
Jack, there are so many highlights, such as: Packed
Community Hall bush dances in the early years; the 25th
anniversary where we brought together a Mangrove Jack
super band of past and present members; Tribute shows
honouring Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie and Peter, Paul &
what acts have you enjoyed most over the years and
Shane Howard, Stephen Pigram, The Timbers, Barons
of Tang, Jigzag, Lily & King ... to name just a few. It’s
fantastic to see the folk ‘legends’ in person and I’m
always excited to see young Australian musicians strut
who are the main acts at this year's festival?
TFF does not particularly feature ‘headline acts’, but a few
I’m excited about are Mzaza from Brisbane, Mic Conway
duo from Sydney, Adelaide legends The Borderers and
from Melbourne and The Elliotts.
what have been your finest achievements as the
festival’s director and president, do you think?
Engaging the whole of the Yungaburra township, to
produce a festival with true community spirit.
what are the top five things to see and do at the
• Top quality entertainment on all of the eight festival
• The pub veranda’s folk music jam session
• The Children’s Festival Grand Parade at dusk on
• Workshops on every subject from banjo to home brew
• Enjoy the ambience of this friendly historic township,
including the parkland fringe festival, incorporating
Health & Wellness Fair, Children’s Festival, The Fringe
Stage, food and market stalls and some crazy circus.
RESPONDENT: TFF Program Director Bronwyn
More info at: www.tablelandsfolkfestival.org
TABLELANDS FOLK FESTIVAL
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