Kiama’s 2019 Australia Day ambassador, Darren Coggan, is the opening act at this year’s Illawarra Folk Festival.
The multi-award-winning country music star, who now calls Helensburgh home, is hailed as a masterful story-teller through his original songs and his interpretations of such artists as Cat Stevens, James Taylor and Glenn Campbell.
He will be performing just once at Bulli Showground before heading to the Tamworth Country Music Festival after his show.
Artistic Director David De Santi says that this is an exception to the norm, with most of the Festival’s 160 acts performing multiple times in the 11 venues around the Showground precinct.
“The beauty of the Illawarra Folk Festival is that almost every act performs more than once, so you can make sure that you don’t miss out on the artists you really want to see,” he says.
“We have 75 new acts this year, as well as many old favourites, and there will be something for everyone.”
Headline act and one of the hottest acts touring Australia in 2019, Irish Mythen, will be performing twice at Bulli – on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
The Irish-born, Canadian-based singer-songwriter wowed audiences with her power-packed performances at the 2016 Illawarra Folk Festival, and organisers are delighted to welcome her back in January.
Other festival highlights include bluegrass rebels The Pigs, who play on Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening, and the Miriam Lieberman Trio who perform on Friday night, Saturday morning and Sunday morning.
International acts include Albi & The Wolves and Jenny Mitchell from New Zealand; Coral Reid, Ilana Kravitz and Winter Wilson from the UK; Dennis J Leise and Ken Field’s Hoot Band from the US; Sophie and Fiachra from Ireland; and Fru Skaggerak from Sweden.
“It’s very exciting to have such a diverse collection of musicians from all over Australia and the world come to celebrate in our folk village,” says Mr De Santi.
“We are also pleased to announce our largest ever female content at the Festival with 45 per cent representation in the acts and actual participant numbers.
“It’s a recognition of the contribution women have made to the folk music movement.”
He describes the four day festival as a “smorgasbord of musicians, singers, bands, poets, comedians and dancers, with something for everyone”.
Details: 17-20 January, Bulli Showground.
See illawarrafolkfestival.com.au for ticket prices and program