Well here we are in Port Fairy, squished into a tiny little space in between other “folkies” here to see the festival. This is a first for us, both the festival and this type of “sardine camping”. We have the full grey nomad set up going, with privacy screens up on our little veranda. With 12 hour days at the festival which is within walking distance we will only be here to sleep and shower anyway. This is good because when the guy in the next van blows his nose we hear it! M
We arrived a day early so we could get the car serviced in Warrnambool 30 kms away. Toyota dropped us off in town and we had a bit of a look around. Steve was starting to look like the guy on the left, so we found the barber on the right to clean him up a bit. M
On the drive back we stopped at Tower Hill Nature Reserve which is a big volcanic crater filled with water (usually) and with an island in the middle. Since the 1960’s they have been trying to get this area back to what it was before farming. We saw 4 of koalas, Emus, wallabies, snakes and lizards and Steve saw a new bird here also! M
Port Fairy on the great ocean road is a sweet town on the river Moyne with a beautifully preserved 19th century village streetscape. It is hard to find anything ugly or dirty in this town. I did a heritage walk here and there were no less than 36 buildings noted on this walk all built in the 1800’s. My sort of place. The National Trust Plaques are everywhere. Even just the normal old houses are nicely restored. The sign coming into town states it’s the world’s most livable community and it feels like this, just talking to people in town. I got some migraine tablets from the chemist here and he told me when he worked in Melbourne he sold dozens of packets of migraine tablets a week and in Port Fairy he sells one a month. He still prefers to live in Port Fairy. I cleaned him out! M
The folk festival was fantastic. It was a marathon getting through 2 half days and 2 full- 12 hr days of music. At first we thought there were not enough big acts on the program or people that we knew, but we found plenty of music we liked and saw some great acts.In fact we didn’t get around to seeing all we wanted to.
The biggest OS act was “Melanie” of 1969 Woodstock fame. Poor Melanie probably should have stayed home. The biggest Australian act was Casey Chambers and although we are not really into country music we were once again (saw her at Blues fest) impressed for the second time what a fantastic performer she is. She put on a very good show.
We enjoyed singer/songwriter Liz Stringer for the third time. Canadians Basia Bulat and The Once were great. 19 twenty were high energy and fun. The mosh pit for z-star from the UK was fun and loud. My ears are still ringing. Ralph Mctell was lovely as was Luka Bloom. New favorite is Gregory Alan Isakov (SA born from USA). I loved seeing Stephen Pigram -Broom) again. We will try to see him and his brothers when we are in Broom later in the year. Sharron Shannon from Ireland was also celtic with enough grove for me. Anyway, highly recommend a trip to this lovely town for the festival if you get a chance. M