The Gulgong Folk Festival was held over the New Year’s long weekend, with the town of Gulgong hosting concerts, workshops and continuous jam sessions.
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Venues in the town included the Centennial Hotel, the Commercial Hotel, Prince of Wales Opera House, the Gulgong RSL and the Butcher Shop Cafe.
Kicking off on New Year’s Eve and running through until January 2, many artists and country musicians descended on Gulgong to participate in the long standing festival.
Now 31 years old, and not slowing down, the festival revels in the sounds of traditional instruments such as Irish harps, tin whistles, a hammered dulcimer, button accordions and violins, along with the more modern sounds of electric guitars and drums.
Event organiser Ross Kurtz believes that the event has been a success again this year, and that the event thrives in Gulgong.
“Everybody has enjoyed themselves immensely, particular the musos,” Mr Kurtz said.
“It’s one of those events where a lot of the musicians and lovers of music can come and perform informally, and just get involved in playing.”
“We have a lot of jam sessions, and people get to play with artists they like and get to try new stuff out on stage.”
Local talents like Jess Holland, Josh Maynard and Free Fried Chicken led the event, but performers of all genres graced Gulgong, from traditional musicians to Gypsy jazz performers.
Mr Kurtz thinks that Gulgong is the only place a festival of this nature could work, with the friendly and open environment and a chance for musos of all types to play.
“The festival has experimented a lot, but it’s very based on the traditional nature of Gulgong,” he said.
“The foundations are traditional, and the fact that Gulgong is so close knit and all the venues are within walking distance so it doesn’t become about travel, but just where you want to be.”
“The festival goes a long way in a pragmatic sense, in that it brings in patrons and recognition to Gulgong and puts us on the map.”
This year continued the tradition of the annual guitar competition at the Prince of Wales that last year saw Josh Maynard take home a vintage guitar and the title.
This year Stu Tyrrell had the honour of being crowned the winner, with his beautiful melodies wooing the crowd and entertaining the judges.
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