Visiting United States musician Melissa Cox, who plays
songs with Celtic flair and uses live looping on stage,
will perform with Matt Smith at the Whare Flat Folk
Festival on December 31, at 1pm. Photo by Peter Redel.
Celtic, Gypsy, rockabilly and jazz music, along with the
joyous sights and sounds of Brazilian samba, will come together
in an eclectic mix at this year's Whare Flat Folk Festival.
Running from December 29, 2012, through to January 2, 2013,
at the Waiora Scout Camp near Dunedin, the long-standing
festival highlights the incredible variety of music and
performance that comes under the modern title of ''folk''.
Festival organisers, the New Edinburgh Folk Club, welcome a
wide range of styles to the event, valuing the skill and
performance strength of participants.
''Most musicians in the genre would consider folk to involve
a mix of songwriters and people doing their own versions of
music from a variety of countries - in that way, folk music
is really world music,'' Whare Flat Folk Festival director
Bernadette Berry said.
Variety is to the fore at this year's festival, with
international, national and local musicians and performers
having a chance to step up and entertain. Among the visitors
will be Dunedin-born Australian musician Jo Jo Smith,
Christchurch Celtic outfit The Fire Season, Lyttelton band
The Eastern, Wellington-based trio Tandrom Gypsy Trio,
visiting American Celtic fusion musicians Melissa Cox and
Matt Smith, Canadian fiddler Gillian Boucher, Gypsy jazz
group Bonjour Swing, Lyttelton rockabilly raconteur Lindon
Puffin and Hamilton-based traditional Scottish songstress
Flying the flag for Dunedin will be Irish music trio Erin
Street, piratical songsmiths Whiskey & the Wench,
bluesman King Leo and quartet Footspa playing music from
Europe and beyond.
New Year's Eve will be a highlight of the festival, with the
traditional barn dance divided into a session for families,
from 7.30pm to 9.30pm, followed by a barn dance for adults,
from 9.30pm. Then local bluesman King Leo will rock in the
''Breaking up the evening this way has proved really popular
in the past - it gives the families with young children a
chance to celebrate before clearing the decks for adult
dancing,'' Ms Berry said.
''And people really enjoy the change in feel at midnight with
A special feature of this year's Whare Flat festival will be
a chance for participants of all ages to create and take part
in their own mini Brazilian samba festival. The ''Samba
Experience'' will feature mask, instrument and costume-making
workshops, a chance to learn samba rhythms, chants and dance,
and will culminate in a Carnival Parade on New Year's Day.
''The samba programme is a new event for us, which will be
great fun for festival-goers of all ages,'' Ms Berry said.
''It will also add yet another international flavour to our
festival, which is exciting.''
The Whare Flat Folk Festival will also feature blackboard
(open mic) concerts, music sessions, a songwriters' showcase
and a range of music and dance workshops, as well as a busy
programme for children organised by Kidz Inc.
Festival-goers can either camp on site at Waiora Scout Camp,
or they may choose to come and go - there are day passes
available as well as full festival passes. Organisers will
provide comfortable seating, and home-cooked meals and other
refreshments will be available throughout the event.
''Often people who come out for a look at the festival are
unsure what to expect and then they find themselves wanting
to stay longer.
''We make a point of catering for all ages and for ensuring
people are comfortable, so they can carry on enjoying
themselves,'' Ms Berry said.
For more information, visit the website www.whareflat.org.nz