The Tenth Annual

Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival

21st - 23rd October 2011

Ranked as one of the most popular country music events in Australia, the Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival was conferred the status of a Regional Flagship Event in 2011 by the New South Wales Tourism Council as an acknowledgement of its being a “premier acoustic music” event. Scheduled for October 21 – 23, 2011, the festival is a three-day celebration of Folk and Bluegrass music with concerts, workshops, square dances, jamming around the campfire and a lot of fun for the young and not so young. Surprising for an Australian country music event, alcohol, tobacco and pets are not allowed at the Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival.

For a long time, it was thought that the town's name was given by the explorer Major Edward Parke after an opposing Spanish general named Don Dorrigo (which undoubtedly explains the name of the town's present day newspaper). Actually, the town's name was derived from the Indigenous Australian word for “stringy bark”. Dorrigo, situated on the Dorrigo Plateau almost 800 meters above sea level, was settled in the 1860's by timber cutters looking for Red Cedar. Logging, which was the area's original source of revenue, was eventually replaced by the dairy industry. Today Dorrigo is a town with less than 1,000 people.

A quiet, friendly old country town, Dorrigo has many art galleries and cafes and the whole place exudes an old world charm. A picturesque place, Dorrigo's natural attractions include the cascading Dangar Falls and the Dorrigo National Park, 11,732 hectares with an abundance of tropical flora and fauna. There, one can find old buttressed figs, giant tallow woods, many Australian cedars and over 250 species of plants. The place is also home to many native birds, like lyrebirds, pitas and bowerbirds. At the park's Rainforest Centre, an interactive display presents the evolution of rain forests and provides an insight into animal and plant life there. Lookout vantage points offer a spectacular view of the Bellinger Valley. The Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum is also located in the town. A private collection of railway vehicles from government and private sources, it is one of the largest of its kind in the world.

The Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival will be holding its tenth event this year. A magnet for many of Australia's old-time, folk and bluegrass musicians, the festival prides itself in being a relaxed, friendly occasion for the whole family to enjoy and learn. In the Myrtle and Currajong tents, many workshops are held covering the fiddle, old-time banjo, vocal harmony, bluegrass banjo and song writing presented by experienced performers. Special workshops for children are conducted for things like Bollywood Dance, singing and storytelling.

Among the featured artists at this year's festival are: Bluegrass Parkway, The Bushwackers, The Lurkers, Coolgrass, Hunter and Suzy Owens, Ami Williamson, Barefoot Folk Orchestra, Dear Orphans, Spot the Dog, Evan Mathieson, Iness Campbell and Present Company, Fat Wombat, Ewan McKenzie Duo and Shiny Top Strings.

Just some of the featured artists for 2011 are:

  • Bluegrass Parkway
  • The Bushwackers
  • The Lurkers
  • Coolgrass
  • Hunter and Suzy Owens
  • Ami Williamson
  • The Barefoot Folk Orchestra
  • Dear Orphans
  • Spot the Dog
  • The Perch Creek Family Jug Band
  • Ewan MacKenzie Duo,
  • Innes Campbell & Present Company
  • Big Bug Trio,
  • Fat Wombat

Visit their website for more information

Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival