Cardrona Folk Festival 2012
CLAIRE WEYLAND & HEATHER MITCHELL
As always the festival takes place at the historic Cardrona Hall and surrounding reserve, and runs from Friday 18th to Monday 22nd October 2012. This year is our 37th festival and celebrates a very special event. It was 150 years ago that gold was first discovered in the Cardrona River, causing a major goldrush to this then unexplored valley. Within a short time there were 3000 people living here trying to make their fortune. Several hotels were built along with shops and stores. Butchers and blacksmiths moved in and of course the two buildings in which we hold our festival were built. What is now the ex-church started life as the miner’s recreation hall, hosting dances, and games, whilst the hall was the valley school until 1954. We have decided to make the Gold 150 a major theme this year, and in keeping with that have asked the following musicians to guest at the festival.
PHIL GARLAND (Culverden):
Phil is a man who needs little introduction to most New Zealand folk music fans. He almost single-handedly resurrected New Zealand folk songs in the 1960’s when he spent several years on the road collecting material from elderly people up and down the land. Many of these songs and poems he put to his own music, and developed a guitar style on his big twelve string which is instantly recognisable whenever his material is played on the media. In later years he has written many songs of his own, almost all of them very “kiwi” in content. The number of albums he has released on the Kiwi Pacific label is well into double figures. Some of these are solo albums, whilst others are with Phil’s almost legendary bands such as the Canterbury Crutchings Bush Band. He has quite rightly been regularly called a “New Zealand National Treasure,” and it’s great to have him back for this special festival. Joining Phil will be:
CLAIRE WEYLAND and HEATHER MITCHELL (Christchurch):
Claire on fiddle and Heather on accordion are an integral part of the well known Canterbury band BUSH TELEGRAPH. They have been playing in this band with Phil for many years now, and are well known at ceilidhs all over our neighbouring province. With Phil doing the calling they will form the basis of the music for the Saturday night dance in the hall and they welcome other session musicians to join them for a fun night on stage.
SCOTTY BALFOUR (Alice Springs):
Originally from Edinburgh, Scotty is a very old friend of mine, having helped me start up the Tennant Creek Folk Club in the Northern Territory of Australia in 1971. He certainly fits in with the theme of the weekend, as when I knew him Scotty was working at the Nobles Nob Gold mine, just outside Tennant. We formed a group called the Tennant Creek Trio and sang all over the N.T. including in front of 3000 people at the Alice Springs Centenary Celebrations. Since then Scotty has become a well-known name in Australia, playing in bands such as The Hawkers and then Bloodwood. This group did major promotional work for the NT for almost 25 years and toured Canada, UK and Europe. As a solo performer he regularly entertains visitors to the Alice with Aussie bush ballads, but also loves singing contemporary and traditional songs from Scotland, Ireland and America (“and a bit from England!”)
MARTIN CURTIS (Cardrona):
In keeping with the Goldrush theme and having been occasionally chided for not singing enough at the Cardrona festival, your host will this year be presenting a concert of his own. Having just returned from his 12th major UK tour, Martin is still very busy around the folk music scene both here and overseas as a singer, songwriter and performance poet. He still regularly tours around New Zealand schools with his music and this year has seen him much in demand in Central Otago because of the Gold 150 celebrations. He has released 9 albums of NZ music since his first best-selling “Gin & Raspberry” 30 years ago, and has been a finalist in the “Folk Album of the Year” music awards three times.
PERFORMANCE POETS BRUNCH:
Begun over 25 years ago, this has become one of the most popular events at Cardrona and the idea has spread to most other festivals around the country. Each year it is getting longer and better with most of it consisting of hilarious and original material. Last year it was more prominent than ever, with Les Barker making it a non-stop laughing weekend. There is even a strong possibility of a mystery guest for this year’s event.
SHANTIES BY THE WAY:
This theme “cocktail” hour appeared at Cardrona about three years ago and was very popular – so with a goldrush theme, we felt it was time to hold it again. It happens after the last of the Saturday afternoon concerts, and is up to everyone who feels like participating. Turn your tent or marquee into a grog shop or shanty and we’ll all do the rounds singing songs and sampling your wares on the way. Home brew most welcome! Even Gin & Raspberry!
As always there will be several blackboard concerts, so that all singers and musicians - and children - can let us hear what they can do. By popular request we will again have our unaccompanied harmony session in the wee church on Sunday morning, with contributions welcome from anyone who has a good chorus song we can join in with. There is always plenty of space and time for jamming sessions. Remember to bring earplugs if you don’t want to hear music in the small hours – after all, this is a folk music festival, and there is always time for Just One More Chorus.
The cost for a weekend ticket (Friday to Monday) will be $75 for adults, with secondary children at $25 (wee ones are free). Bring everything you need, as all we supply is a flat (and usually dry) paddock, a couple of taps, fine weather and heaps of music and fun. The new luxury toilets are now working perfectly but the historic longdrops have also been recently renovated for festival-goers who suffer from nostalgia or who don’t like queuing! This is a self-catering festival but meals are available, at a price, up the road at the Cardrona Hotel, along with luxury accommodation. The ski chalets next door to the site are now fully booked but there are still beds available at the luxury “townhouses” up past the hotel or at Ben Brae. Please make your own bookings for these. Other affordable accommodation is available in Wanaka - 25 kms away, along with a wide choice of restaurants and cafes. Best book now though. Showers are also available at nominal cost at the Wanaka motor camp, so if you go down to top up liquid supplies, take your towel.
Pre-registration is not yet necessary, though if the festival gets any more popular this may have to come one day.
For further information and bookings contact
Martin & Kay Curtis,
Tel/fax: 03 443 8152.
Email: martincurtis(at)clear.net.nz (you need to substitute the @ sign, to discourage spammers!)
Last Updated: 11th September 2012.