Food For The Soul: Best Folk Festivals In Australia

Read on to learn more about the best folk festivals to attend around Australia in 2024.


From the wild and lush bush and rolling mountains to the iconic beaches and ever-changing landscape, there are plenty of picturesque venues across Australia to hold traditional and authentic folk festivals. Whether you are a regular attendee or someone looking for something new, these genuine festival experiences are guaranteed to leave you with lasting memories. 

For vape users hoping to make the most of their new vape starter kit, it is best to contact your festival of choice directly to better understand their rules and policies around vape usage. Australia has fairly extensive regulations surrounding nicotine usage, so it is best to be well-informed to avoid any further issues. 

Port Fairy Folk Festival

Take a drive four hours outside of Melbourne to the incredible Port Fairy Folk Festival, held beachside along the south-west coast. The festival has been the winner of Best Regional Festival in 2022 and the 2023 Music Victoria Awards, promising an exciting experience at this well-loved event. 

The festival has a multi-venue main area, with free entertainment within the township, different exhibitions, a community market, interactive workshops, forums, themed concerts and showcases, theatre, film, writers programs, handmade crafts, delicious food, and plenty of entertainment for the whole family. 

Sydney Folk Festival

Sydney Folk Festival is considered to be the flagship event of the Folk Federation in New South Wales. Held in the beautiful Surry Hills, in the heart of Sydney, it is an urban winter festival created to celebrate the creativity and rich diversity of folk music and culture from around the world. 

For those hoping for more than a series of concerts, the event caters to more hands-on experiences, with multiple participatory sessions to join. 

Irish & Celtic Music Festival

Yass is the ideal place to hold a music festival, with a whimsically rural valley setting rich in Irish and Celtic heritage. Just 60km from the capital city of Canberra, this mostly walking city center is the perfect location for music, poetry, dance, various Celtic markets, and good CRAIC.

With many unique venues to choose from, all serving a delicious variety of food, good quality coffee, and delightful refreshments, you will never run out of things to do at the Irish & Celtic Music Festival. 

Folk Festivals in Australia

Queenscliff Music Festival

Held among the old and momentous Cypress trees in Lower Princess Park, the Queenscliff Music Festival offers attendees a spectacular backdrop of Port Phillip, Sorrento, and the Queenscliff Harbor. The festival aims to combine a unique experience of contemporary Australian music with the wonder of wandering amongst historic buildings in Queenscliff. 

The event was created with the vision of bringing music that inspires through the value of excellence, discovery, and community spirit, providing a significant boost to Queenscliff and Bellarine tourism. 

Blue Mountains Music Festival

The Blue Mountains Music Festival is a wonderful celebration of Folk, Roots, and Blues held annually over three days in March in Katoomba. Beginning on a Friday night, over 100 performers entertain attendees across the weekend. 

There are seven different covered venues to choose from, all within walking distance of each other, which come alive with talented musicians, both local and international. A complimentary program is provided to all festival-goers, which includes performer profiles, appearance times, and locations. 

Illawarra Folk Festival

The Illawarra Folk Festival, nestled in the northern Illawarra escarpment at Bulli, is a four-day event with roughly 150 performers and one of Australia’s largest festivals, run entirely by volunteers. With a rich diversity in music and performances, the intimate and vibrant community atmosphere continues to attract returning performers, volunteers, and guests year after year. 

Alongside the national and international traditional performances, the event holds a two-day intensive folks school, workshops, dancing, a Youth Folk Traditions award ceremony, instrument making, and a wide array of different international cuisine and craft stalls. 

National Folk Festival

First held in 1967 at Melbourne University, the National Folk Festival is a bustling hub for the Australian Folk community. It is the ideal meeting place to perform, share, and develop lasting folk traditions. 

The festival bases its core values on respect, inclusiveness, teamwork, and professionalism, allowing attendees the best opportunity to participate in and experience the best in traditional and contemporary folk culture while still respecting and acknowledging the indigenous custodians of the land on which the festival is held. 

Folk Festivals in Australia

Woodford Folk Festival

The Woodford Folk Festival is an annual event held from December 27th to January 1st. Over the span of six days and nights, more than 2,000 local, national, and international artists, musicians, and presenters put on over 500 acts to an audience of roughly 132,000 people. The event opens with its iconic Opening Ceremony and is closed out by an incredible Fire Event on New Year’s Day. 

The festival is built on the ideas of inclusivity and creative community, with different aspects of culture and tradition, which have been passed down through generations and expressed via storytelling and community. The venue is a former barren dairy farm that has been transformed with over 120,000 subtropical rainforest trees, orchids, ferns, and sedges planted to facilitate wildlife. 

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Travel Begins at 40

Travel Begins at 40 Editor

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