14 May, 2024

Folk Festival up there with the best

QUEENSLAND’S longest running folk festival has been recognised at this year’s QMusic 2024 Awards.

Walking the pink carpet at the awards ceremony is Tablelands Folk Festival program director Bronwyn Hodgkins and director (and husband) Mick.
Walking the pink carpet at the awards ceremony is Tablelands Folk Festival program director Bronwyn Hodgkins and director (and husband) Mick.

The Tablelands Folk Festival was named in the Top 3 under the “Folk Festival” category, recognising its contribution in supporting musicians and artists, as well as providing an event for the region.

Attending the awards ceremony at the Fortitude Music Hall in Brisbane, on behalf of the organising committee, TFF program director Bronwyn Hodgkins said it was a huge accolade for “such a small community event”. 

The committee was just pipped at the post by Gympie Muster Music Festival. 

“We were fairly ok with being runners-up to them…we felt like we were in the big time in the big smoke there,” Bronwyn said. 

Walking the pink carpet with Tablelands Folk Festival director (and husband) Mick Hodgkins, Bronwyn said it was a brilliant night.

“We were really chuffed to be in the top three…we punched above our weight for sure,” she said.

The event, first held in 1980 will celebrate its 44th consecutive year - they even managed to put a plan together to run the event during Covid-19 lockdowns, which later became a blueprint for other events throughout Queensland. 

Bronwyn said there would be 13 different stages at this year’s Tablelands Folk Festival to be held at Yungaburra on 25-27 October. 

With three full days of events, the town will bustle with people from throughout the Tablelands, Queensland and interstate. 

“Some of those stages will be big and some small…most of the food and drink businesses will host a stage. It spreads right throughout Yungaburra but the pub is the beating heart,” Bronwyn said.

The theme for this year’s event is puppetry and there’ll be plenty of opportunities for the children to get involved and make their own.

“The program is happening now. Applications are open now until the end of May,” she said.

“I will have 300 to 400 applicants and about 50 of those get to be on the program. I aim to have 50% women and I like to have young people because without them, we won't have a future for our festival.”

With no shortage of local talent, the program features about 50% from the Tablelands and north Queensland, the remaining spots are filled with talent from throughout Australia.

“It's run as a premier folk event and it is known around the country in folk circles. We are in a pretty good place,” Bronwyn said.

Run purely by volunteers, Tablelands Folk Festival is still going strong and Bronwyn said there was little chance of it closing down anytime soon with the support it continued to garner - both locally and from throughout the state. 

“It is a community event that's embraced by the town of Yungaburra. It does have quite a following around Australia and a strong reputation,” she said.


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