Canberra Tour Diary

Published: 14th of June 2018

A while ago I applied for a competition facilitated by Folk Alliance Australia, called the Young Artist of the Year Award. It reaches out nationally for folk acts under 25, and six finalists are then chosen to showcase at the National Folk Festival in Canberra, where the winners are decided - and I got in to the final six! My two friends Jack and Daisy, (who performed with me in these recent videos) were able to come down too and make up my little band! We decided that Jack & Daisy would road trip down and I would fly to meet them in Canberra. We were to perform at the festival on the Saturday (warm-up show) and the Sunday (official concert). Then we'd all road trip back to Brisbane together on Easter Monday, after the festival.

Thursday: Day One

I caught a plane, and flew in to Canberra just after midday. Then I had about 6 hours until Jack and Daisy were set to meet me after their big drive. So, what do I do? Eat a ginormous lunch at an Afghani restaurant and then walk around as a solo Canberra tourist all afternoon because I didn't want to pay for an uber. Eventually Jack & Daisy arrived, and we headed to our a friend's house for the night.

Friday: Day Two

This was our first day at the National Folk Festival. The festival was smaller than I expected, but it has so much heart. We came across so many elements that were unique to ‘the Nash’, and they really made the festival for us.

While walking around we saw some great acts: Monique Clare, Kuarna Cronin, Ryanhood and The Button Collective. After a full day of lovely festival times we headed home, to get ready for our first performance the next day.

Saturday: Day Three

Saturday morning was our first show; a warm-up for the Showcase Concert. This performance was definitely nerve-wracking, but it was so inspiring to hear some of the other finalists. Overall we were happy with how we played – it definitely felt good to run through the songs for an audience. Afterwards, it was festival roaming time again until the eve.

Sunday: Day Four

On Easter Sunday I woke up to a bunch of little Easter eggs (love you Daisy). We took our time warming up, then headed in to the festival for the official showcase! We got in with plenty of time and made our way to the new venue. We were scheduled first in the concert, then we listened to the amazing other acts: Lucy Kammerman, Girl on the Hill, Bec Bastoli, STAV, and Red Grenadier. We were really happy with how we played, but we knew it would just come down to the judges.

Eventually everyone finished up, the results were announced aaaannnnd … we came second!!

Whilst bittersweet, we were still really pleased with the result, and completely stoked for the winner, STAV. Both first and second place were guaranteed to receive support and guidance from the Folk Alliance for the following year. So we were darn chuffed!

After that we had a beautiful festival night, serenaded by All Our Exes Live in Texas, before heading to bed so we could be up bright & early for our long drive home.

Monday: Day Five

Awoken by Jack Walton, at 4am by a phone light = lame. Easter Monday for us held a 14 hour drive from Canberra back to Brisbane, so we had to get going. At least, I could think of far worse people to spend that much time in a car with :)

Time did its own thing on the road, and I can’t really differentiate a bunch of it. But I know some of the highlights:

1. The bakery in Dunedoon (the one that was finally open)
2. Everlasting banana bread
3. Milkshakes & pies in Tenterfield
4. Two full play throughs of Nick Cave’s ‘Murder Ballads’ album (fyi really creepy at night when you have no idea where you are)

Eventually, I was back home once more with a heart full of music, friends and excitement for the year ahead.

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