26-28th March, 2016 – Canberra
The National Folk Festival is celebrating its 50th annual festival. It’s one of the best folk festivals in the world and while there will lots of concerts that acknowledge folk singers of the past, there is a fine array of young artists appearing and a fabulous line-up of international performers.
The Roaring Forties (with Don Brian, Robin Connaughton, Tom Hanson, Chris Maltby, John Warner (in all their white-bearded glory), along with me, Margaret Walters, will be there.  Here’s where to find us (but always check the Festival Program in case of last minute changes…)
Thursday 24th March – we will be hosting a Welcome Singing Session in the Bohemia Bar from 7.30pm – 10pm.  We’ll be encouraging the sorts of chorus songs that were popular in the early days of the Australian folk scene. For me they included unaccompanied British Traditional Songs sung by groups like the Coppers, the Watersons, Steel Eye Span and Young Tradition. All welcome.
Friday 25th March from 10-11 in the Trocadero, our themed presentation is called Shellback Sheila which takes a glimpse at musical settings of the nautical poems of Cicely Fox Smith (1882-1959) who wrote vividly of the life of sailors working on clipper ships. It’s fascinating to consider how this Victorian gentlewoman captured so accurately the fruity vernacular of the common sailor of the time. Slides complement the songs.
Saturday 26th March from 11.20am- 12.20in the Spiegel Zeit is a more participatory event titled The Song Goes On.  And why? Because songs are fun, physically & mentally stimulating; they generate solidarity, aid causes, maintain a tradition, and pay tribute to past singers. This is a collection of songs about songs – most have choruses and you’ll be able to sing along in an unamplified venue.
Saturday night from 9.30pm in the Terrace (no PA)  we’ll be hosting another singing session. Come along and share your songs; we’re partial to choruses. Once again – your participation leading songs and adding harmonies is most welcome.
Monday 27th March from 10.50am – 11.30 a concert spot in the Scrumpy Bar.
15th – 17th April, Sydney
The Classic and Wooden Boat Festival is being hosted this year by the Australian National Maritime Museum.   The museum precinct and surrounding areas will be showcasing vessels from around Sydney and Australia and celebrating Maritime Heritage.There will be workshops, demonstrations, kids’ activities and a symposium – and lots of musical items.  And there’ll be plenty of shanties and other sea songs from The Roaring Forties