A Guide to Tasmania’s Folk Venues and Contacts
Some venues where folk events are often held.
See our Forthcoming Events page for details of actual events.
Tips for visiting musicians/bands/callers
Environment and Climate
We’re in a climate and ecological emergency. Here are some ideas to help through folk events.
Tips for folk musicians/bands/callers visiting Tasmania
Dear musical friend(s),
There is an active folk scene in Tasmania, with concerts, festivals, sessions, dances and workshops.
For regular events see the Folk Federation of Tasmania’s web site at www.folktas.org/regular-events.
We also have a Facebook page and a Facebook group. Search for Folk Federation of Tasmania or Dance Folk Tasmania.
If you are a performer and looking to do some performing whilst you’re in Tasmania, here are some places and people you can contact to try to organise something. Note that we only update this list when people let us know!
The Folk Federation of Tasmania is largely a networking and information sharing body other than running various regular events, and rarely hosts visiting artists directly, except as listed below.
Opportunities for Concerts
- Kunanyi Folk Club, Ferntree, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.facebook.com/KunanyiFolkClub
- Franklin Folk Club, third Friday each month, facebook.com/FranklinFolkClub, contact email@example.com.
- St George’s Church, Battery Point – http://www.stgeorgesbatterypoint.org
- Fern Tree Tavern, 680 Huon Rd, Fern Tree, 03 6239 1171, ferntreetavern.com.au
- The Republic Bar (a musically supportive pub in Hobart) – www.republicbar.com
- MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) – hosts many concerts including a folk series. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Moonah Arts Centre – runs regular series of concerts
- Folk Promoter – Roger Joseph, email@example.com, 03 6105 0585, 0419 558 421, sometimes runs house concerts. Roger can also assist with visas, publicity, printing, promotion and pub bookings.
- Willie Smith’s Organic Cider, hosts many concerts
- The New Sydney Hotel, long term supporter of live folk music, 87 Bathurst Street, Hobart TAS 7000, 03 6234 4516
- The Chapel, https://www.facebook.com/chapelcafe/, (03) 6432 3460, 50 Cattley Street Burnie, TAS
- The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart, often feature folk-related acts. Phone 6234 4920.
- Blacksmith Gallery and Cafe (formerly Skwiz), 63 Main Street, Sheffield: Alan Stott, 03 6425 7433 or 0481 452 271; http://www.fridaynitemusic.org;
- Cygnet Folk Festival, Tasmania’s largest folk festival, www.cygnetfolkfestival.org on the second weekend in January, about an hour’s drive south of Hobart
- Georgetown/Tamar Valley Festival – third weekend of January. Smaller than Cygnet. See www.tamarvalleyfolkfestival.com. North of Launceston.
- Taste of Summer – big commercial food and entertainment festival run in Hobart (used to be the Taste of Tasmania, run by the City Council). Has several musical stages although music is not the main focus. This runs late December into January. See tasteofsummer.com.au.
- Festivale in Launceston, www.festivale.com.au, February
- Westbury Saint Patrick’s Festival, March
- North-East: “Todd’s Hall” at St.Marys. Phone: Astrid Hunkeler & Todd Dudley, 6376 1049
- North-West: Bridge Hotel, Forth, near Devonport, 6428 2239
- North-West: Molly Malone’s, 34 Best St. Devonport 7310, 6424 1898
- MOFO (MONA FOMA) – MONA Festival of Music and Art – January and June. http://www.mofo.net.au/ and http://darkmofo.net.au/.
- There are various other festivals in Tasmania with some musical component. See http://www.discovertasmania.com/events.
- House Concerts Australia: https://www.facebook.com/HouseConcertsAustralia/ and https://www.houseconcertsaustralia.com/
- Other people to talk to might include:
- Steve Gadd, firstname.lastname@example.org or 03 6266 3446, has been involved in organising various events, particularly around the town of Franklin, south of Hobart. The Palais Theatre in Franklin is a gorgeous old theatre.
- Fred Pribac, email@example.com, has organised many events concerning old time, American and Australian music.
Opportunities for Dances
If you play or call for structured/called folk dancing (Irish, Balkan, Contra, Bush, English, Scottish, Breton, Renaissance, …) try the following:
- Cathy and David, firstname.lastname@example.org or 03 6273 2127, are the Folk Federation’s dance organisers and host many dances during the year. They have hosted visits by various national and international visiting bands and would be happy to discuss options with you. The more notice and the more information you can give, the better, but they’re happy to talk even at short notice. The main regular dances are on the last Saturday of each month between March and November, and the second Friday and first and third Monday of each month from February to December.
- The Cygnet, Georgetown and Westbury festivals listed above all include some structured dancing.
- There are various Scottish dance groups who might be interested in hearing about bands playing Scottish music – try Tony Northey, email@example.com, 03 6331 8892 in the first instance.
- The Hobart Multicultural Dancers occasionally run workshops with visiting dance teachers or musicians – try Peter Sands on 03 6227 8471 or PeterSands@netspace.net.au
- There are various folk dance groups who you’re welcome to contact to see if they’d be interested in hosting you. See our Dance Groups and Regular Events page.
If you do organise any events in Tasmania the Folk Federation of Tasmania would be happy to publicise them to our members and contacts. We have an email list of several hundred people keen to hear about folk events, a web site, a magazine (Drumbeat) and a Facebook group and page. See the details on our web site, www.folktas.org, especially our Contacts page.
Best of luck and we hope you enjoy visiting Tasmania.
Folk Federation of Tasmania.
Venues – how to find them
The Folk Federation recognises that we are in a climate and ecological emergency and we encourage you to consider reducing environmental impact by choosing more sustainable methods of transport, e.g., walking, cycling, car pooling, public transport or offsetting carbon emissions. See Environment and Climate for more info.
St James’ Hall, 462 Elizabeth St, New Town (off Rupert Avenue just up the hill on the city side of Augusta Rd, enter behind church. The hall is between the church and the Hill St Grocer.)
(close to rapid and frequent bus routes – any Main Rd bus, or 30 mins walk, 11 mins ride, 5 mins drive from the city centre).
Pat Murnane Memorial Hall, 188a Lenah Valley Rd, Lenah Valley (next to RSL, opposite John Turnbull Park) (on MetroTas bus routes 550, 551, 552; 25 minutes bike ride from centre of Hobart; if parking car, use hall-side of car park next to RSL, definitely not RSL-side).
Hobart Town Hall, 50 Macquarie St Hobart (2 minutes walk from main city bus mall, very walkable from most locations in the city)
Glen Derwent Heritage Retreat, 44 Hamilton Rd, New Norfolk, 32 minutes drive from Hobart, 1 hour on a bus (Derwent Valley Link X22 – see timetable. 350m (4 min walk) from stop C on Rocks Rd opp Station St)
Lady Nelson (ship), Elizabeth St Pier, Hobart waterfront (see map). Note that there is very little parking nearby. Your best bets are to walk, ride, catch a bus (the main Elizabeth St bus stop is 4 minutes’ walk away and you can “park and ride” from elsewhere), or park a car further afield, e.g., at the council’s Argyle St car park, which is about 6 minutes’ walk, once you’ve got out of the car park (and note that it can take quite a while to drive into the car park and park – on a bad day, 20 minutes). See https://www.hobartcity.com.au/City-services/Parking/Motor-vehicle-parking/Short-term-parking for the city’s large parking stations.
Lenah Valley Community Hall, Creek Rd, Lenah Valley, Hobart.- opposite Lenah Valley Primary School, near the corner of Augusta Road and Creek Road – Lenah Valley buses go to within a few hundred metres of the hall, from the centre of Hobart – if driving, walking or cycling from town, go up Elizabeth St from town, through North Hobart; turn left into Augusta Rd; follow it over hill and down dale until you reach the intersection with Pottery Rd and Creek Rd (on the crest of a hill, next to a chip shop, with a grassy park on one corner); turn right and the hall is the first building on your left, on the edge of the oval. Cars may be parked in front of the hall, or more usually in the school car park across the road.
North Hobart Uniting Church Hall, cnr Elizabeth and Swan Sts, opposite State Cinema. Dance hall is in lower ground floor, accessible down ramp to the left hand side of building.
Palais Theatre, Main Rd, Franklin, about 5 minutes drive south of Huonville, so about 40 minutes south of Hobart. A large building close to the road on the right, in the middle of the small town of Franklin, just after a hotel. Cars may be parked between the hotel and the Palais. A grand old theatre with plenty of atmosphere. Lovingly restored by the Franklin Progress Association and many helpers.
Bay West (formerly St Peter’s) Church Hall, cnr Grosvenor and Lord Sts, Sandy Bay, near the university and the Sandy Bay shops, Less than 10 minutes drive from the centre of Hobart.
New Sydney Hotel, 87 Bathurst St Hobart 6234 4516 fax 6236 9965.
Evandale Memorial Hall, next to St Andrew’s Anglican Church in the small town of Evandale just south of Launceston.
Lilydale RSL Hall, turn right opposite the pub.
The Brisbane Hotel, 3 Brisbane St, Hobart 62344920
Republic Bar & Cafe, 299 Elizabeth St Hobart 6234 6954
Moonah Arts Centre, fortnightly series of concerts, 03 6274 0318.
North-West: Bridge Hotel, Forth, near Devonport 6428 2239
Molly Malone’s, 34 Best St. Devonport 7310 6424 1898
McGinty’s (Burnie Town House), 139 Wilson St Burnie 7320, 03 6431 4455 fax 03 6431 1026 (sold recently)