A Guide to Tasmania’s Folk Venues and Contacts
ome venues where folk events are often held.
See our Forthcoming Events page for details of actual events.
Dear musical friend(s),
There is an active folk scene in Tasmania, with concerts, festivals, sessions, dances and workshops.
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.
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
- The Night Owl/Casbah, Liverpool St Hobart - https://www.facebook.com/hobartcasbahcafe
- St George’s Church, Battery Point - http://www.stgeorgesbatterypoint.org
- The Republic Bar (a musically supportive pub in Hobart) – www.republicbar.com
- The Lark Distillery – www.larkdistillery.com.au
- MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) – hosts many concerts including a folk series. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Folk Promoter – Roger Joseph, email@example.com, 03 6105 0585, 0419 558 421, sometimes runs house concerts and also some larger concerts. Roger can also assist with publicity, printing, promotion and pub bookings.
- The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart often feature folk-related acts. Phone 6234 4920.
- Ecohaven - www.ecohaven.com.au
- Blacksmith Gallery and Cafe (formerly Skwiz), 63 Main Street, Sheffield: Alan Stott, 03 6425 7433 or 0481 452 271; http://www.fridaynitemusic.org;
- Launceston – the Royal Oak Hotel in Brisbane St. is our best pub for putting on folkie gigs, and you talk directly to Bruce Potter there to book anything, 03 6331 5346
- Cygnet Folk Festival, Tasmania’s largest folk festival by far, 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.
- Hobart Summer Festival and Taste of Tasmania – big commercial food and entertainment festival run by Hobart City Council. Has several musical stages although music is not the main focus. This runs late December into January. See www.hobartsummerfestival.com.au
- Festivale in Launceston, www.festivale.com.au, February
- Westbury Saint Patrick’s Festival
- 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
- Australian house concert network: http://houseconcertsaustralia.ning.com/
- Other people to talk to might include:
- Beth Sowter, firstname.lastname@example.org, 03 6330 1886 – knows many people in the folk scene in Tasmania and has been involved in organising events in the past, but is trying to wind back a bit. Organises the Celtic Summer School in Victoria each year. See www.celt.com.au/summer.html
- Steve Gadd, email@example.com 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, has organised many events concerning old time, American and Australian music.
Opportunities for Dances
If you play or call for structured folk dancing (Irish, Balkan, Contra, Bush, English, Scottish, Breton, Renaissance, …) try the following:
- Cathy and David, email@example.com or 03 6273 2127, are the Folk Federation’s dance organisers and host many dances during the year. 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 of each month from February to December.
- The Cygnet, Georgetown, Westbury and National Windjam 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, firstname.lastname@example.org,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 two Morris Dance sides and various other 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/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.
Wesley Hall, 58 Melville St, Hobart (5 minutes walk from the city centre).
Opposite Forestry Tasmania, next to a multi-storey carpark. If travelling north from the city centre, along Elizabeth St, turn left into Melville St. The hall is about 50m along, on the left.
Brookfield Margate, Channel Highway, Margate, about 15 min drive from the centre of Hobart. Turn right after the bridge just before the big curve into Margate. See www.brookfieldmargate.com or ring 03 6267 2880. They serve meals and wine as well as run concerts and they have a model Tudor village and train set.
Lenah Valley Hall, Creek Rd, Lenah Valley, Hobart.- opposite Lenah Valley Primary School, near the corner of August 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 video and 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.
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 (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, Gary Lawrence, 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.
Weld St. Adult Education Hall, South Hobart – turn off Macquarie or Davey St into Weld St.
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 : Royal Oak Hotel, Brisbane St, Launceston. Bruce Potter 6331 5346
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)