Archive for year: 2018

Zambezi Sounds

Headed by Zimbabwen musicians Felix Machiridza and Ben Mutondazi, Zambezi Sounds bring their sweet and spiritual Nyami Mbira and talking bass of the Zambezi River to Cobargo. Backed by Chilean percussionist Sinuhe Pachecco, Tom Sherringham on melodic guitar and Andrew Howard on drumkit. Their repertoire includes a hypnotic and highly danceable mixture of contemporary and traditional African rhythms, classic reggae, stories and songs.


With a history of one EP and a debut album released by the time she was 19, Vendulka is an artist you may want to keep on your radar. Travelling the world with nothing but her guitar and an open heart, she shares her experiences through haunting melodies and soulful lyrics. Don’t miss your chance to see her before she sets off on her next adventure!

The Rayos

Hailing from the Sierra foothills of Northern California husband and wife songwriting duo The Rayos. Elena, violinist from age 5, has enough on her plate, keeping Saul, country blues guitar/singer, in line while they dine, make love, play music, garden on their small apple farm, and run their analog recording studio Ancient Wave Studios.  Let them sing you one of their original songs of love and politics — back porch blues meets world beat.

The Novellas

The Novellas are a six-piece band from the Bega Valley with songs inspired by contemporary fiction from Australia and beyond. Sparse & atmospheric, The Novella’s paint in song the evocations of the printed word & celebrate the emotional power of storytelling. Noted Australian actors Patrick Dickson & Tracy Mann have joined the Novellas on stage reading excerpts from the books that have inspired the songs. The Novella’s are Myoung Jae Yi on guitar and vocals, Cellestine Janiola on vocals, Andrew Gray on piano, Anna Martin on drums, Josh Becker on bass, and Georgina Hargraves on oboe & sax.

The Michael Menager Trio

The Michael Menager Trio was born at Cobargo Folk Festival 2017. Sam Martin (guitar) and Michael Menager (vocals, guitar) signed for the festival as a duo. But at Sam’s last minute invitation, Dan Efraemson (violin) – from Malumba, a World Music band that Sam also plays in – jumped up on stage. And so it began. Michael’s lyrics cut along a philosophical edge, his rhythms and melodies cut across the spectrum of bluegrass, folk and blues, and his stories cut across the inner landscape of a poet and traveller. And Martin & Efraemson’s improvisations weave a framework for it all.

The Good Girl Song Project

In this theatrical song cycle, “Voyage”, four of Australia’s leading folk musicians recount the stories of the young women immigrants who voyaged from Gravesend to Sydney heading to a new life in Australia in the 1830’s. The original songs are based on the reseacrh of Liz Rushen, drawn from eyewitness accounts and source material of the time, and bring a fresh female perspective to the experiences of these young women. This is a compelling revisiting of a little-known aspect of recent Australian history. Performed by Penny Larkins (Vocals), Penelope Swales (whistles and vocals), Jamie Molloy (concertina and vocals) and Helen Begley (Guitars and Vocals) it is history at its most poignant and it’s never sounded so good!


Twice winners of Scotland’s Traditional Music ‘Live Act of the Year’ Award (2016 and 2011), SKERRYVORE tour their unique fusion of folk, trad, rock and Americana worldwide. This appearance at Cobargo is their first ever perfomance in Australia. Their typically high energy set will be a mix of tunes and songs, a party waiting to happen. “Skerryvore have crafted a world beating fusion, which takes pride in their Scottish heritage and above all else is a pure joy to listen to.” FOLK RADIO UK

Shelby Grace

Inspired by her American roots, Shelby Grace is fast becoming a versatile and accomplished singer and guitarist. Hailing from the NSW Snowy Mountains, Shelby recently graduated from the CMAA Academy of Country Music. She was awarded Peoples’ Choice runner up in the 2017 Australian National Busking Championships and overall runner up at the 2016 Australian National Busking Championships. Shelby’s recent performances include Tamworth Country Music Festival, The Peak Festival, Cobargo Folk Festival and Floriade.

Sacred Cow

Sacred Cow’s repertoire is a genre-jumping, up-beat collection of songs from the ‘colourful’ life of songwriter, Sarah Cowan. Embracing social commentary and political activism, Sarah’s weapon of choice is an open-tuned, percussive guitar utilised to shoot down ignorance, challenge taboos and inspire empathy. Joined by Jeremy Kemp on funky bass and viola Brasilliera, and Jo Baxter shaking it up with percussion and stunning harmonies sacred cow acoustic are set to reinspire audiences and fellow musicians alike.

Robyn Sykes

Robyn Sykes is not your average rhyming poet. A flick of her pen makes words twist, tuck and double-somersault with pike. Poems prance. Ditties dance. ‘I love to entertain’, the multi-award-winning poet says. ‘And I love telling stories. I’m delighted to be part of the Cobargo Folk Festival.’ The Australian Champion bush poet learnt to say ‘Banjo Paterson’ before she said ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’… well not quite, but you get the idea. Buckle up for the ride as Robyn takes her audiences on a high-impact tour through life in modern Australia.

Richard Gilewitz

For nearly four decades, American fingerstyle guitar wizard Richard Gilewitz has fascinated listeners with 6 and 12-string finger gymnastics while spinning enchanting yarns of a seasoned raconteur. His concert performances around the world spill over with unexpected turns of the funnies, thought-provoking takes on life on the road, and tunes that propel the audience on a magical journey of sight and sound. His signature playing style delivers a technical diversity of banjo style patterns and classical arpeggios with a rhythmic percussive approach, exploring the history of guitar with sounds of folk to Americana, the blues to the classical, ragtime to pop, and somewhere in between.

Quaama Singers

The Quaama Singers will “pop up” at various times and places around the Festival grounds on Saturday between 10.00 am and 2.00 pm. There’s also a stage performance on Sunday between 4.00 and 6.00 pm. Come and sing along to crowd favourites, beautiful chants and fabulous circle songs. No festival is complete without a rousing go at The Lion Sleeps Tonight and this is where you’ll find it!

Paverty Bush Band

Paverty Bush Band is Canberra’s premier bush band. Paverty started in 1970 as Franklyn B Paverty and the Platt Valley Crooners. With a strong instrumental line up including fiddle, banjo, flute, lagerphone and feet tambourines they get toes tapping and folk up and dancing. Paverty plays Australian folk music – an eclectic mix of traditional and original songs, ballads and tunes with country, blues, rock, bluegrass, skiffle and jug band influences.

Passionate Fools

Some could say it is foolish to think playing music is the most important goal in life – but this is the passion that drives Peter Hisco and Wendy Jackson, recent and welcome additions to the Cobargo music scene. Sometimes it seems foolish to try and play too many instruments at one gig -but being sensible can be boring. With sublime vocals that blend seamlessly and extensive instrumental skills on an array of stringed instruments – guitar, double bass, fiddle, mandolin, banjo and ukulele – the Passionate Fools will lift you up and warm your soul with music inspired by a broad range of styles from swing to blues to bluegrass.

Numb Bugger Dumb Bugger

Peter Otton is a multi-award winning local artist whose work is represented at NSW Government House. Tim Metcalf is a multi-award winning poet. Both men are long-term residents of the Bega Valley Shire.

Montgomery Church

Cielle Montgomery and James Church are ‘Montgomery Church’ – a blend of acoustic folk, Americana and bluegrass influences, grown and distilled in the Snowy Mountain ranges of country New South Wales. With their organic union of dobro, guitar, harmony vocals, and elegant songwriting, this captivating duo are enthralling in their dynamic intimacy and embrace all that is subtle, spacious, and sensitive.

Mensch Monique!

Mensch Monique! Cruise with compass in search of waves. Love a slow waltz down the boulevard. Get drunk on the storm and the calm before it. Peer down at the clouds from above and chew gum under water.. Mensch Monique! are the joie de vivre of Berlin/Kreuzberg Bohemia life on the land by the lake and the deepblue sea. Mensch Monique! are two voices, a guitar, and an acoustic bass. Mensch Monique are Jule Schroeder (ex The Beez) and Georg Sasspowski (Extreme Little Sleep).

Jodi Martin

Jodi Martin returns to Cobargo with a stunning new single, Love is Your Legacy. (and of course, a full show) Written in her hometown of Ceduna, this is Jodi at her raw and honest best. Following the momentum of her cheeky eco-single (Did Mother Nature Become a Criminal, co-written with Arlo Guthrie, the new single is an intimate journey through love and loss, steeped in the stillness and sparseness of the desert. Jodi is joined at Cobargo by her Candelo-based sister, Robyn Martin, to weave harmonies around songs that will leave a smile on your face and goosebumps on your skin.

Gone Molly

With their debut album taking out three titles in the 2018 Australian Celtic Music Awards, Gone Molly are unique folk storytellers. Ghosting across ancient battlefields, through grimy London alleyways and down into the faerie dells, their rich lyrics and catchy choruses make for a compelling live show where audience participation is a must! Recently joined by talented multi-instrumentalist Lachlan Baldwin, this is an act you don’t want to miss.

Glover and Sorrensen

Oh no! They’re back! Again! With their new show ‘Real Men Cry’, Glover & Sorensen are two blokes just having a chat with the audience about the realities of life. Sounds safe enough, eh? But with these two comedians onstage at the same time, bouncing off each other (verbally mostly, physically sometimes) it’s twice the laughs, twice the unexpected – and twice the trouble. It’s spontaneous fun (with some insightful bits). Each performance is different. Bring a helmet (and a tissue).

Daniel Champagne

Here are some things the critics say about a man who first unveiled his talent at the Cobargo Folk Festival: “Daniel Champagne is a crossroads. Fusing the strong traditions of Blues, Folk and other roots art with pop showmanship and admirable lyrical ability. I firmly believe that he will become an ambassador for roots music in a time where it desperately needs representation. The word Prodigy seems to entirely fall short of this soft-spoken young man’s skills, he coaxes sounds and melodies out of his instrument that literally drop jaws.” The Calgary Herald, Canada” “Today I saw the future of Folk – Festival goers flocking in their thousands towards the main stage to witness a young musical phenomenon from Australia dish out an absolute show-stopper.” The Firefly Column, USA. Make sure you see him and make up your own mind.


“Spine-tingling” (Rhythms) and “extraordinary” (Fine Music FM), Chaika employ ethereal harmonies and myriad instruments to create textures inspired by Balkan vibrancy, Turkish markets, Celtic stories, and Eastern Europe’s stunning landscapes. Now releasing their third LP, Chaika’s members individually have written for and performed with truly diverse roster on stages all over the world, including Monsieur Camembert, Riley Lee, and The London Bulgarian Choir. “Enchanting” (The Australian) audiences from folk festivals to the world-class Sydney City Recital Hall, Chaika surprise and move listeners, journeying an unidentifiable era and landscape with music that sits firmly “outside the norm” (Timber & Steel).

Bush Traditions Slow Sessions

No better way to start your day than joining Alan, Gavin, Moiré, Paula, Peter and Ray at the Slow Sessions. Over the years they have run dozens of sessions teaching traditional tunes, starting at the National Folk Festival in 2003, and now spreading their wings and strings to include a few festivals from St Albans to Cobargo. Whether you’re accomplished or a beginner, the focus is on fun and inclusion.

Bob McInness & Jane Ellis

Well known as Stringfiddle in Heritage & Scottish Dance Circles, Bob and Jane enjoy extending their repertoire into other aspects of traditional music, from reflective beauty to wild excitement, bringing empathy and rapport to the interplay of fiddle and piano. And it wouldn’t be a Cobargo Folk Festival without Bob leading the sessions in the bar.

Black Mountain String band

Making a return visit to Cobargo, The Black Mountain String Band is a celebration of string band music in all its forms. They combine fiddles and banjos along with guitar and double bass to draw from the well of tradition, while adding timeless sounding originals. Donal Baylor, Jacqueline Bradley, Matt Nightingale and Pablo Shopen- who’s father pioneered old time picking in Canberra with his band of the same name in the 1980s – cleverly arrange this wide range of material in a seamless presentation and will delight aficionados and new audiences alike..

Bill Jackson with Ruth Hazleton

Highly regarded in the Australian acoustic music scene for their vocal abilities, songwriting and musicianship, partners Ruth Hazleton (Vocals/Banjo/Guitar) and Bill Jackson (Vocals/Guitar/Harmonica) first joined forces in 2007. Individually and as a duo they have toured the UK, Ireland and the US and have recorded and released more than a dozen albums to wide critical acclaim internationally – Ruth as part of seminal Australian folk duo, Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton and Bill as a solo performer. The duo presents a combination of original songs and traditional songs from the Americana and folk music traditions

On the Stoop

“This could be eight different bands from eight different corners of the world except it’s more like one fevered collective musical brain firing off ideas like skyrockets. Look, there’s one exploding above you right now,” wrote Bernard Zuel, in the Sydney Morning Herald. SMH. Mariachi, Balkan, New-Orleans swing, Spaghetti- Western, Cabaret, Film Score, Cumbia, Punk-Rock are all represented in this magnificent ensemble. Their recent LP, Home, received extensive radio support in Sydney including album of the week on Eastside Radio and airplay on community radio stations 2SER, FBi, ABC Radio National and RRR in Melbourne. Be prepared to be surprised and delighted.


Now Allan Stone is a poetry bloke, Otherwise known as Stonybroke.  He’ll make you laugh and make you cry  Or spin you yarns about pie in the sky. Raising awareness about Global pollution  And how we all must be part of the solution and  Three young lads, fresh out of luck  Towed through the bush, by a big Mack truck  A driver chap who gets into fights,  First Nation people with sacred sites, There’s even a bloke who had a lamb, And Mulligan who blew out the lamp. So come along, get on yer bike When Stonybroke is on the mike 

Baz Cooper

Baz has a long history of playing music of many genres in many parts of the world, from successful rock bands, to folk, blues and World music and has become something of a musical chameleon. All these influences come out in original songs and tunes and the music in Baz’s solo shows. Everything from piano boogie, to sparkling accordion features, to soulful ballads and songs that reveal his sense of humour; you never know what’s coming next!

The Western Flyers

The Western Flyers are one of the most exciting bands to glide on to the music scene in years! Their unique sound is a cross section of the Great American Songbook: classic western swing, hot jazz & swing standards, vintage country & cowboy songs, and electrifying old-time fiddle tunes. Dubbed “The Biggest Little Band in the Land”, the trio features archtop guitar-slinger Joey McKenzie, who brings his dynamic rhythm guitar style and smooth vocals to the band, along with Katie Glassman, 3-time National Swing Fiddle Champion and vintage-style singer extraordinaire, plus legendary double bass-player, Cary Black.

Susan O’Neill

All the way from Co. Clare, Ireland, the prodigiously gifted Susan O’Neill’s soulful & husky-voiced performances are truly something to behold. Using guitar, harmonica, trumpet and a loop pedal, Susan delivers a timeless and powerful blend of the old & new. Her inspirational fusion of soulful folk & her own acclaimed original material makes for an entertaining & enchanting musical experience. Her performances at last year’s National Folk Festival are still being talked about.

Stiff Gins

Stiff Gins combine stunning harmonies and wicked senses humour to transport listeners to a world of joy, spirit and song. Their moniker is a reclamation of an offensive reference to Aboriginal women, a banner to guide their music in the direction of strength and pride. Three albums and countless breathtaking shows later, the name has become synonymous with musical excellence. Fresh off the stage from their epic visual theatre project Spirit of Things: Sound of Objects they are forging forward. In their nineteenth year they soar into their most intriguing music making yet with a new recording and sound design project in the works. 

Sharon Shannon

We don’t have enough space to list the achievements of Sharon Shannon, the button accordion player from Co Clare, Ireland. She has recorded and toured with a who’s who of the Irish and global music industry, including Bono, Adam Clayton, Sinead O’Connor, Jackson Browne, John Prine, Steve Earle, The RTE Concert Orchestra, The Chieftains, The Waterboys, Willie Nelson, Nigel Kennedy, Alison Krauss and Shane McGowan. Her 12 studio recorded albums to date have all been very different and groundbreaking, mixing traditional Irish with reggae, country, First Nation American, bluegrass, rap, dance, African, French Canadian. The genre-defying star has had multi-platinum album sales and has had several Number One albums, singles and DVDs in her home country. Sharon grew up in a rural community and is part of a family that all play musical instruments and traditional Irish music. However, her career took a massive upward trajectory when in the late 80s she was asked to join the seminal rock band The Waterboys. Her first show with that band, to an audience of 50,000, was the on main stage at perhaps the most well-known music festival on earth–Glastonbury. Here for the first time, in one concert, at Cobargo.

Shortis and Simpson

Who could forget their Eurovision and Sgt. Pepper shows at previous Cobargo Festivals. Shortis and Simpson are a cabaret duo who spend their time satirising politicians and bringing Australian history to life in shows that are humorous, poignant, informative and entertaining. And they’ve been doing it for a long time, clocking up nearly 100 years of experience between them. You can catch them at the festival in a few guises – doing satire, and taking a funny and moving look at the musical influences upon them and others.

Shane Howard

Shane Howard is a prolific Australian songwriter, admired and respected for his integrity and commitment to music. His songs champion the cause of the common man, the environment and the injustices endured by Australia’s Aboriginal people. After 30 years of singing, writing and journeying the globe, from campfires to concert halls, he has consolidated his voice to become an important addition to the evolving folklore of modern song. Howard’s 13th solo album Deeper South redefines the boundaries of Australian folk music and reinvigorates it with poetic and musical mastery. The Shane Howard Trio features the mastery of Howard’s musical companions Ewen Baker (Fiddle. Mandolin) and John Hudson (Guitar, Dobro). The Deeper South show features songs full of music and poetry that are deep and dark, yet illuminated by great shafts of light. This is folk music, but not as we know it.

Scott Cook and the She’ll Be Rights

Prairie balladeer and veteran road warrior Scott Cook returns with a new intercontinental stringband, consisting of fellow Canadian Bramwell Park on banjo, and Aussie comrades Esther Henderson on fiddle and Liz Frencham on upright bass. These are sturdy, straight-talking songs, equal parts introspection and insurrection.” He sings his heart and soul, and in doing so lets light flood into your own… Truly one of Woody Guthrie’s children.” -RnR Magazine

Nick Charles

Performing 150 shows a year worldwide, Nick is known internationally as “Australia’s virtuoso of acoustic roots and blues”. His 35 year career has seen him accumulate every conceivable accolade including Port Fairy Artist of the Year 2014, every blues award in Australia multiple times and twice winner of the Australian Song Contest. “The River Flows” was The Age Blues Album of the Year. He’s toured with John Hammond, Guy Clarke and Ralph McTell and performed more than 300 shows across North America. This is dazzling fingerpicking roots magic and a lifetime’s stories and songs from the world’s musical highways.

Luke O’Shea

Known for his storytelling and powerful live shows – Luke O’Shea has a unique, yet classic Australian sound. A recipient of nine Golden Guitars & twice named the Australian Independent Artist of the Year – Luke carries on the ancient tradition of singing up the country in a very distinct and contemporary way and is a fitting heir to the bush troubadours of past. Drawing inspiration from the humorous and the heartbreaking, Luke O’Shea crafts and delivers his songs to connect with audiences on an unexpected deeper level.

Jordie Lane

With eight albums under his belt, Jordie Lane is widely regarded as one of Australia’s finest singer-songwriters. His acclaimed album ‘Glassellland’ made its debut into the top 100 US Americana chart, and won a slew of praise and awards, including Double J ‘Album Of The Week’, nominated for The Age Music Victoria Awards, and winning ‘Tower Of Song Of The Year’. Descriptions of Lane’s voice land somewhere between Rodney Crowell and Ron Sexsmith, with a musical style driven always by what the song demands of him. From finger picking folk to rock’n’roll roots to storyteller ballads, it is a voice that has taken him around the world, performing major festivals in the US, Canada, UK and Australia, and touring with international legends, Billy Bragg, Old Crow Medicine Show, Neko Case, Cat Power, The Weakerthans, Ruthie Foster, Mary Chapin Carpenter and The Moody Blues.

25th COBARGO FOLK FESTIVAL 28 Feb-1 March 2020

That’s a wrap folks! The 2019 Cobargo Folk Festival was a blast! Thanks to all our wonderful volunteers, performers, vendors, service providers and everyone in the audience who came and supported this little festival on the Far South Coast of NSW. We had a ball and look forward to doing it all again from 28 Feb-1 March 2020. See you then!

The Cobargo Sessions


At the 2018 Cobargo Folk Festival we did something a bit different that we intend to be the start of a lasting and far reaching online archive of the music we love. We are thrilled to announce the launch of The Cobargo Sessions, a series of high quality videos showcasing a range of artists who have performed at the Cobargo Folk Festival.

We want people all over Australia and around the world to see the range of extraordinary talent that makes its way to the sleepy, beautiful village of Cobargo in rural New South Wales, Australia, to entertain at our annual folk festival held in the first weekend of March, now firmly on the global folk and roots map.

We also want to give back to the artists who support our festival and discovered, after talking to many performers, that the single most useful contribution would be a well-produced video. With the generous support of the NSW Government tourist promotion body, Destination NSW, we were able to engage two young film production companies, Pegleg Productions from the Albury region, and Crewcible from the ACT, to weave their magic on a pretty limited budget.

As you’ll see on our Cobargo Folk Festival YouTube Channel, they did a fantastic job.

We are giving each video to the artists involved free of charge, asking only that they use their own online platforms to promote themselves and our Festival.

Finances permitting, we hope to grow this archive over coming years. We all learned a lot from our first year and we are have heaps of exciting ideas for the future.

Obviously, we just don’t have the time or the money to do this for every performer at the Festival. So our programming team will make selections, based on availability during the festival, genres, Australian and international audience reach, and helping emerging and mid-career artists.

We hope you will take time to look at this year’s excellent performances and to share them far and wide with your family and friends. Please subscribe to our Youtube channel to receive all the updates!



2018 Yuin Folk Club Concerts in April

Two fabulous Yuin Folk Club concerts are coming up in April!  First up, the awesome Flats and Sharps, a high energy Cornish bluegrass/Old Timey band featuring star Candelo bass player, Robyn Martin, on Thursday 5 April from 7pm. Then we have Cara, a wonderful Celtic band based in Germany on Sunday 8 April from 4pm. Both bands are coming to us straight from the National Folk Festival. The raffle proceeds from both concerts plus a donation from the Yuin Folk Club and any other private donations from participants will go to the Mayoral Appeal Fund following the Tathra bushfires. Tickets $20 for YFC members and $25 for non-members or $30 for both concerts for members and $40 for both concerts for non-members. Concerts at the Cobargo School of Arts Hall, tix at the door. See you there!

2018 Cobargo Folk Festival Raffle Results:

1st Prize Ticket 2977 2 Adult Season Passes to the 2018 Woodford Folk Festival, M Telfon
2nd Prize Ticket 2471 2 Adult Season Passes to the 2019 Illawarra Folk Festival, J Bass
3rd Prize Ticket 1520 2 nights accommodation for 4 guests at one of the Seaview Beach Houses (Bermagui), C Stanford
4th Prize Ticket 2889 2 Adult Season Passes with camping to the 2019 Cobargo Folk Festival, K Hadley
5th Prize Ticket 1513 1 nights accommodation for 2 people at the Harbourvew Motel (Bermagui), W Byrne
6th Prize Ticket 1225 2 Adult Season Passes (With Camping) to the 2018 Folk By The Sea, Natalie
7th Prize Ticket 1103 Leather Hat Donated by South Coast Leather, Cobargo, A Calfas
8th Prize Ticket 2666 Assorted CD’s Donated by Festival Performers, R Newberry
9th Prize Ticket 2083 2 Adult Season Tickets (with camping) to Nariel Folk Festival, G Wadsley

Visitor Survey

Please help us improve our next festival by completing the 2018 Festival Evaluation Survey.

Please note:  Visitors who purchased tickets on-line will also be sent the survey link by email.
It only needs to be completed once.  Thanks!

Bluestone Junction

Bluestone Junction are exponents of traditional Bluegrass music. Sometimes fast and furious, sometimes slow and sweet, their Bluegrass music is performed like in the old days – without pickups or amplifiers, and played around a single microphone.
They are proudly releasing their third studio album, a collection of good old “favourites” at the Festival. Bluestone Junction features Chris Jacobs on guitar and main vocal, Donal Baylor on fiddle, Pete Fidler on mandolin and dobro, Mick Harrison on the five string banjo and Mike St.Clair-Miller on double bass.

2018 Cobargo Folk Festival

ALL CAMPING TICKETS FOR THE 2018 COBARGO FOLK FESTIVAL ARE SOLDThere are still plenty of DAY TICKETS, which you can buy at the gate.  The 2018  program booklet is HERE with all the info you need for a top weekend in Cobargo. See you soon!

The Cobargo Folk Festival regrets that Peter Rowan has cancelled his tour of Australia because of ill-health.

The Young Folk (Ireland)

The Young Folk comprise a creative triangle with Anthony Furey at its apex joined by Paul Butler and Tony McLoughlin who are singer/songwriters of exceptional talent in their own right. On this tour they are joined by Alex Borwick, enabling the group to fully flex their musical muscle. Balancing delicacy with boldness, tender songwriting with A1 harmonies and musicality with a nod to tradition and indi-pop inflection, the Young Folk share an unmistakable Irish heritage in both sound and ancestry. Their second album, ‘First Sign of Morning’ will be previewed during this Australian tour.

Warren Fahey

Warren Fahey is a cultural ‘Jack of all trades’ – cultural historian, author, music producer, broadcaster and performer. He has been honoured with numerous gongs including the Order of Australia, Prime Minister’s Centenary Medal and the Don Bank’s Music Award for lifetime achievement in the arts. Warren played Banjo Patterson up against Max Cullen’s Henry Lawson in the hugely successful stage show “Dead Men Talking”. Now the pair are back with a new show portraying Lennie Lower (Max) and Roy ‘Mo’ Reme (Warren), two of Australia’s most famous comics.

“Dead Men Laughing” is a festival fringe event on Thursday 23 February that is separately ticketed with limited seating.

The Spooky Men’s Chorale

Big, bold, bible-black, bilious … the Spooky Men’s Chorale comes to Cobargo to hammer another hapless audience with their now famous blend of dropdeadpan stupidity, cavernous manchords and hairy, giltedged beauty….and a whole swag of brand new songs.

Society for Creative Anachronism

The Society for Creative Anachronism, or SCA, is an international living history organization dedicated to researching, maintaining and recreating the arts, skills, and traditions of pre-17th-century Europe. SCA dancers and musicians at Cobargo are mostly members of the Sydney branch, but there are also groups in other capital cities as regional centres. The SCA will introduce circle dances from the 16th century.

Slow Sessions

The slow sessions are brought to you by Ray Mulligan, Gavin & Moir Holmes, Alan & Linda Swift, and Ralph Pride They have been running these sessions at the National Folk Festival since 2003. The sessions are focussed on participation. The tunes are played at a pace suited to those learning an instrument and for those learning to play in groups.

Shortis and Simpson

Shortis and Simpson are a Canberra-based cabaret duo that specialise in shows about history and politics in a way that is satirical, humorous, poignant, informative and unpredictable. They will be marking the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s album (50 Years Ago Today), running a festival choir, and presenting some up-to-date political satire.

Set In Their Ways

‘Set In Their Ways’ is a lively adult Irish Set Dancing group from Canberra. Whether you come to listen or dance, the infectious rhythms of the music will have your toes tapping along in no time

Scott Cook and the Second Chances (Canada)

A roots balladeer with a rare personal warmth, Canada’s Scott Cook has distilled the stories collected over a decade of near incessant touring across Canada, the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia into straight-talking, keenly observant verse. Scott is returning to Cobargo with his trio the Second Chances.

The Sauerkrauts (Germany)

A yodellin´, thigh slappin’, lederhosen wettin´ dancefest of German music with The Beez´ Deta and Rob. Thrill to comic classics from Rammstein to Kraftwerk; tear off that dirndl and shake a Teutonic Tailfeather to Nena´s 99 Red Balloons but, most of all, be entertained- that´s an order!


An award winning Celtic band, Saoirse bring beautiful Celtic music to a wide audience, promoting and organizing performances at venues all over Australia, offering a little bit of everything Celtic, including heartfelt ballads, lively jigs & reels, toe tapping polkas, all the while writing and arranging original works.

The Sandy River Belles

The Sandy River Belles consist of Jenny Shimmin, banjo, fiddle & vocals, Jeri Foreman, fiddle & vocals & Gage Stead, Double Bass & vocals. They play old time & bluegrass music. Despite living in different States – Jeri & Gage in Adelaide, & Jenny in Sydney – their shared large repertoire of traditional music & a fierce love for the music bridge the distance with ease.

The Royal High Jinx

The Royal High Jinx write, play and sing music inspired by European traditions, shaded with Hot Club/Manouche/ Klezmer, jazz and a pinch of classical virtuosity, while sporting a spectacular wardrobe combining dapper suits and burlesque exuberance.

Rowena Wise

Award-winning Melbourne songstress Rowena Wise has grown up with music, touring nationally and internationally from a young age in the Wise Family Band. Laying pop infused melodies, and rich, quirky conversational lyrics onto a sparse folk canvas, she performs with a believability that defies her 23 years.

Rob Cleary

Rob has never grown up and just does shows for kids. He presents a wacky roller-coaster ride of join in action songs, dances, and his famous kids’ parade. Special guest Sneaky the Snake.

Rhys Davies The Trickster

Rhys Davies ‘The Trickster’ returns to Cobargo after running away to join a circus in New Zealand, with more sneaky tricks, cheeky jokes and hair. Lots more hair.

Psycho Zydeco

Sydney based Psycho Zydeco have established themselves at the forefront of the energetic uplifting style of music known as Zydeco. This music was originally born in the swamplands and bayou area of Louisiana’s Deep South. The band’s earthy blend of traditional Cajun, Blues and Swamp music produce a heady mix of their Australian brand of Zydeco.

Prelude to a Kiss

A relaxing and intimate rendezvous with resonant cascades of instruments: voice, wind, brass, piano and strings. With deep mutual respect, these three highly experienced women spice contemporary songs with sensuous acoustic intimations of multi-culture, jazz/blues, and ambient folk.

Peter Hicks

A Tasmanian based troubadour whose songs “have teeth”. Peter presents songs from a well-received new album, full of songs which challenge the powerful with grit and humour and singalong choruses!

Noisy Nonna in the Kitchen

Isabella & Matilda have a Nonna who cooks a lot, plays ukulele and sings. Interactive storytelling with the children playing kitchen utensil ‘instruments’ ina ‘kitchen band’ and Nonna (Georgina Adamson, who is a real cook!) on her ukulele.


“Mojo” is Garry Carson Jones, Shayne Jones and Sam Martin, recognized as one of the top entertaining bands on the far south coast.

Miriam Lieberman with Liz Frencham & Suzie Bishop

Singer songwriter Miriam Lieberman has been busy with her trio, touring her latest album release ‘Full Circle’. Having spent long periods of time studying with greats in West Africa, Miriam writes and performs mostly on kora (West African harp). She brings to it her own contemporary Western pop sensibilities and an unmistakable voice.

Michael Menager & Friends

California-born singer/songwriter Michael Menager has an ear for the common threads in our human experience: pitfalls and disappointments, insights and epiphanies. Michael is now based in Tantawangalo, Australia, where his debut album, Clean Exit, was recorded in 2014. Michael’s second album, Not the Express, produced by Candelo’s Heath Cullen and recorded in LA with an all-star cast, is getting a great reception both in Australia and overseas.

Mica Lynnah

Mica Lynnah is a dancer, artist, community arts worker and performer with a background in creative movement and contemporary dance. She has performed and collaborated on various dance and theatre projects in the ACT and NSW, and is well known in the Bega Valley for her unique dance classes and dance troupe The Haniyami.

Mexico Lindo

Mexico Lindo was formed in 2011 to promote Mexican culture through dance. Reflecting the multicultural Australian society Mexico Lindo now integrates people from countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Australia and Laos.

Maypole with Molly

Maypole with Molly audience participation sessions encourage children and adults to dance around the maypole or play percussion. Founder and accordionist, Erika Cleaver (Molly) has been an accompanist and leader of several folk dance groups and is an experienced early childhood teacher who loves sharing music and dance with kids.

Max Cullen

Max Cullen has been treading the boards for most of his life. He has received various awards for theatre, film and television. Possibly channelling Lennie Lower, he worked as a journalist, including the infamous Kings Cross Whisper. Max wrote the script for “Dead Men Laughing” in which he plays Lennie Lower, another stage collaboration with Warren Fahey in a follow up to the hugely successful “Dead Men Talking” in which Max and Warren portrayed Henry Lawson and Banjo Patterson respectively.

“Dead Men Laughing” is a festival fringe event on Thursday 23 February that is separately ticketed with limited seating.

Martin Pearson

Martin is a strange mixture of comedy, folk and cabernet merlot. Not quite old enough to be a legend, he will continue to describe himself as a folkie out of sheer bloody-mindedness, and will crash-tackle anyone who calls him eclectic.


Virtuosic, original and exciting, Malumba’s genre-defying music will take you on a sonic journey while making your toes tap and your heart soar. With hints of Klezmer melodies, wild jazz harmonies, Celtic instruments and African rhythms, Malumba’s sound is unique and hugelyversatile.

Lloyd Spiegel

Lloyd Spiegel is an artist on the cutting edge of the blues scene in Australia. Australian Guitar Magazine recently named him as one of the 50 top Australian guitarists of all time. He’s been playing professionally since the age of 12 and has released 8 albums – with the most recent ‘Double Live Set’ debuting at #1 on the Australian blues airplay chart and #14 on the AIR Independent Charts in 2015.

Les Poules à Colin (Canada)

Les Poules à Colin are a young band from Québec’s Lanaudière region famous for its traditional music: they learned their craft from the finest in the genre. On top of their natural talent, energy and respect for the repertoire, they have beautifully arranged both original and folk-trad tunes and songs for fiddle, foot percussion, twin vocals, guitars, banjo, mandolin and electric bass.

Lance and Gabrielle Mackey

Lance and Gabrielle Mackey have coordinated, taught and assisted with many Cajun dances, workshops, and classes at home, local dances and at a number of folk festivals, including the National Folk Festival. Lance and Gabrielle are both looking forward to introducing Cajun dance to the Cobargo Folk Festival in 2017.

Kerryn Fields

A performance from the charismatic Fields will expose those nerves that need airing, as she takes on the heavy lifting of diving into the human condition and exploring it thoroughly.

Kameruka Bush Orchestra

The Kameruka Bush Orchestra is a collective of traditional players, from the Bega Valley, interested in playing and promoting Australian dance tunes for the traditional Bush Dances. They performed for the regular monthly dance at Kameruka Hall.

Jonathan Richman Experience

Jonathan Richman Experience (JRE) celebrates the music of one of rock’s most eccentric and unpredictable cult figures. Jonathan Richman is known for his wide-eyed, unaffected and childlike outlook, and music that, while rooted in rock and roll, often draws on influences from around the world.

John Flanagan Trio

Combining 60s/70s folk singer/songwriter influences with a contemporary Americana/ bluegrass sound. In Feb 2016 John released his latest album, ‘There’s Another Way to Where You’re Going’ which was recorded inNashville with producer Viktor Krauss and has been nominated for best Folk/Roots Album in The Age Music Victoria Awards.

Jasmine Beth

Jasmine Beth sings original folk tales inspired by poetry, plays, ancient myths, strange people and newspapers. Audiences enjoy her warm stage presence and engaging story telling. Jasmine was a finalist in the 2014

Australian Songwriting Contest, runner-up in the 2010 Sydney Singer-Songwriters’ Competition and a semi-finalist in the 2009 UK Songwriting Competition.

The Haniyami

The Haniyami is a local improvisational dance and movement troupe lead by Mica Lynnah. Out of the growing dance scene in the Bega Valley, this group challenges the boundaries between performer and audience, creating art with and within their surroundings. Sometimes charming, sometimes creepy, always enchanting – The Haniyami is all about enriching their environment.

Glover & Sorrensen

Glover & Sorrensen are funny. In fact, with two stand-up comedians on stage at the same time, it’s twice as funny. With lots of improvisation, this show feeds off the audience with hilarious and unpredictable results.

Hold onto your funny bones…

Glenn Skuthorpe

Find the crossroads of blues, roots, country and folk and you will discover Nhunggabarra, Kooma, Muruwari man and international touring singer songwriter Glenn Skuthorpe with his guitar, mandolin, banjo and harmonicas in hand. The singer songwriter has carved a reputation as an exemplary lyricist and composer, travelling the world and sharing through music.

Gina Williams

Winner of the Indigenous Act of the Year for 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016 (Western Australia Music Industry Awards), Gina connects with and captures audiences through the power of song. It’s even more special when it’s sung in rare Noongar language. Gina brings a fresh, modern take on ancient traditions; merging evocative sounds, natural acoustic instruments, and poignant stories with her incredible,beautiful voice.

Genni Kane

This ARIA winning former Flying Emu brings the songs and the voice front and centre. Humorous and heartbreaking, she sings the stories that mark a lifetime of songwriting.


Gabadoo is a Yuin man, born and raised in Bermagui NSW. He has been creating hip hop, R & B and urban funk music for over ten years, and is known for producing soul–infused beats and clear, dynamic vocals.

Frankly Charlotte

Local identity Charlotte Lyngbye, has been performing in the Bega Valley and at Cobargo Folk Festival on and off for two decades, with jazz ensembles, a medieval quartet, folk and rock with musical friends, even singing the occasional classical repertoire. Playing here in her own right.

Fran Robertson

Many years of formal training have not extinguished Fran’s passion for dance. From traditional dance from around the world to tap and jazz, Fran just loves to dance.


FolkLines plays dance music for bush and colonial dances across the Southern Highlands and the Monaro. They have an extensive repertoire of collected Australian dances and music to go with them.

The Figmentz

The Figmentz are a 4-piece band (bass, drums, keyboard and guitar) with the addition of the Fairley Savage horns from VCA in Melbourne plus the dynamic vocals of Colleen Spillane and Stacey Mills. The Figmentz are presenting a new show “Soul Shakedown”, the story of soul music from gospel through to the world of Stax and Motown.

Enda Kenny & Dave O’Neill

Enda Kenny is an Irish-born songwriter who has made his home in Melbourne since the late 1980’s. His thoughtful, descriptive stories of his adoptive homeland have struck a chord with festival audiences all over the world. Multi-instrumentalist Dave O’Neill spent a decade on the road with the Eric Bogle Band. Kenny & O’Neill have a musical alliance that will entertains and engages every audience they play to.

Djembe Forte

Djembe Forte is a drumming and dance group that plays West African rhythms. The dances they perform are from Guinea and are deeply rooted in the village tradition. Hailing from the Eurobodalla, they have been playing many festivals along the South Coast.

Danny Spooner

Danny Spooner’s passion is the expression of British and Australian culture through folk music. Internationally respected, Danny has entertained audiences for more than 50 years, sharing his immense repertoire of songs covering the full range of human emotions, endeavours and experiences.

Daniel Champagne

Born and raised in the Bega Valley, this talented young musician makes a welcome return from his current home in the US.

Corinne Gibbons & Tim Gaze

Corinne and Tim have been working together since the early ’90s and have enjoyed songwriting and performing their unique style of acoustic guitar and vocal music both here and overseas. Corinne’s 3rd album ‘MELT’ won two independent film awards for best music and nature film. Corinne also assists children and adults in discovering their voices. Tim Gaze has long been considered as one of Australia’s greatest guitarists who has played in many iconic Oz rock bands as well as fronting his own.

Corey Legge

Corey Legge plays heartfelt acoustic folk and pop, drawing influence from growing up on the beautiful Far South Coast of NSW. Corey’s music is rich, honest, and warm, with intricate fingerpicking and vocal melodies that will get stuck in your head for days

Chloe & Jason Roweth

Songs, yarns, dance music and poems of the kitchen, verandah, shearers’ huts, and pub, convict, rebel and bushranger songs, songs from the wars, songs fighting for peace. The Roweths have been researching and reinventing Australian music and entertainment as a profession for over twenty years, and have recorded over twenty albums.

Candelo Songwriters’ Club

Melanie said, “Hey Phil! Wanna come to Songwriters? We send out a word, you write a song with it, then we meet at my place and play our songs. This week’s word is ‘creek’ “. Nearly four years later and with a floating membership of about 15, they all have a bunch of songs they’re pretty happy with. Their concert will have lots of variety and lots of fun!

Bunch of Keys (Ceili Band)

A motley collection of trad musos who have all found themselves living on the south coast of NSW, members of Bunch of Keys have played in sessions and for ceilis over many years together. As The Canberra Ceili Band and Cornerhouse Ceili Band, they played ceilis at the National Folk Festival, The Turning Wave and are thrilled to be together again for Cobargo.

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