We’re 25 years young in 2017! In this generation span, many people have many stories to tell about their Fairbridge Festival experiences. It’s these personal anecdotes and relationships that are compiled here by two of our volunteers, Erin Horrigan and Stacey Ryde. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoyed researching them.
If you have a special memory or story you would like to share with us then please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org along with a supporting photograph or two – we’d love your story to form part of our history.
Kylie loves the festival’s village location and really appreciates that, for a weekend, lovers of the festival form a special community – a little utopia. Kylie believes that this quaint little village holds a lot of value in such a busy world. For Kylie, her daughter summed up the meaning that the festival holds for her perfectly by saying that she would rather miss Christmas than Fairbridge Festival!
I played the very first Fairbridge Festival and then every following one for so many years I can't remember. I think I have only missed two in twenty five years. One year, I played eleven separate shows with as many musicians! I've released at least four CDs there over the years. For an artist, there is really no better environment to be in. I have made so many friends, participated in so many great bands and shared some of my most profound and wonderful music moments at Fairbridge Festival.
Alcoa’s Brian Doy has a long history with Fairbridge Festival – right from the very beginning, in fact. Brian was on the original festival organising committee and he says he was amazed then—and is still amazed today—at the commitment of everyone involved.
Kat sees Fairbridge Festival as an inclusive and welcoming event that people can feel safe to bring their families along to. She describes it as an event where people of all ages, small children to grandparents, will have a fun-packed weekend and be stress-free.
With so much to love about the festival, Tamara says it’s really hard to pin down her absolute favourite thing. It’s the whole experience but definitely, it’s all about the music, activities, dancing and taking photos of the fun and festivities. She also loves that she can learn new things and is able to bring her son and that there is always something to keep him busy.
The first Fairbridge Festival in 2016 for Jessica Rogers and her family was a wonderful awakening, so much so, they’ve already booked again for 2017. “Everyone was so relaxed, happy and friendly. There isn't a time you don't hear laughter or see people smiling. With so many activities for all ages, my husband and I loved it and my children were never bored or clean, which is exactly how kids should be!"
Leanne’s first reaction when asked if she’d like to go to Fairbridge Festival was “no” – she was a dyed-in-the-wool alternative music fan who didn’t do folk festivals; fiddles and banjoes were so not her thing! Under duress, she did go along and has not looked back since; in fact, she did a sort of Victor Kiam, not quite buying the company, but she now works for the festival as its marketing manager.
Kim Shurman has been involved with Fairbridge Festival for 24 years. To Kim, Fairbridge Festival is: “An opportunity to create a vibrant, safe and fun experience for all—in a historic venue”. He is looking forward to Fairbridge Festival’s 25th birthday!
After attending as a punter for a few years, Annette Griffiths decided to volunteer and get a different perspective. So in 2007 Annette took on the role of Coordinator of the busy Artist Central and Instrument Lock-up marquee. What Annette enjoys most about the festival is the camaraderie within the team and that everyone is so excited to contribute to creating such a wonderful and uplifting community experience.
For Louise Jonasson – marketing coordinator of major sponsor, Getaway Outdoors –Fairbridge Festival has become an annual pilgrimage. She never imagined that she would be mixing her work with a music festival, but after four years, she is still attending and running Cosy Camping and the Getaway Outdoors festival shop.
Fairbridge Festival Patron, Gina William first discovered Fairbridge Festival in 2001 when she was invited to perform there after winning the Indigenous category of the WA Song Contest (now the WAM Song of the Year). Ever since then, Gina has been a regular attendee of the festival and loves to bring her children; Lauren, Bella and Tommy along with her to enjoy the magic that Fairbridge Festival offers.
Louise Vermeulen has been a member of the Fairbridge Festival family for fifteen years, and began her current job as the festival's ticketing manager in 2009. Louise sees Fairbridge Festival as a 'no-judgement' environment and looks forward to spending time with the rest of the festival team and patrons, seeing everyone's smiling faces. Louise absolutely loves being a part of the operations group and working with the great crew.
Sarah has been involved with Fairbridge Festival for three years, she now works as its Street Team Coordinator. Sarah absolutely adores the festival, holding it responsible for bringing her family, including her extended family, closer together. For Sarah, Fairbridge Festival is a big annual family event. She says, her family travelling south to Bridgetown, Nannup, Pemberton, Margaret River and Augusta for the pre-festival work, as well as the festival itself, is greatly enjoyed.
Dance Program Director, Hilary McKenna, is looking forward to Fairbridge Festival’s 25th anniversary in 2017 as he celebrates his tenth anniversary with the festival, an achievement of which he is very proud. Hilary loves the festival: he loves being in the outdoor setting; the outstanding music and dancing; and the fact that the festival attracts people of all ages.
Milu Green is a veteran of Fairbridge Festival and hasn’t missed one since she was four years old, she is now a parent and will be bringing her five-month-old daughter along to the festival in its 25th year. Like her parents, Woody and Kim Shurman, Milu works for Fairbridge Festival and has managed the children’s program for the past eight years.
Since 2007, sheriff Dougie Scott has been involved with Fairbridge Festival, working tirelessly as the festival’s controller of all things camping. Prior to this, he worked at another festival before being introduced to Fairbridge Festival by friends. At his very first festival crew meeting, Dougie asked where his help was most needed. The camping responsibility had just been taken over from the Fairbridge Village so Dougie found himself assigned to overseeing this very integral role.
The year 1992 seems like a lifetime ago, but 1992 was the year when Wendy Corrick first became involved with Fairbridge Festival. Wendy had an involvement with the festival, for an astonishing 16 years as, festival manager up until 2008. She placed massive importance in having a strong children’s program. A special moment for Wendy was experiencing the festival vibes with her husband and three children. The family-friendly element is special for Wendy, as she loves the idea that twenty-five years later these young children are now taking their young children to Fairbridge Festival.
Bernard Carney has been a long time Fairbridge Festival family member, and a very popular regular inclusion in the festival’s program over the years. This Fairbridge Festival Patron loves Fairbridge Festival! His favourite part is the beautiful Fairbridge Village and the way the generations and people from different backgrounds mix into one big community.
James Lush has been a part of Fairbridge Festival since 2009 when ABC Radio Perth first brought the Saturday Breakfast show to the festival as an outside broadcast. James has attended with his children every year since. James’s favourite aspects of the Fairbridge Festival is the superb organisation, relaxed and friendly atmosphere, community and those artists that are unforgettable every year. His children love this about Fairbridge Festival just as much as he does!
Fairbridge Festival Patron, Andrew Winton, attended his first Fairbridge Festival in 2000; this year will be his seventeenth. Andrew remembers saying “looks a bit weird” in response to the festival… he hasn’t missed one since.
The Fair Maids of Perth have been loyal supporters of Fairbridge Festival from the very beginning performing at the very first festival and many since 1993. Despite their advancing years, this band of feisty dancers looks forward to keeping on dancing and being involved with Fairbridge Festival in 2017 and beyond.
Glenn Swift has been a member of the Fairbridge Festival family since 1996 when he came to do three sets of stories on the Saturday of the festival. Since then, the storyteller and jester has only missed one festival. Steve Barnes, former artistic director and current board member, told Glenn that he has probably performed at the festival more than anyone else.
The Rogues front man, Nick Turner, says that the festival so many people know and love — Fairbridge festival—has given him many enduring memories over the years, and he is continually thankful for this.
FolkWorld Inc. board member, Emma Bradstock, recalls one of her most memorable Fairbridge Festival moments.
Jane Aberdeen thrives on the anticipation of going to Fairbridge Festival each year. It’s not just the expectation that she enjoys, but the level of excitement that the festival brings, with each program featuring new performers as well as long-standing favourites returning from near and far.
Gareth Almond has been a regular attendee of Fairbridge Festival since 2004, when his (now) wife, Bron, took him along – after attending almost every festival since its inception. A few years later Gareth started volunteering in Instrument Scheduling (a job he still refers to as his favourite) and in 2012 he took over the role of Volunteer Manager… a position he still holds today.
Rosemary Roberston is one of Fairbridge Festival’s 'founding fathers', meaning she has been a part of the festival team since before its inception in 1993. Fairbridge Festival has seen four generations of Rosemary's family being involved. Her parents were volunteers and work-shoppers for the first ten years; her husband Ian helps Rosemary with catering; her brother attends the festival; her daughters are involved as volunteers and work-shoppers; and now, her grandsons also come along.
Gus’s Bar namesake, Gus Atkins, has been an integral part of Fairbridge Festival for 24 years. He is a foundation member of the festival and has been a huge contributor to what Fairbridge Festival is today.