Fairbridge Festival is Western Australia’s most popular family camping festival. This friendly celebration of folk, roots, blues, acoustic, Celtic, a capella and world music takes place annually in April, in the traffic-free, self-contained bushland site of Fairbridge Village on the South West Highway, 5km north of Pinjarra and 100 km south of Perth’s outlying south-eastern suburbs.
Fairbridge Village makes a wonderful festival site. Graceful, mature bushland and sweeping views over the Darling Escarpment provides a picturesque and peaceful background to the festival. Music spills from numerous marquees and permanent buildings; colourful markets add vibrancy and delight; delicious aromas waft over the catering areas; and everywhere are the sights and sounds of happy people enjoying a fabulous weekend experience.
Presented by the not-for-profit organisation, FolkWorld Inc., the festival is a major event on the WA cultural calendar with a devoted audience base, a strong pool of volunteers, a remarkably stable organising committee, and a dedicated and committed Board. Its reputation has spread to the point where each year it receives well over 500 applications from acts, Australia-wide, wanting to play; and many internationals strive to make it a part of their touring schedule. It has stayed true to the original vision of catering to a family audience, and presents probably the largest children and youth programs, in proportion to the festival as a whole, of any such event in the country.
The festival is entering its 27th year in 2019 and continues to go from strength to strength. In 2011, the Fairbridge Quest songwriting competition for high school-aged young people was launched and each year unearths amazing talent from across the state. Participants are supported with workshops and mentoring opportunities and win the chance to perform at the festival.
All photos courtesy Ruth Marshall