Our patrons are part of our mission and commitment in continuing to bring inspired music to Western Australia and we very much appreciate them giving of their time and expertise in supporting us in our endeavours.
West Australian award-winning folk troubadour
“It’s an honour to be a patron of this great festival. Fairbridge continues to attract quality acts from around the world and highlights all local established and up-and-coming acts, honouring the past musical traditions and reaching to the future to push the boundaries. Musical fun for young and old!”
Bernard Carney is an award winning songwriter, choir director and guitar teacher. He has worked full time in music for the past thirty-seven years and he has nine successful recordings to his name. He directs two community choirs, Working Voices social justice choir and The Spirit of the Streets homeless choir and he runs regular guitar courses and performs concerts nationally and internationally. He has won several national song writing awards and was the face of the Perth Residential White pages for 2010.
His shows are fun, participatory and thought provoking!
Multi-award winning international comedian, playwright, and author
“I am delighted and proud to be a patron to the wonderful Fairbridge Festival. This festival is not only an important part of the West Australian arts and cultural scene but it’s also a cracking weekend away for young and old alike.
“Music is always best when it’s live and Fairbridge Festival offers a huge variety of live music from home and abroad. I have attended the festival camping with my family and will certainly be back again. If you think you know what folk music is, you’re going to be surprised! I know I was.”
Ben Elton has without doubt established himself as one of the foremost figures in the generation of British comedy stars, which emerged in the 1980’s. He co-wrote the ground breaking smash hit BBC situation comedy The Young Ones which became a worldwide cult hit and won the 2004 best comedy BAFTA. Ben wrote for all the principle comedians of his generation with hit series such as Happy Families (1985) Filthy Rich & Catflap (1986) and The Thin Blue Line (1995/6) which won the 1995 British Comedy Award and both the public and professional Jury Awards at Reims.
In 1985 Ben began his phenomenally successful writing partnership with Richard Curtis. Together they wrote Blackadder 2, Blackadder the Third and Blackadder Goes Forth. Blackadder was a world wide hit, winning four BAFTAs and an EMMY. Ben and Richard also wrote Rowan’s 1986 hit stage show The New Review., the TV version of this which won the Ace Award for best comedy on American Cable TV. Ben also wrote Mr Beans famous ‘exam’ episode. In 2005 Ben wrote and directed Blessed for BBC1 a comedy about family life staring Irish comedian Ardal O’Hanlan. Not all Ben’s television work has been successful; in 2011 an all live comedy sketch show for Australia’s Channel 9 Network failed to find an audience and was cancelled after three shows.
Ben is also a hugely successful and influential stand up comedian, he remains one of Britain and Australia’s biggest selling live acts and his television shows Saturday Live, The Man From Auntie and The Ben Elton Show have provided huge ratings hits for Channel Four and the BBC. In 1991 Ben won the Royal Television Society Writers Award for The Man From Auntie. He also hosted the Brits in 1997 and 1998, the Royal Variety Show in 2000 and the 1990 Nelson Mandela Celebration at Wembley Stadium.
In 2007 Ben Elton was awarded the Special Golden Rose D’Or at The International Television festival in Lucerne Switzerland for his life time contribution to the Television Arts.
Ben published his first novel, Stark in 1988. Set in Australia, Stark became an instant number one best-seller and has gone on to sell well over a million copies. He has written twelve novels since then, Gridlock (1991) UK No 1; This Other Eden (1993) UK No 1; Popcorn (1996) UK No 1 and Crime Writers Association of Great Britain Gold Dagger Award for fiction; Blast From The Past (1998) UK top 5. Inconceivable (1999) UK top 5. Dead Famous (2001) UK No 1. High Society (2002) UK No 1 and WH Smiths Peoples Choice Fiction Award. Past Mortem (2004) UK top 5. The First Casualty (2005) UK top 5. Chart Throb (2006) UK Top 5. Blind Faith (2007) UK Top 10. Meltdown (2009) UK Top 10. Ben’s novels have all been hugely successful in Australia and around the world.
Ben’s ambitions were originally theatrical and he studied Drama at Manchester University. He has written three hit West End plays: Gasping (1990); Silly Cow (1991) and Popcorn (1996). Popcorn won the TMA Barclays Theatre Award for best new play and the Olivier Award for best comedy. The Paris production of Popcorn ran for a year and was nominated for seven Moliere Awards. All Ben’s plays are performed regularly around the world.
In 1992 Ben began his acting career, starring in his own adaptation of his novel, Stark. This ABC co-production was directed by Nadia Tass and filmed entirely in Australia. That year Ben also appeared alongside Michael Keaton as ‘Verges’ in Kenneth Branagh’s acclaimed feature film Much Ado About Nothing.
In 2000 Ben wrote and directed his first movie, the romantic comedy Maybe Baby which stared Hugh Laurie and Joely Richardson, a UK hit which went on to receive world wide distribution. In 2003 Ben did some late script work on Shrek 2 as a result of which Jeffrey Katzenberg personally offered Ben his own movie at Dreamworks an offer Ben regretfully declined as he could not relocate his family to the States.
In 2000 Ben collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber writing the book and Lyrics for The Beautiful Game which won the London Critics Circle Award for best new musical. This musical has since been redeveloped by it’s authors as The Boys In the Photograph and was presented in Johannesburg as part of the celebrations for the 2010 World Cup. His second musical We Will Rock You has become a global phenomenon. It won the 2003 Theatregoers Choice Award for Best New Musical and an Olivier Award in 2010. It is still running in London. In 2004 Ben wrote and directed Tonight’s The Night a musical based on the music of Rod Stewart which ran for a year in the West End. Ben has recently once more collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber co writing the book for the Phantom sequel Love Never Dies.
Ben’s new novel Two Brothers was released in November 2012 and he is currently filming a 6 part sitcom for BBC1 entitled The Wright Way.
Grammy Award-winning musician and radio presenter
“Fairbridge Festival has presented a consistently superb, intimate and innovatively programmed yearly festival over 20 years. It serves a very important function in WA’s musical life, exposing young people to live music in an environment that they clamour to be in.
“I firmly believe that musical culture thrives when young people are exposed to good live music in friendly natural environment – something that you don’t always get in a pub or a concert hall but you do get at Fairbridge. It’s great for the performers too, with the compact grounds and housing very conducive to jamming and discovering new musical partnerships. Thanks to all the hard working people who have made this happen, I am honoured to be associated with you and the festival.”
Award-winning Noongar singer-songwriter
I am honoured and humbled to be named a Patron of Fairbridge Festival. Having played my first ever festival gig here many years ago, I recall the generous audiences and superb performance opportunities that proved to be an irresistible combination.
What I love most about Fairbridge Festival is the chance you are given to see both emerging and established artists in beautiful venues over one glorious weekend. The Fairbridge environment fosters the creative spirit and provides endless opportunities to engage and enjoy all that is on offer. I’m excited to be welcomed to the Fairbridge Festival family and do what I can to promote the Noongar language and culture which comes from the place that this festival lives on. I’m looking forward to see where the journey will lead us next.
Award-winning West Australian singer-songwriter
Again it is an honour to be patron at Fairbridge. Instead of worrying about unwelcome gate-crashes in suburbia, we can rest easy and know our gates will be open to music lovers and the ever-growing respectful Fairbridge family!
After a brief tour early this year with some Canadian acts, it didn’t take them long to say, “oh your from where they have that Fairbridge Festival, that was our favourite on the whole tour! ”We wish we had that in our home city!”
Well we do. The premier catalyst for inspiration, motivation and collaboration for a range of people.
As a product of Fairbridge’s charter, I hope I can contribute to such things for future local artists.
Andrew is an experienced performer, multi-award winning songwriter and lap-slide guitar specialist based in Perth, Western Australia. He is known for his innovative blend of musical styles, unique collaborative instrument designs, on-stage warmth and humour, and stellar musicianship.
Andrew has released four studio albums, a live album and two concert/instructional lap slide guitar DVDs and has toured extensively in Australia and overseas. In 2012, Andrew was named the APRA/ASA Australian Songwriter of the Year by the Australian Songwriter’s Association, and his music has featured on numerous television and radio programs, films, and been recorded by other artists including luminaries such as John Mayall (UK).
Originally a drummer, Andrew later took up electric guitar and bass. He trained at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) studying jazz, and went on from there to perform in a wide range of local musical acts, including the funk-rock outfit 3ph (winners of the Next Big Thing competition), golden-guitar winning artist Adam Brand, local old-timey blues favourites Tin Dog, and many more. Andrew then progressed to focus on his own unique blend of acoustic-roots specialising in lap-slide guitars.
Andrew has been heavily involved with promoting songwriting, running well-received workshops all around Australia. He has also been engaged with young people as a workshop facilitator, music teacher, and mentor and is passionate about the importance of the arts in young (and not so young!) people’s lives.
Fairbridge Festival has been an amazing source of inspiration, encouragement, and fun, and as a festival holds a special place in Andrew’s musical journey. He is thrilled to be a patron of this outstanding artistic event.