One of Australia’s most loved, family-friendly music and camping festivals, Fairbridge Festival returns from 22-24 April 2022 with wonder and magic for all-ages at Fairbridge Village, Pinjarra – an idyllic bushland one hour south of Perth.
As Western Australia starts opening its border to those near and afar, this beloved annual event in its 29th year follows – with a splendid first line-up of music, dance, and children’s activities to inspire and delight from WA, around Australia and overseas.
From over the ditch comes two truly wonderful artists from New Zealand – Albi & The Wolves with their foot stomping hoedowns and soul stirring ballads wrapped in soaring three-part harmonies; and a bright, rising star, Jenny Mitchell with musical echoes of Gillian Welch and Alison Krauss and her own inimitable style of storytelling.
Fairbridge Festival is bringing back some ol’ faves in Mal Webb & Kylie Morrigan and Lucy Wise & Stephen Taberner – two of Australia’s “all-time” favourite festival acts; and acclaimed arts performers The Chipolatas (UK) make a welcome return after five years and 26 years since their festival debut!
Fusing the passion of gypsy music, the precision of classical and the spontaneity of jazz, Cigany Weaver will bring phenomenal musical prowess led by the unbelievable octave-spanning vocals of Jo Davies; and no words can effectively describe Ami Williamson (daughter of the legendary John) – a wonderfully skilled singer (ex-Opera Australia) and entertainer of extraordinary capacity, Ami will have you laughing and crying – quite likely at the same time.
In a major festival coup, the 3-day festival welcomes the return of Fijian-born Andrea Kirwin but this time with the 13-piece Yama-Nui Social Club. Including artists from around the South Pacific, prepare for soulful original music backed with strings, horns, and gorgeous backing vocals. Fairbridge is also proud to present the Indigenous jazz singer, actress and artist, Lois Olney. With beautiful gentle songs of joy, love, loss and longing, nothing compares to Lois’s deep humanity and engaging stage presence.
The above is all just a musical entrée in a degustation of diverse children and family events, multiple dance classes and performances, craft workshops, markets, and food stalls – a return in scale and energy of Fairbridge Festival in the past.
The hugely popular Backlot program of contemporary music will unfold in a new Amphitheatre in the Village, which can hold 2000 people. This inclusive program for youth, put together by new Youth Program Director Sarah Treloar includes WA locals Boox Kid, Gia Como, Anesu and Ghost Care. And in the woodland nook that was once the Backlot, you’ll find a school holiday line-up programmed by actor/comedian Sam Longley, featuring all the fun and games of Woody’s World, Little Hoo Haa and curious reflections on boogers and dog poo from Bango Werm.
Dance teacher, performer, and director extraordinaire, Paige Gordon, is curating all the dance events, which includes dance artist-in-residence Fleour Alder who will bring her magical work “Djilba” alongside a smorgasbord of world dance workshops and presentations; and programmers Ellie Glen and Marie Jacquier have put together a wonderful kids, youth craft workshops and events that will keep the whole family entertained across the weekend.
Artistic Director, Rod Vervest says the festival program is full of uplifting and inspirational events. Alongside a carefully curated music program, audiences can expect glorious colour and creativity across all the program areas.
“Our team are a wonderful group of passionate arts workers who are all professionals in their fields. They live and breathe Fairbridge with a deep understanding of what makes it tick; what keeps its big heart beating,” he says.
“Despite the challenges of the past few years operating in a pandemic, Fairbridge Festival has instigated new operational systems, organisational structure, and a reconfiguration of the festival layout. COVID has given us a window to reimagine and activate a fresh approach to how we deliver the event,” he says. “I’m immensely proud of how our team has achieved this”.
Audiences will be delighted to see the return of the ever-popular Ruby’s venue, the return of the Dining Hall to the mix of experiences, and of course, the amazing new Amphitheatre.
“The financial pressures of cancelling the festival in 2020 and a restricted ticket sale in 2021, meant we couldn’t afford the usual suite of venues. While it remains a challenge to bring back the Djindalux venue, we are nevertheless back with some real scale and diversity of experiences. I can’t wait to see the new Amphitheatre in action”, he says
“There is an incredible energy building to the 2022 program. More than ever, you sense that the community is now urgently in need of the type of social interaction and creative engagement that festivals bring. We need to feel connected to each other, to share experiences that stimulate and inspire us, the things that build collective memories and become part of our shared lives and our sense of humanity into the future.
“This is what festivals can do, and this is what we are hard at work thinking about and creating”.
Early bird tickets go on sale at 7am on December 2 with a range of reduced-price tickets including day tickets, camping packages for up to four people, and luxury glamping for up to 5 people. Fairbridge Festival sold out in 2021, so get in quick! Click here for tickets.