The magic of the Port Fairy Folk Festival enchanted Melbourne’s Pam Rycroft so much that she’s bought a property in the town.
Instead of rolling out a sleeping bag in the Folkie tent city this weekend, Ms Rycroft will welcome her children and grandchildren into the couple’s newly-purchased Port Fairy holiday home.
Ms Rycroft has attended the festival since 1983 and said it was a mix of the event and the town’s charm that led to the long-held dream of buying a home in the seaside village.
“It just exudes this sense of community and music in general,” she said. “It’s just fabulous.”
I grew up with folk music so the idea of a festival in a beautiful town really captured my imagination.Pam Rycroft
Her first visit to Port Fairy was on a “windy camping trip”. “My friends hated it and I just loved it. I loved the place and I’ve always loved folk music. I grew up with folk music so the idea of a festival in a beautiful town really captured my imagination.”
She began coming to the festival with friends and colleagues and later her boyfriend and now husband Frank, who is also a devotee. “He’s a muso and he loves it.”
The couple has camped at both Southcombe Park and the Gardens Caravan Park over the years.
“I just remember in those early days we were camping in mud but I remember the magic. It was a Friday night and I could hear this music in the distance.
“I wandered into this tent and I heard this music I’d never heard before. It was the Backsliders.
I’ll never forget it. It was fabulous. It’s kind of those moments that really captivated me.”
With a mix of Irish and Yorkshire heritage Ms Rycroft said she was looking forward to Exile – Songs of Irish Australia and seeing her “regular favourites” (this year’s Artist of the Year) Chris While and Julie Matthews perform.
She is also excited to share her love of the event with the next generation. Her daughter Chrissie, is bringing her four-day-old daughter and her son Trevor and his six children are also coming down. “This will be a totally new experience for us. I am looking forward to being with the little people enjoying the festival.”