Things we learnt at the Port Fairy Folk Festival – Days 3 & 4

Vikki Thorn and her band The Waifs kept punters at the Folkie until Monday.
Vikki Thorn and her band The Waifs kept punters at the Folkie until Monday.

The Last Waltz will be hard to top

Due to science’s inability to create a time machine, we can never go back to San Francisco’s Winterland Arena in 1976 and watch The Band and an all-star guest list perform their famed Last Waltz. We can watch Martin Scorsese’s film, but surely the next best thing was what happened at Stage 3 on Sunday night. Marlon Williams, Tim Rogers, Eddi Reader, Vince Jones, Tex Perkins, Vika & Linda, and a crack band took us back in time to one of rock ‘n’ roll’s great moments and it will be hard to top that next year. But the thing about the Folkie is they probably will top it somehow.

The festival is in good hands

Anyone worried about Jamie McKew handing the wheel to Caroline Moore can sleep easy. Moore did a stellar job at steering the Good Ship Folkie into a new era. It’s not an easy task, but the new skipper pulled it off with style. Well done, Caroline.

The kranskies are worth the wait

There is lots of good food in and out of the arena. Pork dumplings, Moroccan lamb, good ol’ baked spuds, bacon and egg sangers, meat pies, Dutch pancakes, Mexican breakfasts … we tried them all (purely for the sake of journalism, of course). But nothing tops a kransky. Or two.

The Folkie construction crew don’t mess around

The final notes of the Shebeen were still quivering in the air but Jack Smits’ construction crew were already mobilising. Within an hour of the last Guinness being served, the pack down is in full swing and it’s impressive to watch. The Folkie may have ended for the punters, but there’s still a long road ahead for the marvellous people who make it all a reality.

Encores are rare

A lot of thought and planning goes into the Folkie program so artists playing longer than allocated is frowned upon. That means encores just don’t happen. Unless you’re the last band on a particular stage on a particular day. Especially if its Monday. And especially if you’re Marlon Williams & The Yarra Benders. Considering they got standing ovations at every gig they did for the weekend, it was no surprise the shouts of “More!” were acquiesced on Monday afternoon.

Folkie Monday is no longer just Pack Up Day

Just when you think the festival’s got nothing in the tank (or maybe it was us that were running on empty), they show that even the last day is as important as another day of the Folkie. Monday has often been the neglected day of the line-up, but not this year. Mundy, The Waifs, Yirrmal, Eddi Reader, Marlon Williams, The Young Folk, Seamus Begley, and Folk Uke all ensured punters stuck around for day four.