After a long break we cleaned up Jimmebago and head north to the Illawarra Folk Festival. Peter had been shanghaied into the marketing role when the previous Marketing and Media Manager had resigned suddenly. So this time we were very involved with the organisation of the festival for the past few months – reminded us of working for the jazz festival!
We camped up there early, as Peter had to organise some media interviews with the 2 headline acts – Eric Bogle and Ted Egan. We had last met Ted at the Darwin festival many years ago, when he was still the Administrator of the Northern Territory and he had put on a bit of weight since then (but he still manages to make fun of his size). While we were very busy running around, we still managed to hear a number of great acts – some old favourites (The Pigs, Neil Murray, Dave De Hugard, Wongawilli, John Broomall) as well as some younger performers (Orange Blossom, Ami Williamson, Richard Perso, Tracey Bunn). Richard Perso, who is only 19, his strong blues-influenced singing of standards and his own compositions, along with his superb slide guitar playing, kept the enthusiastic crowd on their feet.
Peter had spent a lot of time in publicising the festival, especially on the internet and he was perhaps too successful as they had a record crowd (about 10,000 visitors over the 5 day festival) and had to turn people away! They are already talking about limiting the number of people for next year. After 4 days of non-stop music, we gratefully packed up and headed to the beach to take advantage of the warm weather. We travelled up the coast to Coledale looking forward to a swim, however we awoke to a cool, cloudy day accompanied by blustery winds. After a walk along the windy beach we settled done for a buffeting night.
That next morning we awoke to a much calmer and sunnier day. We went for a drive along the coast and popped into a number of antique/junk shops. We had forgotten how beautiful this part of the coast is – different from our area, but just as dramatic. The drive home was without drama and we felt that we had been away for weeks.