We were fortunate to be able to participate in four fun festivals in Eastern Australia from mid March to early May. At each of these, bush poetry successfully blended in with themed activities and different genres of music adding variety and interest to the overall festival ambience.
IN NARRANDERA, NSW from 16th - 18th March, The John O'Brien Bush Festival (principal co-ordinators Barbara Bryon and Joan Graham) mixed poetry with Irish Celtic Music and general popular sing-alongs. Also included were two relevant competitions, one open and one for John O'Brien poetry. In addition there was a wonderful Anzac concert blending sung and spoken presentations.
IN CORRYONG, VICTORIA from 5th - 8th April, The Man From Snowy River Bush Festival (principal poetry co-ordinator ABPA's Victorian Representative and Facebook Editor, Jan Lewis) also held a moving Anzac concert. Poets and singers also gave two pre-festival concerts for the nursing home residents and those in respite care. The bush poetry program blended with the overall MFSR events and incorporated Australian traditional and bush music. The two relevant poetry competitions were for the MFSR recital and the Jack Riley Heritage Award.
IN BOONDOOMA, QUEENSLAND from 25th - 29th April The Spirit of the Bush Festival (co-ordinators Buddy Thomson and Lynne Bennett of Boondooma Homestead) began with a day devoted to the commemoration of Anzac and war service including a parade. At this festival bush poetry blended with the five days of all-Australian ballads, the gospel service on the closing Sunday and the homestead activities.
IN GLEN INNES, NSW from 4th - 6th May The Australian Celtic Festival (principal co-ordinator Lara Gresham) included bush poetry breakfasts and performances in the four stages of Celtic entertainment at the
Australian Standing Stones and the town celebrations with bands, groups, fashion awards, dance championships and combined school concerts.
Thank you to all the above festival organisers for including the bush poetry components and to all those who supported and appreciated the poets' performances.
It was a wonderful experience to be a part of these festivals and to be able to meet up with so many ABPA friends, members and supporters from all states of our great land. We would thoroughly recommend anyone to join in any of the above four festivals in 2019.