On The Road: Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival 2015

Nov 1, 2015 • Nick Payne

Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival is one of our favourite festivals in the country. We haven’t been for a few years so I was stoked when they offered me a chance to showcase my solo stuff this year. Here’s some photos from my tour diary from the weekend.

Kick off was at 9am Friday October 23rd. Paul Sun and I loaded six instruments into the Land Rover and hit the road. On board was:

  • 2 acoustic guitars (my Martin and Lyn’s Gibson)
  • Jo’s dobro
  • Jo’s mandolin
  • My new open-back banjo (just in case)
  • And Paul’s double bass

Past Newcastle and crossing the Karuah River I decided to try my hand at selfies.

Attempt #1.

We met Ben Thomas in Dorrigo and he joined us on stage Friday night for a trio perfomance. It was great kicking off the weekend with a stripped down line-up and letting the songs breath – especially the mournful ones. Unfortunately we didn’t get any photos of this set.

Saturday morning I careered down the mountain to pick Lyn and Jo up from Coffs Harbour airport. We hightailed it back up the mountain and found Paul looking like this.

Having clearly settled in for a day of jamming I left Paul playing with some of the best players in the country (and some from out of the country!) and I roamed the festival with a Polaroid camera I borrowed off our youngest daughter, Zoe, for the weekend.

Here’s Linda Peterson from Burnt Creek Deviation Bluegrass Band enjoying the atmosphere.

And here’s another attempt at a selfie. I think having Lyn in it rescues it somewhat.

Our Saturday afternoon set was fast approaching so it was time to get the folks together for a quick run-through of the songs. When in Dorrigo, if your’e looking for a place to rehearse then you just do it out on the grass. It normally doesn’t take long for a crowd to gather and we were lucky enough to have a few outstanding photographers grab some snaps of us. Due credit to them for these great photos – do click through and look at the rest they took.

Here’s Paul and I.

And a great black and white shot of Ben and Paul. Note: that’s me on the banjo!

Whilst it might look in this one that someone has stood on my foot that is not the case. In actual fact I’m just giving it my all. If you can’t give it your all in rehearsal you can’t expect to do the same in front of an audience.

At 4pm we hit the stage with the whole crew: Paul on double bass, Ben on banjo, Jo on dobro and mandolin and Lyn on vocals and guitar.

Proud of myself for saying something funny whilst Jo just hangs out looking cool.

And here’s another one of me giving it my all.

Once again thanks to Gareth Evans from Timber and Steel, Kell Stoner from Little Story and Debra Littler for the grand photos.

And big shout out to all the folks that run Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival each year – we’re looking forward to coming back soon.


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