CresFest named folk project of the year

October 28, 2023 BY

Same song sheet: CresFest’s organisers have been awarded a major Australian Folk Music Award for their annual grassroots event. Photo: FILE

THE sounds of regional folk and roots music festival CresFest are reaching far beyond the town of Creswick.

Directed by Judy Turner, the annual event was named community/cultural project of the year at the Australian Folk Music Awards announced in Brunswick on Wednesday evening.

“CresFest exists to celebrate our town as well as to showcase great music,” Ms Turner said.

“All our venues are intimate. Even our heritage listed town hall is a small space, and nowhere holds more than 200.

“For that reason, people get a different experience compared with the majors where you might sit in a vast marquee watching the show on a screen.”

Since it was founded, the festival’s bill has included artists from across the Ballarat and Hepburn Shire regions, Australia, Canada, South America, and the United Kingdom.

“It’s thrilling, and more than a bit humbling, to watch as the expressions of interest flow in from around the world,” Ms Turner said.

“Musicians may never get over the feeling of being kept away from their audiences and their natural environment, the stage, during COVID, and the desire to play and be together is just overwhelming.”

According to Folk Alliance Australia president Keith Preston, CresFest was one of many impressive Folk Music Awards nominees.

“The panel were impressed with the CresFest focus on quality and community engagement, as well as the activation of heritage buildings in making a unique festival that seemed to perfectly fit the township,” he said.