My first Folkie has been and gone and it was so much fun. Friday morning we dawdled down to the IGA for lunch supplies and already you can see people flooding the town, by Saturday the population of Port Fairy goes from around 2,500 to 30,000 plus. For the previous week there are hundreds of volunteers putting up huge tents on the fields near Abi’s kinder. I keep telling Jamie how excited I am getting even though I have no idea what it will be like. He just laughs at me and pats me on the head. There is no accommodation left in Port Fairy, people book the same places year after year, if you drop out you are unlikely to get another place, the waiting list at the motel is 25 people long last time I looked.
The Folk Festival kicks off Friday afternoon as they close the main streets to cars, instead they are filled with an inflatable bouncy castle, and stalls selling everything, including face painting – hence Abi’s face in some of the pics 🙂 We get our tickets earlier in the day and we swop them for wrist bands, and the kids get one with our numbers on. Abi promptly removes her and puts it somewhere for safe keeping, I still can’t find. Jack spends most of Friday trying to chew his off, or his hand, whichever comes first.
When we go into the festival there is a no alcohol rule, except for in the Guinness Tent, but despite this no one checks our bags, just glances at out bands to make sure they are real. Although all the main stages are within the festival grounds, there are stages set up around Port Fairy with free music over the weekend.
Friday evening we wander about with the kids and have a look at all the tents. There’s a kid’s tent with a clown and different kids bands on. Jack spends most of his time zooming back and forth in front of the stage, which gets him rewarded with a balloon animal. When he continues practicing in a tent on Saturday he is rewarded with a finger shake and removal of his freedom pass. Jamie ended up diving through crowds on chairs and all the way to the front of the stage before catching him, as soon as possible I am implanting a GPS device under his skin.
Jamie and I palmed the kids off on Saturday night with Nana and got an evening out by ourselves. Jamie camped out in the Guinness Tent while I ducked in and out of different tents. Saw some great country/Folk bands and one all the way from Chile. Last act of the evening was OKA, I managed to drag Jamie to it and we plonked ourselves down in front of the stage with about a dozen other people while the group tinkered about with instruments. It was pretty dead until they started playing and then it was as if some sort of homing beacon had gone off and teenagers flooded the tent from everywhere. Jamie refused to dance but I couldn’t resist. Check them out on you tube, they are really good.
By Sunday we were both nackered and the Abi was unimpressed with the decision to return to the festival – ‘we’ve already been there’. But there are so many bands playing from about 11 onwards you would never see everyone you want to. We managed to get into Kasey Chambers who was great and a guy called Luka Bloom. There were a lot of Irish bands playing as well as Australian ones. We also saw people on stilts and a guy in a giant dog costume who peed on people. Jack wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. We ended up in bed at 9:30, how sad is that but I seriously could not have done another night. We dawdled around on Monday morning and saw a last few acts, the kids had their last Folkie ice cream and then the clean up starts.
Jamie has already bought tickets for next year and I can’t wait. Hopefully by then Jack will be trustworthy enough not to disappear into the crowds at the drop of a hat. Or, as he did this year, slip through the fence behind the Guinness tent and make a run for it. I’m lucky one of the barmen was having a smoke out the back otherwise who knows when and where I would have found him!

Jack’s newest trick: Kissing with his mouth closed….at last
Weird conversations with Abi:
Abi: Who made me?
Me: Me and Daddy
Abi: Who made Daddy?
Me: Nana and Pop
Abi: Who made you?
Me: Grandma and Bubba
Abi: (Holding up one hand) How did you get my blood in me?
Me: Ummm, I put it in when I made you in my tummy
Abi: How…
Me: Shall we feed the fish? (So not ready for that conversation to go any further)

Classic comment from the week comes from Jamie as he arrives to pick us up from the beach:

‘Why is it my children are always the only ones naked?’