35th Illawarra Folk Festival
gets green light

The annual Illawarra Folk Festival in 2020 will celebrate 35 years when it is staged at Bulli Showground next January.



The annual Illawarra Folk Festival is four exciting summer days of folk, world, roots, bluegrass, gypsy and Celtic music, as well as poetry, comedy and dance.

Set in the spectacular northern Illawarra Escarpment in Bulli Showground, the festival has 11 onsite venues and is a family friendly village with action from early morning to late night.

With superb music from 150 international, national and local artists performing in over 320 concerts there’s also a colourful array of international food stalls, craft stalls and the festival bar.

You can also camp onsite or stay in top quality accommodation nearby. There is plenty of onsite carparking and Bulli train station is a short walk away. Catch the Green Music Train for an environmentally sound way to get to the festival.

The festival commences Thursday with a Charity Concert and concludes on Sunday evening with a huge finale with the Festival Choir, Orchestra and special guests.

In 2019, the Illawarra Folk Festival will celebrate 35 years of presenting of live music in the Illawarra region.

Fringe events include Honk Oz 2020Folk Music School (15/16 January 2020), Green Music Train (18/19 January 2020), Tripe Dinner and Concert (16 January 2019) and more.

2019 Souvenir Program is Available to View Online


  • MEDIA RELEASE: 8 APRIL 2019:      35th Illawarra Folk Festival gets green light

    The annual Illawarra Folk Festival in 2020 will celebrate 35 years when it is staged at Bulli Showground next January.

    The future of the State’s largest folk festival had been in doubt due to concerns over recent changes to State Government festival regulations, however the Illawarra Folk Club which organises the annual four-day event has received assurances that the festival is not considered “high-risk” and therefore its licensing and approval requirements will remain unchanged from this year.

    Artistic Director David De Santi said that was good news for the festival, with organisers now able to plan for an essentially unchanged format for the 2020 festival which will be held on January 16-20.

    “We’re very pleased that we can now get on with the task of organising our 35th festival – 20 at Jamberoo and the last 14 at Bulli Showground,” Mr De Santi said. “And we’re very proud of the fact that from very humble beginnings our festival has grown to now be recognised on the international folk music calendar, with strong interest each year from overseas acts who want to come here to perform.”

    Mr De Santi said artist applications would open early this month through the festival website, and he urged local acts to apply.

    “We always have a great mix of international, national and local artists, and that helps give the festival its special appeal,” he said. “Since we started more than 3000 acts and 15,000 performers had been part of the festival, and we have always supported local acts by giving them the chance to perform.”

    “For our 35th festival we are looking to have around 150 acts presenting 320 concerts, sessions and workshops at next year’s festival, and we are looking for a mix of folk, world music, roots, Celtic, bluegrass and gypsy music as well as the spoken word,” he said. “Our featured instrument will be the violin, which is certainly the most played instrument at folk festivals!”

    Regular festival features including the Folk School in the week leading up to the festival, the Thursday Charity Night, Green Music Trains from Sydney and environmental sustainability initiatives will all be part of the 35th Illawarra Folk Festival.

    The festival is run entirely by volunteers.

    Issued by Honorary Publicity Officer Nick Hartgerink 0418 424085

    For further information, contact David De Santi 0409 571788

  • Stall Applications open in October. Click here for further information.
  • Volunteer applications open in August.