Spring Tour – Week 2

Week two kicks off with a ‘Bandivesary’ – 19 years together for Madison Violet in Wallumbilla. We definitely have a festival vibe with the local school band and markets pumping as the sun goes down!

Wallumbilla Hall ready to rock

After the show, Harry & Elwood got chatting to residents local to the area for 83 years and were told the story of Leather Legs – the true inspiration for Sargent Small, a song that goes down a treat in Outback QLD.

Learning the stories

Next stop, Clermont where the musical talent just kept coming – a beautiful local support act where our host jumped up to play bass, and another local musician jumped up with his banjo to join in on a classic Jakamarra song. The boys from Broome sure have spread their music out into a very different kind of landscape!

From here we headed out west to the small grazing towns with the alive and well small halls of the Barcaldine Shire.

Jericho Town Hall

The heat kicked up a notch, and we slowed down our pace.

This slower pace in the heat was met with the casual nature of shop opening hours, and we were delighted that shops were closed on Sundays back to when people didn’t have to be on 24/7.  In all of the Barcaldine Shire region the people showed up and were well up for big chats, and we learnt a lot about the area and how it’s changed over the years.

Roo spotting


We checked out the roo’s cooling off in the shade, spied emus and echidna’s and the tour party soon learnt that their tour manager was a bit of a twitcher (bird watcher) as she pointed out all the bird species along the way.

We finished up the week returning to Barcaldine, where locals were out in force to see the Small Halls Festival’s new line up in town, and the local’s made the night their own bringing along their picnics & coolers. We saw the wonderful community spirit of Barcy!



Spring Tour – Week 1 on the road

Stories from the road – on tour with Tour Manager Aimee Gray

Happy team hit the road!

With four folk musicians, four guitars, a banjo, a fiddle and plenty of bunting we hit the road to our first small hall ‘Rocky Creek’.

As we meander down the dirt road keeping an eye out for the wallabies cooling off in the shade, we turn a corner to find an 83 year old corrugated shed with a buzz about the air.

The full moon rose and a lightening show powered across the range and our wonderful musicians Harry Jakamarra, accompanied by his brother Elwood Gray, and Lisa and Brenley from Madison Violet brought the house down and welcomed the start of the tour, and the start of hopefully more rain in these drought affected regions.

A wonderful turnout of every generation enjoying the festivities and food the local community put on, along with the music the Festival of Small Halls brought.  Massive smiles all round!

Yowie Country!

Continuing on down the road we take a turn for a couple of shows in northern NSW. Mallanganee and Jiggi showed us the NSW hinterland hospitality with some captivating local support acts.

In Mallanganee, the local community put it their all with the country hospitality, with every cent raised being donated to the local Rotary to distribute for drought relief.

One amazing door volunteer

That night, we were blessed with rain that only added to the joy under that roof. Folks travelled from Tenterfield, Drake and Brisbane to attend.

Back up and west to Queensland for Moonie’s Small Hall festivities and the harvest has just started, even still people came out to get amongst their community, see these fine musicians and take a peaceful moment in a small hall.

As we drive to Peranga we start to spot more wildlife – not too much stuck to the road, but Harry has been keen on a new banjo skin for while and has been eyeing off some road kill.

Cake from the lovely team in Peranga

The Canadians are showing an interest in Harry’s skinning abilities and have put in an order for Goanna skin guitar straps so we’ll keep you posted on how this turns out!

And after 1,198 kilometres, load in and load of out five small halls, a good amount of sausages and steak sandwiches, wonderful sing alongs, stamping feet and excellent conversations with the locals, we retire for a rest day ready to plan for week two.

Spotting Australian wildlife




Summer Tour 2019 – Cygnet to Illawarra – Announcement

The announcement of Fru Skagerrak (NOR/DEN/SWE) and Liam Gerner (AUS) is set to deliver a musically dynamic experience of contrasts against the classic backdrop of Australia’s Small Halls. Armed with matching love for the stories of our time, these two gifted outfits are joining the call of rekindling the time-old tradition of gathering in the local small hall for a special night of live music, storytelling and community connection.

Excited to create their inaugural musical pairing for the Summer Tour 2019, Fru Skagerrak and Liam Gerner are preparing for a unique tour of Australia’s small halls.

“We can’t wait to change our woolen beanies for Australian sun hats and come visit your vast continent, said Anna Lindblad of Fru Skagerrak.

“We’re super excited to meet all the small communities and see the out of the way places!”, said Ms Lindblad.

Featuring first in the inaugural Festival of Small Halls Departure show at the Woodford Folk Festival, the Summer Tour 2019 returns to Tasmania for the third time on January 4th. Fru Skagerrak and Liam Gerner begin their journey in the northern wilds of the state at the Stanley Town Hall before looping eastwards to the likes of Wynyard, Rowella and Meander and continue south to the beloved Cygnet Folk Festival. After plunging down to the southernmost town in Australia, the party heads north to Australian institution Illawarra Folk Festival, the kick-off into two weeks through inland, central and northern New South Wales.

The music of Fru Skagerrak takes you on a journey through Scandinavia; from lowlands to mountains, from slow airs to lively polkas, in major and in minor, and everything in between. Fru Skagerrak – ”Lady Skagerrak” – are three master musicians – one from each Scandinavian country: Maja Kjær Jacobsen from Denmark, Elise Wessel Hildrum from Norway and Anna Lindblad from Sweden.

In 2011, these three globetrotting musicians met for the first time at Tønder Festival, Denmark’s biggest Folk Festival, in a roaring session that had engulfed the backstage bar. Through the mayhem of tunes you could feel a certain Scandinavian groove, and in that moment the connection between these three fiddlers was clear. After meeting at Tønder Festival for three consecutive years, Fru Skagerrak finally saw the light of day in August 2014.

The trio brings together the diverse traditions from each of their homelands, which surround the Skagerrak strait. Through a repertoire of traditional tunes, new compositions, and songs in their respective languages, they express their kinship and love of their shared heritage. The result is an explosion of the sounds that exist in Scandinavian music today.

Steeped in blues and country music, Liam Gerner left the Adelaide Hills to try his luck in London. The young guitar slinger quickly made a strong impression and earned a crust opening for Paul Weller, Jason Isbell, Drive by Truckers, Paolo Nutini and many more.  Liam then headed to the US, joined Texan country rocker Ryan Bingham’s band and experienced frontline American roots music. Returning to Australia in 2014, Liam released his debut album ‘Land Of No Roads’, a startling collection of original songs he composed while touring with Bingham and cut with some of LA’s finest players and his follow up ‘Liam Gerner and the Sunset Pushers’ (2017).

Since then Liam has been touring relentlessly throughout Australia, New Zealand and the USA.  Now based in Melbourne, Liam has developed his songwriting, collaborated with local musicians and formed The Sunset Pushers, a band as fluid and soulful as his songs.  Liam tours extensively in Australia/New Zealand and is an in-demand guitarist working touring and recording with The Eurogliders, Pnau, Pnau & Elton John, records with Empire Of The Sun, and Vika and Linda Bull.

Liam Gerner and his collaborator Nashville based Luke Moller recorded ‘The Bulletin Debate’ a collection of poems Liam turned to song. The poems were written in 1892 between Henry Lawson and Banjo Patterson, printed weekly in the Bulletin newspaper and reflect their differing opinions about our relationship with the Australian bush. This album will be released in 2018.

To find out if the tour is visiting a town near you, or to grab your tickets, head to festivalofsmallhalls.com. If we’re not, please extend the invitation. As always, we’d love to come visit.

For more information visit: www.festivalofsmallhalls.com




Buy A Ticket for A Farmer

Twenty regional, rural and remote presenters are readying their halls for the upcoming Festival of Small Halls Spring Tour. They’re recruiting their teams, they’re sprucing the halls and they’re perfecting the scones. Importantly, they’re also supporting members of their community living through the drought.

A Festival of Small Halls show is pretty easy on the pocket – they never cost more than $25. But in drought, every dollar counts.

If you’d like to show support, you can buy a ticket for a farmer and help out a mate you haven’t met yet. If you’ve been to a Festival of Small Halls show, you know they fill you with joy and remind you that the whole community is in it together. We hope this will give some relief and support to those farmers going through challenging times.

If you’d like to Buy A Ticket for A Farmer, it’ll go into a pool for Festival of Small Halls hosts in outback areas like Barcaldine, Georgetown, Goovigen or Clermont to distribute directly to the farmers across our country doing it hard right now. They’ll make sure that your generous gift is given straight to those most in need of a little magic in their lives right now.

Click Here To Buy A Ticket for A Farmer