There is a saying out here on the road to Australia’s Small Halls, “if these floors could talk, what stories would they tell?”  Most of the halls that open their doors to us were built in the era of Saturday night community dances, a time when most people were born and raised in the same town, and our communities were centred on our common care for each other.  We are here to tell you that feeling is still alive and well in the rural communities of Australia.  Although, the halls don’t see as much action as they once did, nevertheless the communities that surround them are working hard to keep the heart beating under the floorboards. Festival of Small Halls is merely a facilitator of helping that mission; we bring music to the buildings dripping with a people’s history.  The halls of these small communities are the meeting places of a town, they celebrate, mourn, and gather in them.  The floors are worn, bowed, and creak with the history of a place.  If those floors could talk, they would tell us stories of first dances, weddings, anniversaries, loss, homecomings, and the connection people share when they live and grow together.

Those floors have a soul, a heartbeat, every divot a memory, every scratch a moment in someone’s story. We are lucky enough to add our own marks, leave our own foot stomping impressions on the floors across Australia, and for a night we are a part of that story.  They welcome us with open arms, thank us for coming all that way, but we are convinced we leave with so much more, than what we give.  We are the lucky ones.

Merit Femino

Tour Manager

Festival of Small Halls