What I did on my holidays

by John Q on April 12, 2004

Easter in Australia is a four-day public holiday, and coincides with school holidays, so it’s a good time to organise get-togethers. There are events for nearly everyone from poodle-fanciers to petrolheads (even, I believe, some major religious celebrations). For most of the past thirty years, I’ve gone to the National Folk Festival (held in Canberra since the early 90s). This always gets me into the kind of utopian mood where you think that the troubles of the world would be over if only we would all be like brothers and sisters to each other[1]. And lately, it always seems to coincide with particularly bloody events in the real world, making me very reluctant to get out of this mood and back to reality.

There was lots of great stuff, but I particularly enjoyed seeing Judy Small again. Among her new material, the funniest was Lesbian Chic has passed me by, opening with

They throw panties at kd,
No-one ever does that for me

My career as a folksinger was considerably shorter and less successful than Judy’s has been, but in that respect at least, my experience matches hers.

Also of interest was a competition for performances inspired by Bob Dylan, who is, I suspect, taken rather less seriously by folkies than by baby boomers at large. Although there were some serious entries, the winner was a bouzouki-style belly dance presentation of Blowin’ in the Wind.

Talking of demographics, the Festival is one of the few events to which generational cliches can safely be applied. Generation X-ers (age group 25-40) were notable for their rarity, and so, as a result, were children aged under 5. All other age groups were well represented, particularly teenagers who seem to enjoy this event a lot.

fn1. This despite the many folk songs in which brothers and sisters do all manner of dreadful things to each other

{ 1 comment }


Doug 04.13.04 at 11:21 am

Re content and dreadful things, there’s the title of a Ted Sturgeon story, “If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister?”

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