Port Fairy Folk Festival to bring the world to Geelong

Monday, 26 August 2019

Port Fairy Folk Festival (PFFF), in partnership with the US-based Folk Alliance International (FAI), will present the FAI ExChange Conference in Geelong between Monday 2 and Wednesday 4 March 2020.

A precursor to the 44th Port Fairy Folk Festival (Friday 6 to Sunday 9 March 2020), the FAI ExChange is the world’s largest gathering of the folk music industry and community, designed to strengthen and preserve global folk music.

It will bring artists, industry personnel and presenters from all over the world to Geelong.

Geelong is a fitting location for the FAI ExChange, as Port Fairy Folk Festival was established by the Geelong Folk Club in 1977.

The conference features keynote speakers and forums to be held at the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre during the day, and at night, a series of showcase concerts will be held throughout the arts and culture precinct of Geelong.

Showcase artists will be selected via the FAI and PFFF application processes, and there will be a spotlight on regional Victorian artists.

The City of Greater Geelong is delighted to support the FAI ExChange, underpinning council’s commitment to a clever and creative future.

Mayor Bruce Harwood:


It’s a huge coup for Geelong to secure such a large and important international music conference, and we look forward to welcoming the world’s folk community in March.

This event will bring around 100 delegates to Geelong from Australia and across the world, along with more than 35 top quality national and international folk acts.

It should also attract a large number of music lovers, who’ll have the chance to enjoy some time in our city before moving on to Port Fairy for its famous festival later that same week.

It’s sure to generate valuable extra business for our local restaurants, bars, hotels and shops.

Councillor Jim Mason, Chair – Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolio:


The ExChange will bring our Little Malop arts and laneways precincts alive for two days with the best in folk music. It’s an exciting addition to our arts and culture calendar for 2020.

We have a strong live music culture here in Geelong and having so many top acts performing at our local venues will be incredible. I’m sure the city will be buzzing.

Jamie McKew, Founder, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Geelong Folk Club Alumni:

The timing is perfect! Geelong is booming with a dazzling renaissance of new young energy, culture and ideas.

We are truly excited and honoured to be chosen for the next featured international FAI ExChange right here in a bunch of our favourite venues.

Having just attended the Folk Alliance International conference in Montreal, I can only marvel at the musical force for true humanity that this largest folk music organisation so beautifully creates.

Just jump on board and be a part of this brilliant project!




Page last updated: Monday, 26 August 2019

Print