Top line-up heading for Kiama folk festival

Neil Murray of My Island Home fame to head Folk By The Sea Festival in Kiama

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Festival features 51 international, national and local acts, including strong Celtic influence.

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AUSTRALIAN singer-songwriter Neil Murray heads a stellar line-up of 51 acts for this year's Folk By The Sea Festival, to be held in Kiama on September 27-29.

Murray's songs have been recorded by artists ranging from Missy Higgins and Powderfinger to Adam Brand and Jimmy Little, while his best known song is Christine Anu's version of My Island Home.

The song featured at the closing ceremony of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Murray, who helped form the ground-breaking Warumpi Band in 1980, is currently touring Australia performing songs from his latest album, Blood & Longing, as well as classics like My Island Home and Good Light in Broome.

NZ band Across The Great Divide, a fusion of Americana, Celtic and Scandinavian influences, and northern English folksinger Richard Grainger, described by the BBC as "the folksinger's folksinger", head a strong international line-up at the three-day event.

There will be a strong Celtic influence at this year's festival, led by perennial favourite Enda Kenny, new wave Melbourne female quartet Co-cheol and powerhouse band Highlander, with its rock edge to traditional Celtic songs.

"There are 33 international and national acts, but we've also got a really strong local presence, with 18 acts from the Illawarra," said festival co-ordinator Rod Cork.

"These include Dear Violet, a talented trio of teenagers from the northern suburbs who really impressed everyone at the Illawarra Folk Festival at Bulli this year, and Kiama band The Water Runners, who are always popular."

Folk By The Sea will also feature a two-hour Woodstock 50th anniversary tribute show on the Saturday afternoon, with The Carefree Road Band, The Water Runners and Buck & Deanne performing songs from the 1969 festival.

This year, all three days of the festival are ticketed events, held at Kiama Pavilion and surrounding venues at Kiama Showground.

For further information including the full program, ticketing or accommodation, go to folkbythesea.com.au or call 1300-887-034.

Tickets can also be bought at the door. Adult prices are $120 for a three-day pass; $30 for Friday night; $70 for Saturday; $40 for Saturday evening (from 5pm); and $30 for Sunday.

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