PRESS RELEASE 11th November 2019
Frances Folk Gathering
The Frances Folk Gathering has run for the last 20 years in the small town of Frances, located on the SA/Vic border. Sadly, there will be no Frances Folk Gathering in 2020 and the organisation will be wound up. Funding has been increasingly difficult in recent years and with the loss of our major commercial sponsor we do not have sufficient funds to stage the event and the reluctant decision has been made to close.
The 20th Anniversary Gathering in 2019 was a very successful event and we are very proud that we not only ran successfully for 20 years but that we went out on a very high note. Thanks are due to the many wonderful people who served on the Committees in Adelaide and locally in Frances, all providing their time on a voluntary basis; to the musicians from both sides of the border who have made the Gathering such a significant and enjoyable event and to the people of the Frances area without whose time and generous assistance we would not have been able to run.
It is clear that public and commercial funding for arts, music and other cultural events has dwindled and the day of the free festival is over, other than spontaneous small-scale events. It has however been a magical 20 years and the memories and friendships which have formed over that time will never be lost.
Frances Folk Gathering was a small and very special event in the folk calendar.
On the last weekend of February each year the tiny village of Frances on the Victorian/South Australian border opened its doors and hearts to folk lovers: musicians, dancers, poets, artists and appreciators.
The essence of Frances was participation. Frances only booked one or two guest artists each year - the weekend's program was brought to life by everyone who came. Everyone contributed to the fun and entertainment, young and old, beginners and old hats, the well-known, the never heard of and, sometimes, the infamous.
For musicians, blackboard concerts ran all weekend in various venues. There were scheduled sessions, circles, serious and silly competitions, and workshops throughout the program as well as informal circles, busking and jamming just about everywhere. There was an art exhibition where artists were welcome to exhibit and art lovers could peruse and purchase art. For dancers, the dance program offered a variety of lively dances and workshops throughout the Gathering.
Frances was a true gathering of people - making and celebrating folk arts together - and the spirit of Frances had a cheeky, wonderful and unique magic to it.
You just turn up! There are no tickets, bookings or palava. Attending the Gathering is FREE.
You need to register to be involved in the competitions, to compete, judge or MC.
Frances is a friendly country town that lays out camping, food and drink for the weekend.
The spirit of the Gathering was created at The First Frances Folk Gathering in 2000.
The Gathering couldn't happen without the support of our wonderful sponsors.
Other generous sponsors include
Circle H Farms; DiGiorgio Wines; Tender Cuts Butchers; The Veg Shed and Naracoorte Foodland