Saturday 3 November 2012

Dorrigo Bluegrass Festival 2012

We were set, tent in the boot, along with many other camping and sleeping aids, food packed, bags packed, instruments, check, children, well once we picked Poe up from the bus stop, check. Up the mountain we go. Up the mountain to Dorrigo for the Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival. Scott was already up there, he had spent the last two days in Banjo heaven, participating in a Banjo workshop run by Ross Nickerson, an amazing Bluegrass Banjo player from America (Ross, had also been staying with us the past week and had become accustomed to the kids addressing him by his full name; "Good Morning Ross Nickerson, Ross Nickerson, have you met my friend, etc etc). 
Anyway, back to the story, after we pick up Poe from the bus he mentions that he is feeling a bit car sick, although Poe had never previously been car sick, I acknowledged his feelings, got him to strip off to cool down, gave him water and set on our way. Yes, yes, I know you can see what is going to happen, blatantly obvious you think. Well yes, the road to Dorrigo is windy and steep, with many sections where you are unable to pull off anywhere, even if you have a child vomiting in/across/on the back seat. Yikes. I did eventually pull over, and just stared at the mess, after a few deep breathes, I used all our drinking water and some tea tree to clean poor Poe and the car up (not able to do that great a job on my pillow that got vomited on though, damn it). So what to do, travel up, travel down? Hmmm, Poe was keen to go home, have a bath then go up again, but I didn't think that was very wise, so we slowly, slowly made our way up. 
And we got there, with only one small vomit on arrival, but I was ready. We found Scott, we set up, and poor Poe lamented "Oh, how I wish, I could run around with my friends, but I am too sick, oh how I wish I could kiss you, but I am too sick".
Luckily I soon received a call that cheered me up, Nicole and Oscar had arrived, woohoo, I hear you thinking, but wait there is more. They were about to set up their tent (they were in the general camping area, we were in the performers area, due to me basically being unable to think clearly with all that vomiting going on, I headed to the closest and easiest campsite), yes, they were about to set up their tent but they only had a fly and no tent. So we welcome them with open arms into our tent. Lovely. Following on from this we also smuggled Ellie, Gabe and Rani, into the performers section as well, so we could all camp together and we could share the childminding at night, a perfect plan.  
However due to a poorly Poe, night one was kind of a right off, well, right off in the way that I didn't participate in the festival festivities but actually it was great because with Poe being sick, I just fell asleep with the kids and awoke, fresh and sprightly on Saturday morning, as did Poe. 
After a deliciously hearty breakfast of rejected muesli, we made our first festival stop, at the flatfooting workshop with the gorgeous Martha Spencer from the Whitetop Mountaineers, hailing from West Virginia. If you are thinking, flat what??!?! Check out the clip below, but be warned there is already talk about town about forming a local group forming, beware, this may just change your life. Flatfooting is getting poised to take over the world (yes, it is nearly 12.30am as I write this), totally hot and oodles of fun for everyone. I would also like you all to pay attention to those backward legs spins, whoa! 

Below are some highlights of the festival, it was such a delightfully easy and fun time, shared with lovely friends and a lot of folk from all around.

Stomp Kats, my personal favourites. 
Cath and her totally awesome panelvan with Victoria and Ilo.
Mustered Courage doing some jamming
A spectacular beard from Black Train
The Mid North, of course, starring Ilo.
The Whitetop Mountaineers, you should see her play the fiddle and flatfoot at the same time, oh my.
Crowd favourites, The New Worlds from Nashville.
The Mid North accompanied by The New Worlds and yes Ilo. Black, this time on harmonies and hand claps.  


  1. Divine. Loved that Jay. Oh except for the part about Poe vomiting. Poor love. And poor you having to clean it up. Even when it is your own child who you would do absolutely anything in the world for, dealing with vomit is very unpleasant. Your photos as usual are just wonderful and darling Ilo, he is actually a member of the Mid North!! Bless him. It is so awesome how he just stands with the band like it is the most natural thing in the world for him to do. Glad to hear the weekend worked out and Poe made a very speedy recovery. We are on day 6 of River having chesty cough and conjunctivitus. Ho hum. Hope you have a great restful weekend xxx

    1. Yes vomit is very unpleasant, especially when it is black vomit, due to Poe's once favourite snack; seaweed, damn it. Oh poor River, cough and conjunctivitis, he must be feeling pretty bleugh. Our weekend is action packed, we had a wedding yesterday, I was the official photographer and Scott played and today is the River Festival. Hopefully tomorrow we can exhale. Hope you guys have an easy and nourishing weekend. xxx

  2. There's nothing like a good festival! And in Dorrigo... when I was 10 we were driving down the mountain from Dorrigo in a kombi and I got the spews and earned myself the nickname of Chucky Chunder from my parents' friend for the rest of our trip. My sympathies for Poe x

    1. Oh no, can't believe your parent's friend dishing out a nickname like that! So you are well versed the precariousness and windiness of the Dorrigo mountain. Hope your weekend is full of loveliness. xx

  3. Oh Ilo you take my breath away!

  4. Jay,such a wonderful post!!! Looks like a fantastic festival,beautifully captured by you. Poor Poe :( I know that road.For many years my husband,2 girls and I drove the long journey up to Byron for our holidays and often we cut across from Armidale and travelled that windy road,always made me quite nervous!(fell in love with Belligen on these trips,always stopped there for a wander)Happy Poe recovered to join in the fun and the littlest member of Mid North....gorgeous!! xx


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