Majors Creek - Music @ the Creek
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This is the one to do to see the best of Australian Folk Music in a small and intimate bush setting. No showers but plenty of toilets. Limited water as there has been a drought for many years. The settlement of Majors Creek is about one and a half hours drive from Canberra very small with about 20 houses, a pub, a church and a recreation ground with an old wooden hall. The settlement had infamous characters passing through it's midst during the gold rush days when the likes of bushrangers the Clarke Brothers and Ben Hall would set up ambushes to hold up the gold coaches and the Cobb & Co coaches. There are beautiful walks to be taken from the festival site leading to waterfalls.
On the Thursday night we arrived in Canberra and met up with some of our children, my hairdresser ( who promptly put several pink streaks in my hair) and former work collegues.
I began attending the Majors Creek festival in 1998 as a member of the group who began dancing here at the very first festival in 1992?, the inaugural festival. Now, I too had attended this inauguaral festival but only as an accompanying parent of a child who sang with a school choir and never did see the strange dancers that I eventually joined! Comparisons with English festivals of 2006 that we attended will no doubt follow.
The weather was fine with some minor flourishing clouds which sadly didn't bring any significant rain. There were the usual food favourite vans from hot potatoes, Thai and Indian, Aussie Tucker, the local committee's bbq, home made icecreams and most importantly a coffee van. Clothing stalls, jewelry and musical instruments also were present to provide distractions and add to the fun. There are four venues for music and dance plus a childrens festival tent and a session bar for musicians and singers to gather and enjoy.
This year as usual the artists were an interesting mix. Jason & Chloe Roweth are regulars and one of my favourites with songs inspired by the people, history and landscapes of Australia with the pure voice of Chloe as she effortlessly weaves stories in song.
Martin Pearson was there with his MP3 and always presents great humour put into song.
Of course there was a final performance by Molonglo Mayhem Border Morris over the weekend and we came from Queensland, Melbourne, Canberra, Strathbogie and the South Coast to have a last supper together on Thursday night before heading out to the Festival on Friday night. A walk through our dances in the tennis courts gave us a feel for which dance we were in and what position we would take. I last danced with them at the previous Majors Creek festival a year ago but some things you just don't forget. The music is so contagious and happy that one just can't resist and the wearing of the rag jackets, tights and oddballed hats along with brightly painted faces allows for plenty of silliness and fascinates the children in particular. We have had so many years of socialising, fun and fitness together that it is really hard to let them go but as we are one of those who have left Canberra, there is no alternative.
So, after a great weekend of music and catching up with old faces we packed down the camper trailer and headed into nearby Captains Flat to stay with some dear friends. Their offers of a cup of tea or a drink were brushed aside for the offer of a shower first then a great evening was had when another couple who had also been at the festival came around for dinner. Dinner was a wonderful bbq of kangaroo meat, salads and vegetables and great company and plenty of wine!