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What has the Brisbane Folk History Project been up to?

The "Brisbane Folk" book launched on 8 December 2018

Brisbane has arguably the most vibrant folk scene in Australia. From humble beginnings in the ‘50s, Queensland has generated a passionate and organised community of singers, dancers, musicians, songwriters, instrument-makers and – yes, historical recreationists. People from many walks of life, countries of birth and shades of political persuasion identify as ‘folkies’, bound together by a common ethos as powerful and enduring as it is hard to define.

Yet folk functions as an underground movement, barely recognised by mainstream culture. Ask someone on the street about ‘folk music’ and they’ll say it wandered into the sunset humming I Shall Be Released around 1975. The folk interviewed for this book, aged 9 to 90, tell a different story – in fact, hundreds of them.

Here for the first time the Brisbane folk community reflects on this creative, cohesive, multi-generational sub-culture. How has folk music shaped and been shaped by the state’s political evolution? Where does the Brisbane folk scene intersect with Queensland, Australia, the world? And what’s coming next?

Packed with shenanigans, insight, tragedy, love and phone-tapping, with its blood alcohol content perhaps a little high but its heart firmly in the right place, Brisbane Folk will make you feel the music.

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YouTube Launched

We launched the amazing Brisbane Folk History Project YouTube channel. which took the form of a fabulous folk fundraising party with food, trivia, tantalising samples from the video collection, wonderful old photos, singing,  dancing and an all-in session.

Meanwhile you can subscribe to the channel, which currently hosts more than 70 videos including Folkies Old and New Concerts, festival concerts, sessions, dances and other mayhem.

It’s all here

The manuscript for Brisbane Folk: Folk music in Brisbane 1950 to now is complete, rich with the memories of over 100 Brisbane folkies across seven decades and three generations. Sadly we haven’t been able to interest a commercial publisher as hoped; however, an excellent local publishing house is willing to partner with us, and together we’ve submitted an application for a grant. If we don’t get this one, we’ll keep trying, and one way or another we’re going to print and distribute this work of love. The book is likely to retail for $39.95, but you can pre-order early and receive your copy at a bargain price. Stay tuned for more info.


Brisbane Folk History Project membership drive and fundraiser

Sunday 9th March 2014
3PM - 8PM

The venue :
New Farm Bowls Club,
home of the BUg and the Brisbane Music Bureau.

There will be a fabulous program, terrific prizes and an opportunity to become a fully fledged BFHP member.

Put it in your calendar!!

Tickets will be $20 each or $15 concession
or $25 with 2 years membership.

Great line-up: 

The Company
Rebecca Wright and Donald McKay
3 Miles From Texas




25 MARCH 2012

The concert held
Sunday afternoon concert
25th March

at the Danish Club,
36 Austin Street,

was a wonderful success and the BrisbaneFolk History Project committe would like to sincerely thank the members of the bands who so generously gave their time and talents and the folk who cam along to enjoy the entertainment and make the day a great success.

Participating Groups

Out of Abingdon

The Wayfarers

The Jar

Murphy’s Pigs

3 Miles From Texas

Ewan MacKenzie Quartet



The Project Launch - Fund Raising Concert

pirate brides   audience at launch   little secrets

To get the project off the ground a CONCERT was held on January 20th 2007 at East Brisbane Bowls Club, featuring The Pirate Brides, Little Secrets, Mystery Pacific, View From Madeleine's Couch, The Wayfarers, Jigger, Mary Brettell, Amanda Gilmore, Rebecca Wright and many more. The profits will go towards pre-production costs for the history project. 

View many more Photos of the Concert




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