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Music lovers encouraged to ride their push bikes to this year’s folk festival at Slacky Flat, Bulli

THE annual Illawarra Folk Festival will be held at Slacky Flat, Bulli from Friday January 20 to Sunday January 22

Set in the foothills of the Illawarra Escarpment in Bulli Showground, the 2023 festival has five onsite venues and is billed as a “family friendly village with action from early morning to late night”.

With superb music from 50 international, national and local artists performing in over 150 concerts there’s also a colourful array of international food stalls, craft stalls and the festival bar.

The festival commences on Friday afternoon, 4pm, and concludes on Sunday evening with a finale with special guests.

Usually held over four days, organisers this year have reduced the festival to three days, due to a lack of funding.

The reduction in days though hasn’t impacted the variety of acts, with the sounds of folk, indie, world, roots, bluegrass, Balkan and Celtic music, as well as poetry, comedy and dance, on offer over the three days.

Also, this year Illawarra Bicycle Users Group (iBUG) are encouraging festival goers to pedal to Slacky Flat and have organised a special ride to the festival.

Beth Robrahn from iBUG said that bike rides are being put on for people attending two festivals in January: Honk Street Music Festival on Saturday January 14 in Wollongong CBD, and Illawarra Folk Festival on Saturday January 21 at Bulli. 

“The Saturday rides are for anyone planning to attend the events who want to discover the joy and ease of hopping on your bike to get yourself there”, Ms Robrahn said.

iBUG members Rhonda Hunt and Paul Taylor are trained volunteer ride leaders through Bicycle NSW and will lead the rides.

“We’re excited to encourage people to ride to these great events, it’ll add to the fun”, ride leader Paul Taylor said. 

Ross Dearden, from the Illawarra Folk Festival, said organisers are encouraging people to ride to the event.

“I hope people will see how convenient it is to ride to get to special events. It helps ease pressure for car parks too.”

There will be an area set aside to park bikes.

For more information on the bike rides visit iBUG’s website.

For more information on the festival visit: Illawarra Folk Festival


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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.

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