The Festival of a Thousand Stories starts September 2nd with a week-long program of exciting new events in addition to past favourites.

Since its humble beginnings back in 2013, the festival has grown steadily every year with more and more locals and visiting writers and performers jumping on board to build the program.

Kicking off the Festival on September 2 is internationally acclaimed musician Darren Hanlon who will be performing with Melbourne favourites the Grand Magoozi in the intimate setting of the Gidgee Guesthouse.

“To have Darren Hanlon at the start of the festival – a national and international star, that’s a real coup,” said festival organiser Andrew Hull, who is excited by the many new additions to this year’s program.

“There are a lot of firsts. The Poet’s Breakfast on Sunday September 4 is a first and hopefully that is something that we will continue to build into the whole festival and I think it is an event that might have been missing from previous festivals,” said Andrew.

“It’ll be an open mic type poetry event. I’ll be hosting it, but ideally, we are hoping that locals might come with their own bits of poetry and read them out on the day. The Men’s Shed will be there cooking breakfast and there will be a coffee cart. A great way to kick off the morning beside the Darling River while the birds are chirping.”

Another first this year is Blues on the Boat — live music from legendary musician Frank Povah onboard the PV Jandra for a special afternoon cruise on September 4.

“The Blues Cruise will be terrific and hopefully something like that can continue to be a feature of the Festival in the future. That will be a bit of a highlight that I’ll be looking forward to,” said Andrew.

You will also be able to catch Frank Povah at other events throughout the festival week too, said Andrew.

And returning this year are the extremely talented duo Chloe and Jason Roweth, who will be performing throughout the Festival week at Kidman’s Camp.

“For locals who have been out and seen Poetry on a Plate, for that week the three events will be hosted by Jason and Chloe Roweth, who once again are national standard folk musicians and poets and they will be having the run of the show. So if anyone wants a new experience of Poetry on a Plate there is that there for the week,” said Andrew.

Building on the hugely successful live readings of the Bruce Delany stories at last year’s Festival, the Bourke Arts Council have prepared a full week of events in the Toorale Room of the Port of Bourke Hotel: On Monday evening there will be ‘Bourke Talks’ — an evening of locals giving short talks about their own particular experiences or areas of interest; On Tuesday, it will be a series of readings from Bourke history told from women’s perspectives; Wednesday evening will be entertainment from ‘The Bourke Singers’; and Thursday will once again be the always popular Stories of Bruce Delany.

And throughout the week there will be a range of activities during the day including Indigenous walking tours, local history and cemetery tours, Luke Thomas’ Outback Show and daily cruises on the PV Jandra.

“We are also extending our workshop program. We are providing more opportunities for locals to come and learn how to write and build their own narratives through the workshops with Grahame Gibson,” said Andrew.

“And this year we have Tony Pritchard who is launching his book about drifting down the Darling which is just the rarest book I’ve ever read. It is remarkable, an incredible book!”

Tony Pritchard will launch ‘Drifting Down the Darling’ at the Bourke Public Library at 11am on Friday September 9.

“It’s an exciting line-up,” said Andrew.

See our full program of events or find the Festival of a Thousand Stories on Facebook.

Festival of a Thousand Stories,
© 2014 Bourke Shire Council
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