Town Folk Festival all grown up

Global superstars The Teskey Brothers are set to headline the enormous lineup at the new-look festival. Photo: Ian Laidlaw

Town Folk Festival, Castlemaine’s beloved single-day contemporary folk music festival, has announced plans to expand in 2024 bringing an enormous lineup of local and international talent to Dja Dja Wurrung Country/Castlemaine in November.

The 2024 lineup includes A. Savage (US), the solo project of Parquet Courts frontman Andrew Savage, adored New Zealand singer-songwriter Marlon Williams (NZ), and four-time ARIA award-nominated future-soul powerhouse Ngaiire.

Global touring juggernaut The Teskey Brothers will perform on the main stage, along with Yirinda, the project of Fred Leone and Samuel Pankhurst, who combine ancient Aboriginal language with sublime modern production.

The mesmerising Grace Cummings will play songs from her acclaimed third album Ramona, alongside Jess Ribeiro, Queenie and many more.

Maintaining its family-friendly, community-oriented atmosphere, the festival will activate local venues such as The Bridge Hotel, Shedshaker Brewing and Boomtown Wines, with the exciting addition of a major festival site at the Sunken Oval alongside the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens.

Town Folk Festival director Jeremy Furze said Town Folk was growing up.

“After three iterations in ‘cute neighbourhood gathering’ mode, the time felt right to kick off the training wheels and step this thing up to ‘big fat festival’ mode,” Furze said.

“The multi-stage, multi-venue format will remain – again utilising all the wonderful spaces along Walker Street – but this year we will drop a stage on the Sunken Oval across the road and push the faders up a few notches,” he said.

“Town Folk has been a joy to present over the past three years so we (my brother Pat and I) thought why not grow it into something even better. The Sunken Oval is such a great and under-utilised space so this will be a big day for that small patch of grass.

“Hopefully, other businesses in the area will have a busy weekend too. Having The Teskey Brothers, Marlon Williams, A. Savage, The Maes and all the other incredible artists in town to perform on the one day will be very special,” Jeremy said.

“We created Town Folk with songwriters and audience listening at the forefront. As far as festivals go it’s fairly tame, but that suits us and our audience just fine,” he said.

“It’s a volatile time for music festivals but we believe that, more than ever, there’s an appetite for live music in more digestible servings and price points. Town Folk won’t break the bank or the lower back. It’s on the Bendigo line. It’s in the centre of Castlemaine. It’s an easy-going time for all ages and positions on the spectrum. It’s one day of exceptional fun and then home to bed, Airbnb, motel or campground,” Furze said.

Josh Teskey said they were looking forward to headlining the Castlemaine gig.

“We love Castlemaine. Having played at The Bridge and The Theatre Royal over the years it’ll be a treat to come back for Town Folk Festival in November.

“This festival will be The Teskey Brothers’ only Victorian show for 2024 so we’re very much looking forward to it,” Teskey said.

Providing locals and visitors with a chance to enjoy international and homegrown talent, this family-friendly festival will feature food trucks, local produce, and a chance to experience the magic of Castlemaine, which boasts an eclectic arts scene and a growing reputation as a food and culture destination, a reputation that the Town Folk Festival will undoubtedly amplify.

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