Winter folk festival is a hot ticket

DANIEL BIRCHFIELD
Last updated 05:00 15/05/2014
peter robertson
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax NZ
NEW TUNE: Peter Robertson makes music after a song writing workshop at last year's Whitestone festival.

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This year's Whitestone Winter Folk Festival celebrates its 21st birthday, with plenty in store for folk music buffs.

The annual is being held over Queen's Birthday Weekend at Gunns Bush Christian Camp in Waimate and is set to attract more than 100 folk music fans.

Festival organiser Miguel Nitis said some of the keenly anticipated acts at this year's festival include band Tiny Pieces of Eight and Hyram Ballard.

Ballard is best known for his work with long-running folk band The Chaps, but has performed solo at several festivals in recent years.

Events include a Saturday night barn dance and a Sunday night concert, which features the festival's guest acts and the best acts from the weekend.

Workshops run on Saturday and Sunday.

"Although small, the festival has been steadily growing in popularity since it began in 1994," said Nitis. "Whitestone is a great occasion for performers of all ages and skills, from beginners to the seasoned professional."

He said the festival had a "special ambience" that saw festival-goers return year after year.

The festival is being staged in Waimate for the second time, after relocating from its original home in North Otago.

"Previously it was at Camp Iona at Herbert. The venue was just a bit cold for a lot of our base, a lot of them are older. We still love the old venue, but the new one is better suited to our patrons," Nitis said.

"For a long time there was no festival over Queen's Birthday Weekend. This is one more festival between Easter and Labour Weekend."

Nitis said people were welcome for a day, or the whole long weekend and could register on the festival's website at whitestonewinterfolkfestival.weebly.com.

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- The Timaru Herald

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