Guest Applications Still Open

Guest applications for the 2021 Festival close on 7 February!

If you have a great offering for our festival next October we’d love to hear from you. Variety is the spice of festival life and want to hear from you even if you think you sit outside the traditional expectations of “folk music” – whatever they are!

To do that we are looking for great talent to perform, host workshops and lead our kids’ and dance programmes. If you’d like to be in the programme in any of these capacities (or know people who might), here is a link to our online application form:

Feel free to forward this email and link to your friends or anyone you’d like to see on our guest list. Applications are encouraged in any of these areas:

  • Concerts or other performance
  • Dance in a variety of traditional and modern styles
  • Workshops on dance, musicianship, performance, specific instruments, cultural and historic influences and evolution of folk music and dance
  • Learning (and fun) activities for kids

The application form has specific guidance on how to put together your application. It’s important to complete the form in full so we have a consistent basis for comparing potential guests and preparing a rough programme. The application form is not for village green (stallholders and traders) or catering. We’ll arrange those separately.

Because the world is still affected severely by Covid-19 we are working on the basis that we are highly unlikely to be able to consider applicants from outside New Zealand (and possibly Australia). We will keep you informed by email, Facebook and our web site of any developments that affect our planning.

We look forward to reviewing all the applications. Subject to pandemic constraints, we expect to be in contact with shortlisted guests by the end of April.


for the Wellington Folk Festival Committee

2021 applications are open!

After a blast at the 2020 festival, your committee is up for the challenge of repeating the successes next year.  To do that we need great talent to perform, host workshops and lead our dance programme. If you’d like to be in the programme in any of these capacities (or know people who might), here is a link to our online application form.

Applications close on Sunday 7 February.

Feel free to forward this link to your friends or anyone you’d like to see on our guest list.

Help us make next year’s festival even better!

This year’s festival was fabulous and we’d like to make next year’s even better. If you you haven’t filled out our feedback form already, please spare a few moments to share your views.

Here is a link to the feedback form:

Even if you didn’t come to the festival, we’d like to know why.

Thanks again from all your committee….. now starting the prep for 2021.

Thank you all!

A huge ‘THANK YOU” to everyone involved in this year’s festival; performers, audience, vendors, volunteer crew. You are all champions and made the 2020 festival the best ever!

Thanks also to the various organisations that supported the festival this year.

We have just a few items of lost property that still haven’t found their way home too. To view these items go to our facebook event page here or you can email with any queries.

Day tickets still available online + Volunteer opportunities too

Day tickets ARE still available till 16 October
Apologies if you found day tickets unavailable… we’ve fixed a glitch in the ticketing system so whole day tickets for both Saturday (including the Ceilidh and and evening invitation concert)  and Sunday (including the final evening showcase concert) are available at the special $75 price. Prices at the gate will be higher as noted on the web site…

Check the online programme – choose your day and enjoy a great deal on entertainment and activities from mid morning to the wee hours.

Day and weekend tickets remain available online till Friday 16 October from:

New Volunteer opportuntities:
This year, our regular Scout supporters can’t help out so at late notice we’re rostering a volunteer crew to attend the registration caravan. Work will include greeting people, checking tickets, issuing registration packs to prepaid folk and processing gate sales. The job will involve operating our till and EFTPOS machine but training will be given.

We also need one more qualified first aider and up to three members of the hygiene crew

If you’re interested, please email Please – no phone calls, texts or FB messages. Free registration (or a refund if already paid) if you’ll commit to work over 8 hours during the weekend.

Early bird ticket prices end tomorrow (Sunday).

From Monday you’ll pay full price for tickets so, if you can, get them now!

We’ve posted the current draft of the programme on the web site – check it out or download a pdf copy. If you can’t do the whole weekend, remember this year, we have whole day and night tickets available for each of Saturday or Sunday.

Check the programme, choose your day, and still get a great deal on entertainment and activities from mid morning to the wee hours. Sunday evening has the final showcase concert, then sessions till the players fall asleep, while Saturday night you can choose between the high energy ceilidh dance or the Balladeer Specials invitation concert followed by the late traditional singing session.

Early bird prices are available till midnight Sunday 4 October click here to purchase tickets.

All the info on festival guests and the draft programme (subject to change) are here on the website.

We will do all we can to deliver the usual high energy and friendly festival – but we won’t risk anyone’s safety and will of course follow all government guidance. Remember if the worst happens and we have to cancel due to another Covid-19 resurgence, we will refund all tickets in full.

2020 Festival Programme

With  Alan Downes’ CD release in place now, we are pleased to announce that the provisional programme is available online. (Please note that the committee reserves the right to make changes to this programme as necessary.)

Click here to go to the 2020 programme page or select 2020 Programme in the menu bar above.  You’ll be able to view, download and/or print from there.

We are all looking forward to a fabulous festival – see you there!

Grab your early bird tickets – here are the rest of the guests!

Hi everyone!

Great news that most of the country is back at Level 1 and hopefully all of us will be there before Labour weekend. This means Wellington Folk Festival can almost run as normal.

The programme will be posted up on the web site soon…. but to save your suspense, this email has info about the guests we haven’t told you about yet.

You can get your tickets here:
Early bird prices are available till Sunday 4 October

Colette Rivers

An alt/indie folk-rock artist, New Zealand-American songwriter, currently based in the Wairarapa. Colette Rivers brings together an eclectic mix of guitars, drums, folk instruments and synths to create music that is both uplifting and melancholic.

Colette’s voice shivers with the raw expressiveness of greats like Bruce Springsteen or Gillian Welch and a sharp edge that evokes the likeness of Liz Phair or Aimee Mann.

She has released the EP Wandering Thoughts  – a 4 track release featuring the single ‘Kamikaze Girlfriend’ written about the twisted ways people can give all to love. Colette’s debut album, “Memory Lake” is inspired by nature in its many forms – aptly named after the great Lake Taupō where she lived after moving with her family from Washington state at age 11.

There is an undeniable sense of strong melodic hook-writing, as featured in the haunting and sometimes gritty melodies of ‘Quiet Places’, ‘Out of the Cage’ and ‘Fickle Soul.’ The honesty, poeticism and depth of Colette Rivers’ lyrics reflect a fearlessness in revisiting the past, feeling the moments of the right now, considering life and death and the beauty, pain and reality of it.

Gumboot Tango

An acoustic combo from Godzone Lando celebrating New Zealand songs and songwriters with a farmyard-infectious humour guaranteed to put a smile on your feet and the swing back in a Taranaki gate.

Good-time home-grown music;  from rustic roots and big-smoke blues to regional originals and classic kiwi rock; Foot-tapping ditties from the family knee and from the cowshed wireless at milking time. Songs from 78’s and sing-alongs. From back-country roads, the bush and the big smoke.

Gumboot Tango was formed in 1994 when Mike Harding joined Alan Muggeridge, his wife Janet and brother Steve to assemble and record, in Alan’s Rowan Studio, a set of ten Taranaki songs and then perform them at the 1995 Taranaki Festival of the Arts. Further musical adventures followed – after the ‘Taranaki Top Ten’ cassette came ‘Rattle Yer Dags’ and appearances at many folk and music festivals including the Second Annual Great Urenui School Possum Hunt and WOMAD ’99. Along the way the addition of ‘other band’ member and friend Wayne Morris on drums for a while before Alan became ill with cancer and tragically died in 2000.

Many of you will know the enormous energy and fun Gumboot Tango bring to the many festivals they get involved in.

Raven Mavens Quartette

Raven Mavens started as a duo with Cindy Muggeridge, queen of the boogie and blues on piano and Marian Carter playing soulful clarinet. These two fun-loving, versatile performers brought sweet harmony and a sassy, happy-go-lucky slant to their music.

The duo became a trio when they added Anje Glindemann on drums.  Anje has the philosophy of playing the ‘song’ and not the ‘drums’ (while actually playing the drums) sometimes light, sometimes rocking, but always with a solid feel. The trio became the ‘Quartette’ with the addition of versatile virtuoso, Kate Marshall on accordion, flute, violin and vocals. Kate started her musical life as a classically trained pianist, but had a tendency to improvise the ends of Mozart sonatas. It was decided that she should find some music to play where that was legitimate.

Each of these women is a musician worth hearing in her own right, playing and singing in other lineups, but when they get together there’s a unique and beautiful synergy. Expect this talented combination to dish up a variety of music and styles, from great divas like Bessie Smith and Nina Simone, to their own original songs. The mood will range from sensitive to burlesque, with a bit of storytelling and hilarity on the side.

Dance, dance, dance
As usual there is a full dance programme…. from modern to very traditional, there will be loads to move to. We have great tutors with long experience and passion. VicFolk will again play and call for the Saturday evening Ceilidh and there will be workshops on Advanced Ceilidh, Irish Step, Morris, Lindy Hop and Balkan / Gypsy / unusual timings

The Balladeer
So we’ve announced the booked and programmed guests.  Festival regulars also know there will be lots more guests who we’ll invite to play throughout the weekend on the Balladeer Specials stage – almost a festival within the festival.


for the Wellington Folk Festival Committee

We will do all we can to deliver the usual high energy and friendly festival – but we won’t risk anyone’s safety and will of course follow all government guidance. Remember if the worst happens and we have to cancel due to another Covid-19 resurgence, we will refund all tickets in full.

Tickets are on sale now!!

Hi everyone,

On the basis that by 23 October we’ll be back at Level 1, I’m delighted to let you know that Wellyfest 2020 tickets are now available online.

Apologies for the delay in opening sales…. there were some unexpected changes to our ticketing system since last year so a huge amount of work has been done by our volunteer committee members to make sure it works for us and you in a similar way to previous years. There are a few changes to the ticket types, pricing and and the payment process with most prices held or reduced from last year.

… but if you just want to dive into the web site to buy your tickets, here’s the link:

Here is a summary of this year’s ticket prices:

As always, bunks are available in limited numbers. They are available as usual on a first come first served basis at $70 for the weekend.

We’ve tried to make this festival as affordable as possible for families. The child, teen and student rates for early bird bookings are reduced from last year.

A change from the ticket system is that payment for early bird tickets can only be made online by credit or debit card. We will  absorb the credit card processing fees so this change won’t cost you more than the simpletix system’s standard booking fees.

We are looking forward to a great Kiwi festival …. and remember we still have more guests to announce! The only thing that could get in the way is if we are still at level 2 lockdown come mid October. Be assured if that happens, any prepaid registrations will be fully refunded.

Stay safe and be kind…..
for the Wellington Folk Festival Committee