I joined 350 other folkies to see in the new year at a nice relaxed festival.
Tui Farm is about an hour from Nelson and was once one of the stops towards the end of the Nelson to Glenhope ‘railway to nowhere’. There is little sign of the station now and civilisation seems a long way off when you arrive. There is no power, just a field with a couple of marquees.
You lost mobile coverage half an hour before arrival and, as if to emphasise the trip to less complicated times, old cell phones are nailed to the rafters of the little open shed known as the kitchen. That is a real charm of this event; you ‘live in the now’ without the modern distractions of text, FaceBook or email.
You won’t be short of things to do though. Everything is pretty relaxed but well run, with open mic opportunities, a fun blind date concert, a camp choir made up of anyone who wanted to join in that delivered a four part harmony session after a couple of practices, and a thoroughly entertaining camp poetry session with a high quality of home grown offerings many written on the day.
As you would expect, there was also plenty of time for music with friends old and new, and impromptu singarounds until the wee small hours. There is even a nearby swimming hole.
And of course some excellent main performers. Martin Curtis used his voice and guitar to take us on a folky journey down south. The Shot Band were as fun as ever. No-one who heard Sue Galvin’s own song about cycling after a cruise ship leaving Dunedin will forget the experience.
Even with the drizzle, enthusiastic sand flies and numerous banjos, Tui Farm was well worth the visit.
I even penned a new song at the event. Called ‘Tasty Pasty’ it refers to my pale, Anglo-Saxon complexion and skin that sand flies seem to treat as a delicacy. Not my usual style, just the way it came out.
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