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Beside the Waipara river, on an early Autumn Dawn
Canterbury’s annual Folk Festival is born..

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The tents pop up, excitement’s abound. There are always flat tent-pitching-posys around…

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Autumn arriving..
We feel the chrisp air.
Friends gather, catch up, shoot the breeze & share…

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Musicians’ arrive
(this one makes his guitars)..
Via planes, campers or drive their own cars!!

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There is catering avail, breakie, lunch and tea… Coffee and snacks… All for a small fee…

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There are concerts for all… A great place to be.
Fun to be had by the whole family…

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Blackboard Concerts galore, are always good fun…

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Put your name up.. Perform..
And impress everyone…

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Young artists are encouraged to
perform sing and play…

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even the wee tots, can have their day…

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Blind Date Concerts are a ‘random’affair.
Put your name in the ballot, to be chosen, be there…

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It can be ‘quite impressive’ the song they play..
(the first practice was only the previous day!!)

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The youth band are coached,
with professional guidance they play…

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And perform in the main Festival Concert…
In the Evening… Sunday…

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Steve our sound expert down to-the-core.
Will make you sound your best .. for sure!!

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As musicians perform there’s heckling laughter and song, as we all give a cheer and all sing along..

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Workshops abundant… Come along…
Learn something new…

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If you choose, you can show us what you’ve just learned to do !!!!

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The choir is always a harmonious treat, come along, join in, newcomers they’ll greet…

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Dunedinites have a themed party each year..
Come dressed up to have fun..
Bring nibbles be there..

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2016 Scots & Sassenachs was the theme…
Scots, piped in a haggis…
What a marvellous scene…

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But the Scots were sadly ousted out…
By a group of posh pommes
Bearing ‘Pimms’ and a trout !!

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Toss a haggis, build a raft, run a race, kick a ball…

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The ‘Teen games’ are great fun…
(and some ‘teens’ are ‘quite tall’!!!)…

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Our professional story teller, Liz Weir..
Is a fab fun-loving, talented children’s puppeteer…

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Sometime it just nice to relax & converse,
about music, and life and whole the universe !!!

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The days can be hot..
The nights can be cold.
So wrap up warm as the evenings unfold…

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When the sun goes down…

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Jam sessions begin… Musicians and campers… all pitching in…

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Fun gatherings continue through-out the night…

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With ‘some’ who keep jamming, until morning light…

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There is adventure,
There is music,
A camping family treat…

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An experience to treasure…
And a time to remember… That’s damn hard to beat…

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Guest Artists

2017 TBA




Guest Artists 2017



Everyone is welcome to come along and be part of this unique annual, family-friendly festival of music.

 Folk Music is 'the music of the people'; Alt Country, Rock, Ballads to Blues..

 There are Concerts and Workshops to suit all genres of music for all age groups. 

A supervised Children's Programme and Teen activities run throughout the duration of the festival. 

(See the Drop Down tabs at the top of this page for all details of concerts, guest artists performances and workshops, teen activities, children's programme, onsite facilities, the weekend's timetable, venue map and admission charges). 

Situated at the Waipara Adventure Centre, North Canterbury; 

40 minutes north of Christchurch City 
50 minutes drive from the Christchurch Airport


The Canterbury Folk Music Festival is an annual event, held for the wider Canterbury Communities and designed to facilitate a family orientated music festival promoting family relaxation, music, education and the arts.

Our aim is to provide a safe, friendly family environment and a wide range of music, concerts, educational workshops and artistic entertainment for the whole family.

 This is a family orientated event, open to the public, for Cantabrians to come along, relax, share, join in the activities, perform and enjoy.

The festival is traditionally run over the Easter period - with an emphasis on promoting Canterbury local and upcoming musicians, New Zealand musicians and International musicians who are chosen to add a unique cultural and educational experience for festival attendees.  Musicians are invited to perform at concerts and run informative, educational and fun workshops for all festival goers to attend. All of the attending guest artists are required to socialise throughout festival duration with attendees, play music and share their knowledge & expertise. There are also organised events which facilitate attendees of all ages who perform with and alongside the guest artists. This provides encouragement and confidence to upcoming younger musicians and music hobbyists alike.  

The music festival provides concerts (performed by invited professional guest musicians), and also multiple opportunities for festival attendees to perform while using professional equipment, guided by a professional sound technician, and in front of an appreciative ‘listening’ audience. This provides encouragement and experience for the local Canterbury younger musicians and artists, and a lifetime experience for many small children (who are also facilitated for throughout the festival duration, and encouraged to perform).

There is an organised supervised children's programme for the young ones, as well as plenty to do for the teens among the crowd. Children’s activities and Teen games / activities are supervised and always attended by many adults who join in the festivities alongside the children & teens, creating a unique, enjoyable, good-spirited sharing supportive environment.

Attendees of all age groups share a common love of multi-genre music, and not all are musicians.

Many come just to enjoy the friendship, fun, music, relaxation and friendly atmosphere this weekend brings.

Brought to you by: The Christchurch Folk Music Festival Inc. 

Facilities Overview:

(see the 'accommodation' drop down tab to view facilities) 

  • Camping sites, powered and unpowered
  • Bunk rooms available (heated and carpeted)
  • Clean bathrooms and kitchen facilities on-site
  • You can choose to supply and cook your own meals in the kitchen facilities on site. There are catering services onsite throughout the festival duration, and a coffee vending cart. Snacks and light refreshments are available for purchase during the day. 



  • You can choose to bring your own food & cook in one of the many kitchens on site. 

  • Previously advertised Doner Cult were going to be at festival on Friday afternoon, but unfortunately now cannot attend.

Friday:  Friday evening only: Evening Catering is available. There will be limited available spare meals, so it is advised to bring your own, or alternatively, book online to ensure availability. 

Saturday & Sunday: 

  • Catering facilities are available for Cooked Breakfast, Lunchs and Cooked Dinners. 
  • It is advised to pre order cooked dinners directly from the caterers the day before to ensure availability.. 
  • Coffee is also available throughout both days.


These are required to be pre ordered.