The Advocate Newspaper Feature 12 May 2022. With thanks to Brodie Weeding, photographer and writer Rodney Woods.
The organisers of Hobart’s Festival of Voices are bringing some of the events to the Coast for the first time in the festival’s 17-year history.
While previous attempts have been made to visit the region, 2022 will be the first year that the whole state will be able to appreciate the program in their own backyard, with events being held in Devonport and Ulverstone.
“We have lots of loyal festival fans come down to the south each year and we haven’t stopped trying to find ways to come north for a visit,” Festival of Voices marketing and partnerships manager Jen Murnaghan said.
“We want to show off our island to festival visitors and by programming events across the state we can encourage visitation to our regional areas and spread the joy of the Tasmanian experience with singers, visiting choirs and winter tourists.”
The Tasmanian Songbook will be held in Devonport, while Ulverstone will host Victorian performer Michael Waugh.
For those that don’t know Mr Waugh, since his 2016 debut, he has released three albums of deeply relatable, emotional story songs based on characters and events from around his hometown of Maffra in eastern Victoria.
While fans of the singer-songwriter have rusted on to his uniquely Australian narrative style and they proudly wear the red and black checked shirt as a sign of their connectedness.
Festival of Voices director Peter Choraziak explained what audiences could expect when the Tasmanian Songbook project visits Devonport.
“The inaugural Tasmanian Songbook project last year was widely lauded and seen as an important legacy project to celebrate songs that define the Tasmanian psyche,” he said.
“This year’s setlist features some old songs from forgotten bands, as well as new songs by Tasmanian songwriters that were written during COVID-19 lockdowns.
“We’ll also throw in a couple of huge international hits that were inspired by Tasmania.”
North West duo Dan and Kyle Lizotte of Halfway to Forth will be among the performers involved in the festival alongside Australia’s Queen of Country Jean Stafford.