Festival of Small Halls returns to Orange after 12-month hiatus

TIME TO JAM: JAM Orange's Robyn Ibester, Tam Wilson, Paul Kelly, Alan Ford and Rod Maxey at Bloomfield Hall. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0116jksmallhalls1
TIME TO JAM: JAM Orange's Robyn Ibester, Tam Wilson, Paul Kelly, Alan Ford and Rod Maxey at Bloomfield Hall. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0116jksmallhalls1

After a hiatus last year, the Festival of Small Halls is back in Orange this year, with the tunes set to touch down on Saturday, January 27 at Bloomfield Hall. 

The organisation which run the festival has a 12-month break, but JAM Orange secretary Paul Kelly said he was excited to have the festival back in Orange. 

“Last time we hosted this festival it was a sellout and we actually had to turn people away at the gates because the hall was full,” he said. 

“That’s how popular it was.”

The 12-month absence hasn’t been keenly felt, however. 

“A spin-off of this festival is that we’ve been running festivals out here on a regular basis ever since, so even though there’s been a hiatus we’ve been running a small hall concert out here,” Mr Kelly said. 

“It’s great for Orange.”

The organiser of the festival, Woodfordia, selects an overseas artist and an Australian artist to play across the country, and as in each region local music organisations also pick a local performer.

Mr Kelly said JAM Orange had decided on a Bathurst-based performer by the name of Andy Nelson.

“Any was recommended to us because he plays a lot of venues in the Central West, including up at The Agrestic Grocer and plenty of places around Bathurst as well.”

“His music is very similar to some of the music done by the Irish musician Glen Hansard and he’s a really powerful guitarist with a good voice and he’s developed his own style of music and writing his own music … it’s essentially guitarist, singer and thump box.”

He will play alongside Canadian folk outfit The Small Glories, a dynamic duo from the Canadian Prairies who build a buzz around their tight harmonies and equally well-matched guitar prowess that doesn’t come around often.

The Australian act is Tasmanian Claire Anne Taylor, who will playing songs from her 2016 album Elemental, which received widespread critical acclaim.

Tickets are on sale now from Lander’s Music, www.festivalofsmallhalls.com and www.eventfinda.com.au

Robyn Ibester with a sign

Robyn Ibester with a sign

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