Frances Folk Gathering winds up after 20 years

Family fun: Thomas (left), Robert, Scott, Ireland and Matthew Lesslie enjoy the 2018 Frances Folk Gathering.

Family fun: Thomas (left), Robert, Scott, Ireland and Matthew Lesslie enjoy the 2018 Frances Folk Gathering.

After 20 successful years, the popular Frances Folk Gathering will not be going ahead next year.

The event has run for the last two decades in the small town of Frances, located on the South Australian/Victorian border.

Sadly, there will be no Frances Folk Gathering in 2020 and the organisation will be wound up.

The decision comes despite a highly successful 20th anniversary gathering being held this year.

The chairman of the committee Michael McGregor said funding had been increasingly difficult to source in recent years and the committee had to make the tough decision to accept the event had to wind up.

The day of the free festival is over

Michael McGregor

"With the loss of our major commercial sponsor we do not have sufficient funds to stage the event and the reluctant decision has been made to close," Mr McGregor said.

"The 20th anniversary gathering in 2019 was a very successful event and we are very proud that we not only ran successfully for 20 years but that we went out on a very high note.

"Thanks are due to the many wonderful people who served on the committees in Adelaide and locally in Frances, all providing their time on a voluntary basis; to the musicians from both sides of the border who have made the gathering such a significant and enjoyable event and to the people of the Frances area without whose time and generous assistance we would not have been able to run."

The gathering has provided a stage for local artists to share their musical and literary talents, for school children to learn from experienced musicians, and for locals to enjoy high quality visiting entertainers.

Mr McGregor said times had changed from the early days of the Frances event when it could be run on a smaller budget.

"It is clear that public and commercial funding for arts, music and other cultural events has dwindled and the day of the free festival is over, other than spontaneous small-scale events," he said.

"It has however been a magical 20 years and the memories and friendships which have formed over that time will never be lost."

This story Frances Folk Gathering is no more first appeared on Naracoorte Herald.