Acclaimed duo on song for Festival of Small Halls

Albany Advertiser
Iona Fyfe.
Camera IconIona Fyfe. Credit: Elly Lucas

Australia’s biggest regional music tour will visit WA and the Great Southern for the first time when the Festival of Small Halls heads west.

In its 19th season, the festival will feature the youngest winner of the prestigious Scots singer of the year award, Iona Fyfe, performing alongside the “Gypsy Scotsman”, Northern Territorian Colin Lillie, pictured.

Fyfe has become one of Scotland’s finest young ballad singers, releasing her first EP last year.

At 22, she has already toured the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Australia, the Czech Republic and Canada. This will be her first visit to Australia.

“I’m really excited to come over and take part,” Fyfe said.

“It’s such a great opportunity to be able to experience parts of Australia.

“I look forward to the cultural exchange between us and can’t wait to perform to audiences in rural locations on my first tour in Australia.”

The Festival of Small Halls Autumn 2020 tour, To Fairbridge Festival and Beyond, will mark its inaugural trip to WA after seven years of touring the Eastern States. Producer Eleanor Rigden said the expansion showed the festival was “becoming truly national”.

Colin Lillie.
Camera IconColin Lillie. Credit: Benjamin Knight

“WA misses out on many national tours, and geographically, is closer to Bali than Sydney or Melbourne,” Ms Rigden said.

“However, we’ve found an identical spirit in the small towns of WA — a commitment to bringing people together, a love of traditional community spaces and a desire for more excellent music without the need to travel or spend excessively for it.

“So, we’re packing our bags, crossing the Nullarbor and bringing all our lights, sound and smiles to the west coast.”

The tour will launch at the 28th annual Fairbridge Festival, near Pinjarra from April 17-19.

Fairbridge artist director Rod Vervest said he was delighted Fyfe and Lillie would perform in WA.

“Regional communities across our vast State rarely get the opportunity to engage with world-class music,” Mr Vervest said.

“The initiative strives to activate and inspire communities to deliver social and economic benefits and will leave a blazed trail that other artists can then move through.

“Wonderful stuff and we wholeheartedly support it.”

The Festival of Small Halls WA Autumn Tour will show at Plantagenet District Hall in Mt Barker on May 2, Youngs Siding Hall on May 4, Nornalup Community Hall on May 7, and Wilyabrup Hall on May 8.

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