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"Playing traditional acoustic music
in and around Darwin Australia
for more than thirty years."
Top End Folk Club Incorporated
PO Box 41551
Casuarina Northern Territory Australia 0811
ABN 20 835 317 702

2009: The 39th Top Half Folk Festival

Central Australia, Glen Helen; 5 - 8 June 2009


So... Where is it?

Held once again at Glen Helen Resort, Namatjira Drive, just 130km along the bitumen, west of Alice Springs. The Homestead is set on the banks of the mighty Finke River, with spectacular views of the Western MacDonnell Ranges. The Gorge and waterhole are a few minutes walk along the riverbed.

How Do I get there?

Just head west out of town along Larapinta Drive, past Simpsons Gap and Stanley Chasm and keep going until turning right onto Namatjira Drive. You can't miss it, as there are large signs to Ormiston Gorge and Glen Helen.

Very Important Information

The bar is licensed until well into the wee hours, with a roaring log fire to keep the vocal chords warmed and lubricated. Remember, this time of year is winter in the Alice, the evening concerts will be outdoors in a marquee (yes it is heated) so bring your thermals or a flask... both work well!

If you happen to be in town on the Thursday (4th of June) a gathering will be happening in Alice at a venue yet to be arranged. In the next newsletter this will be advertised or you can ring any committee member closer to the Festival.

Meal Deals

Breakfast: 7 - 9:30am
Continental breakfast is included in the weekend ticket, if you sleep in you will have to make your own arrangements. A cooked breakfast is available at your own cost.

Lunch: 12:00 - 2pm
Order from the lunch menu at the normal rate or you can bring your own food and picnic in the grounds.

Dinner: 6 - 7:30pm
The restaurant is available or Festival specials at a cheaper rate at the bar.


As usual we will be hosting 2 main evening concerts, workshops which are still to be finalised and afternoon concerts. Our honoured guest this year is John Williamson.

If you are interested in applying for a concert spot, please apply to the committee by 13th April 2009. You can email Scott or ring him to discuss (see contact details below). Please include in your application; your sound equipment requirements.

The Top Half Folk Festival has certainly grown particularly over the last 7-8 years, and as such concert spots have become tight. Please note that if you are part of a group, which has been allocated a concert spot, you probably wont be able to have a solo spot as well.

We are very thankful that a large number of those attending come from either interstate or the Top End, pay for their own travel, accommodation and weekend ticket, (not to mention refreshments) all for the pleasure of performing for no fee. With that in mind, we try to give everyone an equal opportunity to perform.

Ticket Prices

Weekend Tickets
Weekend Ticket (early bird) - $70.00 ends 15th May
Weekend ticket after the 15th of May - $80
Concession (pensioners, unemployed, students) - $60
Youth (12 - 17) $40
Under 12 free
Family of 4 or more get 1 free ticket

Day Tickets
Full price - $40 full day
Concession - $30
Youth - $20

Workshop Tickets
Full price - $15
Concession - $10
Youth - $5

Night Time Concert Tickets
Full Price - $30 (7pm till 11pm)
Concession - $20
Youth - $10

Accommodation Details

There are different styles of accommodation available for the weekend;
Motel: $120 double per night
Bunk house: $20 per person per night
Powered camping: $30 per night/two people
Non-powered: $12 per night
Tented cabins: $15 per person per night (ask for more detail)

They are booked directly with Glen Helen Resort.

Tell them you are with the festival as we have blocked out all of the accommodation for that weekend. Contacts there are Colin and Shelagh O'Brien

Festival fundraiser

Next pre festival Fundraiser Scheduled for: Saturday, 18th of April 2009
Proposed Venue: Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame, Old Alice Springs Jail
Pre-Anzac Day Concert, between 6 and 9:30 (featuring well known Australian songs)
Food and grog available
Ticket Sales and Prices TBA
Once final details of fundraiser are known an update will be emailed out giving all the details

Contact Details for The Festival

Scott Balfour:
Dave Evans:
Sally Balfour:
Barry Skipsey:
Or email us.

The committee would like to thank the following for their support and assistance:
Department of Justice: Community Benefit Fund
Our Hosts: Shelagh and Colin O'Brien
John Williamson
Daran Rumbal
Top End Folk Club