Port Fairy Folk Festival appoints new festival director

The Port Fairy Folk Festival has appointed Justin Rudge as its new program director, replacing Caroline Moore who resigned in March in the wake of this year’s festival.

The popular festival celebrates its 45th anniversary in 2021, with Rudge saying it was an honour to be involved.

“I’m really excited at what the future of the Port Fairy Folk Festival might look like, it’s a massive honour to be the third programmer in its 44-year history,” he said.

“The audience refers to it as ‘our festival’ and I love that. I love the fact that the punters and the community feel they own the festival and I certainly don’t intend on taking that away.

“Port Fairy has such a wide berth of genres within the programming, I certainly intend to keep that.

“Who knows what the 2021 festival will look like with regards to international performers. I think we’re all probably aware it’s going to look different, some of that will be me, some of that will be things I can’t control.

“While live music events worldwide face enormous challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 global crisis, I am excited to start planning next year’s festival and am confident we can face these challenges and provide the Port Fairy and folk communities with an unforgettable experience in 2021.”

Rudge’s experience working in the live music industry would be invaluable for the festival as it moved into a new event format following the impact of Covid-19, according to festival president John Young.

“We were very impressed with Justin’s background and solid experience in working with live music and festivals,” Young said.

“Justin brings with him a wealth of experience, inspiration and ideas with community and folk music at the core.”