Bathurst's Folk Revival


From the 1950s, folk collectors travelled through the Central West of NSW interviewing and recording traditional musicians such as Sally Sloane, Susan Colley and Joe Yates. But until the 1970s there was no folk revival in Bathurst, despite a long history of white settlement, bushranging and gold mining in the area.

"The Daggy Swaggy Folk Club" was formed in Bathurst in the mid 1970s. Its members included refugees from the Sydney folk scene, some studying or teaching in Bathurst, with a small amount of local district input as well. Content was strong on anglo-celtic tradition and North American ballads, but eventually a lack of diversity (and perhaps marketing) saw the Daggy Swaggy wander off down the track.

Although the Club went into recess it left behind a legacy of interest in the music, with bush bands and other performers gaining popularity and folk music programs becoming established on community radio 2MCE-FM in Bathurst and Orange.

By the mid 1980s there was renewed interest in hosting concerts, so the Bathurst Folk Club was formed. It promptly became incorporated and committee-fied, then quickly established itself as one of the few Folk Clubs in NSW to regularly host major Australian and international touring folk and acoustic artists, while maintaining a policy of fostering and encouraging local artists from within the Club.

The dancing swagman has returned to stay.

See a list of our concerts since 1989.