Port Fairy is a year-round family friendly destination, but even more so at Festival time! All weekend long, there is a program of free entertainment in the Village, and there are also historic and natural wonders to explore, from the Wharf to Griffith Island and its lighthouse, the Museum, and the Botanic Gardens. Visit the Adventure Playground at Martin’s Point, or get your wheels on at the Skate Park.
Inside the festival arena, experience our vibrant and colourful Circus space that has been created for families to enjoy together! Come and relax on the grass, listen to music and play with the kids. The Connected Circus delivers exciting workshops, performances, games, circus and other fun activities for the young and young at heart.
Across from The Connected Circus, at the Flag Circle, you will be able to see a range of performances as well as a couple of special events at main stages.
2024 Family Program
BUSHWAHZEE BUSH DANCE BAND
Bushwahzee is an entertainment company based around the Bushwahzee Bush band which has been performing bush dances in Melbourne since 1981. Bushwahzee will be calling many of the old bush favourites Heel and Toe Polka, Galopede, The Bush Tango and The Bush Hubba Hubba. Fun for the whole family!
Children are stinky
★★★★★ Families UK ★★★★★ Ed Festivals for Kids ★★★★★ Advertiser
After a 5 STAR total SELL-OUT sensation, you’d better book your tickets in advance! High calibre circus, a rocking soundtrack and genuine belly laughs have propelled the Australian acrobatic duo to a non-stop multi award winning world tour.
Expect daredevil stunts, incredible acrobatics, lighting fast hula hoops, loads of laughs & mischievous fun, leaving adults and children with their jaws on the floor hooting for more.
WINNERS – Children’s Choice Award, Edinburgh Fringe 2016
WINNERS – Best Children’s Event, Adelaide Fringe Weekly 2017
WINNERS – Best Children’s Show, Fringe World 2018
THE CONNECTED CIRCUS
The Connected Circus delivers exciting workshops, performances, games, circus, and other fun activities for the young and young at heart. There are a variety of spaces that you can enjoy, from a Toddler play space, undercover and outdoor Games spaces and our very entertaining Circus space. In this Circus space there will be instructors available to teach you how to Hula Hoop, spin plates and Pois and even master the Flower-stix.
Cool out sun Hip Hop workshop
Cool Out Sun will shine brightly on the kids flag circle at Port Fairy this year! Using traditional Afro-percussive instruments, they’ll be asking the kids for their best 2 step, body percussion and crowd participation. Come vibe to the rhythm in this inclusive, all ages Hip Hop show!
Bec and Vern dance, move and groove to funky ElectroSwing, Deep House beats and Classic Aussie Rock with a range of fire equipment. Dressed in suave Swing suits or even in Denim and Flannies, this creative couple blend different music forms with their own original style using Circus props like Fans, Pois, Staffs and Dragonstaffs. Audiences are entranced by their innovative, engaging and slightly ridiculous performances.
HIPPY HOOP WORKSHOP
Ever wanted to learn how to Hoop? Come to our morning Hoop workshop over the festival and discover new Hooping tricks and some funky dance moves with our Happy Hoop masters. All ages welcome.
KRAZY KOALA PUPPET SHOW
The Krazy Koala Puppet show combines catchy live music, slap stick comedy and charismatic puppets in a show which will delight the entire family. Performing their favourite songs including “Puppets like to Party” & ” Life much better when we all get along”, the puppets are sure to make all the kids and most of the adults laugh.
Maypole with molly
Maypole with Molly interactive dance sessions encourage participants to dance around the maypole or play percussion. Dancers learn how to make a Barber’s Pole, a colourful weaving pattern and a Spider’s Web with ribbons. Emphasis is on fun audience participation rather than performance, and parents and carers are invited to join their kids on dance and music.
Also known as Miss Molly’s, they originally started as Maypole Dancing for Kids in 2009, filling a need for more kids’ activities at the National Folk Festival.
They have provided kids’ dance sessions at folk festivals at the National, Kangaroo Valley, Majors Creek, Cobargo Numeralla, Illawarra, Port Fairy, St Albans, Tilba, Cygnet and Tamar Valley.
Founder and accordionist, Erika Cleaver (Molly) has accompanied and lead several folk-dance groups and is a retired early childhood teacher who loves sharing music and dance. Erika’s husband, Philip designed the height adjustable maypole and calls the dances.
Mr Shaggles Circus World
Mr Shaggles started off as a roving character more than 20 years ago and has developed into a stylized show which averages over 50 bookings a year. He has performed for such companies as Crown Casino, The North Melbourne Football Club, The National Australia Bank and The National Gallery of Victoria.
He sold out performances at La Mama’s Courthouse Theatre as part of the 2010 Melbourne International Comedy Festival and has performed at The Rosebud Kite Festival, The Rye Children’s Festival and currently has a residency with Tasmania’s Family Fun Fair.
This show has developed into an hilarious 50-minute interactive extravaganza with Mr Shaggles creating a circus on stage using hula-hoops, juggling, handstands, magic, balloon animals and most importantly, the audience!
Accompanied by his amazing performing Koala “Bruce” Mr Shaggles takes the audience on a journey through his world which becomes their world. Don’t miss the amazing hoop of death trick, the hovering chair stunt and the unbelievable grand finale balance.
Comedy, puppetry, magic, acrobatics, dancing, yelling and so much more.
SPIN THAT WHEEL – LIVE GAMESHOW
Our Game Show hosts from The Connected Circus, Gaff Gammon & his stunning hostess Foxy bring your favourite TV Shows to life in this fun all ages session. Together they bring fun, games, prizes and possible litigation to a stage near you.
teeny tiny stevies
Sisters Byll & Beth Stephen are Teeny Tiny Stevies, the ARIA award winning songwriters who make irresistible tunes for kids. Like all the best kids’ songs, they’re loved equally by parents, creating the perfect storm of wholesome, down to earth, family fun.
Their live shows work on a simple idea, a great live band is compelling no matter what age you are. They make high quality, interesting sounding music about useful and thoughtful topics. Songs that are worth getting stuck in your head! Following the success of their animated videos on ABC TV, the multi-talented duo has branched out into picture books, and their first, ‘Boss of Your Own Body’ was nominated for the Australian Picture Book of the year in 2022. Come for the crowd favourites, stay for the banter.
PIRATES AND POIS
Join the swashbuckling crew of Captain Vern and First mate Bec and learn to spin and duel with Poi. Lots of singing of Sea-shanties and walking of planks.
THE GIANT SEAGULLS
The Giant Seagulls are huge characters with equally huge appetites. This pair love nothing more than checking out the culinary delights on offer at the festival and then helping you to share them. Clever,funny and charming, this delightful pair will leave you squealing in delight.
Explore Port Fairy Folk Festival with our Mis-Guided Safari Tour Guides. Take a musical journey with us and our Silent Disco headphones to discover the strange and wonderful characters that roam the Festival. Tours depart every half hour from The Connected Circus space from 5pm-7pm on Friday and 3pm-5pm Sunday.
SEA SHANTY CIRCUS
Sea Shanties are work songs performed by sailors while operating sailing vessels. Sea Shanty Circus uses the metaphor of circus skills to emulate the work performed on sailing ships. This crew has over 40 years performance experience between them from all over the world. Enjoy this unique interactive experience as they create their own world on their self-contained stage/boat/tricycle in a show full of sea shanties, circus, theatre and fun.
The Sniffer Dogs are surreal humour at its best. A pair of officious and overly enthusiastic hounds are wandering the festival site with their noses on high alert for any pungent and intriguing scents. Hilarious situations occur in their attempts to track down the sources.
‘Uptown’ Brown! is a singing gentleman-adventurer performing a program of primitive 1920’s-1930’s jazz and blues on a self-invented one-man band. A wily mix of connivance and stuff from the shed, his contraption is built from cedar, leather and brass. Vocals & fingerpicked ukulele are amplified through old megaphones, mimicking the effect of a 78 record.
Svérn and Bёkk are the dedicated Viking Security team. They believe in keeping disorder and ensuring an equal plunder. As well as keeping Festival patrons safe, they will make sure that everyone has brought their own weapon!