Woodford Folk Festival: Old Man Luedecke had the crowd singing along during one of his performances.
Woodford Folk Festival: Old Man Luedecke had the crowd singing along during one of his performances. Brett Wortman / 196371

Music tour to lift spirits during drought

A SOUTH Burnett town will be part of a special music tour designed to lift the spirits of drought-stricken Queenslanders.

Cooranga North will be part of the Festival of Small Halls, Australia's largest regional music tour.

The festival will rekindle the old tradition of gathering in the town's small hall for a special night of live music, storytelling and community connection.

Canadian musician and two-time JUNO award winner Old Man Luedecke, and Australian folk festival favourite Lucy Wise will play in Cooranga North during the 21-date summer tour.

"It's an absolute honour to share this tour with an artist as established as Chris Luedecke, we both can't wait to play in so many special places neither of us has been to before,” Ms Wise said.

Festival executive producer Eleanor Rigden said the musicians were chosen because of their ability to connect with people through storytelling.

"We just know these artists are going to bring something special to so many towns that are suffering right now,” she said.

"Having toured in tough times of bushfires and droughts before, Festival of Small Halls has proven many times to be the perfect reprieve the community needs.”

The tour is run in partnership with Australia's leading folk festivals, to bring the best contemporary folk artists to the regional towns.

"From our farmlands to the flood lands, the rainforests to the outback, the towns that are a bit off the beaten track tend to be left off big tours, which means regional folk are missing out,” Ms Rigden said.

The tour will be launched at the Mullum Music Festival in NSW on November 16 and will travel to 21 town halls across the Darling and Western Downs, before travelling up to Cairns and finishing up at the Woodford Folk Festival from December 27.

"We've spoken to communities all over the country, and they want access to wonderful music without the cost, the challenges and inconveniences of packing up the family to get to a show in the city,” Ms Rigden said.

The Festival of Small Halls will play at Cooranga North Memorial Hall on December 1.

The tour will also perform at the Mothar Mountain Hall, near Gympie on December 2.