Danny Spooner is to be presented with a lifetime achievement award.THE Port Fairy Folk Festival just wouldn’t be “the Folkie” without Danny Spooner.
Nanjing Night Net

Longtime fans of the festival will recall seeing the folk music legend year in and year out at Port Fairy with his well-travelled 1890 concertina.

This weekend marks his 35th consecutive performance since the event’s inception in 1977 and he still holds the same passion for folk music and the people it brings together.

Today the Port Fairy Folk Festival will present a special lifetime achievement in music award to Spooner for his 50 years performing as a folk musician and his commitment to the Folkie.

He said after 35 years the coastal town was like a second home and he was always thrilled to come back.

“The thing I love about this music is you’re like a family,” he said.

“Wherever you go, folkies are the same. Music can cross any number of barriers.

“I’ve had nothing but a really good time here,” he said.

The scope and size of the festival in its current form is something no one could have predicted in the beginning, Spooner said.

“In 1964 there was a group who held a meeting in Melbourne wondering if we could even have a folk festival in Australia.

“They would’ve said the same thing here before the Folkie started. You look at the festival record now and see the number of people involved — it’s just a logistical nightmare.”

The singer and social historian was named the inaugural Port Fairy Artist of the Year in 1995, popular for his traditional and contemporary folk songs.

For 50 years Australian audiences have enjoyed his concerts, workshops and one-man shows, his understanding of social history and his wide repertoire of songs.

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