Melbourne Fringe: Springfolks

Words - Rebecca Mery

Photo - Courtesy of Melbourne Fringe 2015


What: Springfolks

Where: Brunswick Bower, 28 Colebrook Street Brunswick 3056

When: 27 September 2015, 11am - late

Who: Heaps of Performers, photographers, installation artists, exhibitors, makers, collaborators, community arts members, visual artists, face painters, dancers, artist collectives and multimedia artists!

I can't imagine many instances in which a sunshine-filled Sunday afternoon perfect for hanging out with friends out in a beer garden/backyard/rooftop would be cause for disappointment. In the case of the Brunswickfolks/Springfolks team however, I feel like the abundant sunshine and excellent outside vibes was cause for at least a little bit of fist-shaking. A day-long event filled with good drinking, tonnes of live music, craft activities and market stalls, the good times at Springfolks were hampered by one annoying hurdle – everyone was out enjoying the sunshine. 

That's not to say that the inside vibes weren't excellent, even if the crowd could've been larger. Housed within a Brunswick warehouse, the setting for Springfolks boasted a bar care of Cellar Door, complete with cocktails and beer on tap (as well as a dollar off for those who chose to BYO cup). A couple of market stalls on one end, a spot for painting plant pots on the other end, and of course a stage surrounded by cushions, benches and rugs. 

When we arrived, two-piece Dada Ono were providing dark, psychedelic pop, electric violin accompaniment to the afternoon – a pretty ideal soundtrack for sitting out in the alley next to the warehouse sipping on a beer and attempting to outrun a hangover. 

The day's entertainment briefly took a left turn post-Dada Ono though, with clowning by David Maney. Electric violin was suddenly replaced with a guy in pyjamas crawling over the audience, professing his love to the girl behind me. So yes, I was crawled over, and the friend I brought along was caught in a long, long hug. 

Endearingly lo-fi, Maney's 'More or Less Better' show did manage to mostly quell the anxiety that so often comes with audience participation and grab us with some genuinely hearty laughs. We burnt paper cut-outs of penises, had an impromptu spelling bee and learned a little about love (?). 

A Parlour O' Lala was described to me earlier in the day as the living musical embodiment of the moustache of the ensemble's bassoon player. This was delightfully accurate, their jaunty French vibes enjoyably cutting through the hangover that was fast creeping up on me, as well as the slow realisation that I needed food (no mean feat). 

Musical highlight of the evening was the dark, dark twanging folk of Dane Blacklock and the Preacher's Daughter however; the consensus on that was pretty resounding after Springfolks wrapped up for the night. 

My hot tip? Hunt down the next Brunswickfolks event. Sure, the sunshine outside was grand. But pal, you missed out on some excellent times and excellent tunes.