Regional Arts NSW
Skip to content

Festival of a Thousand Stories

There will be more than 1000 stories by the end of next week, with the Bourke Festival of a Thousand Stories encouraging participants to create stories of their own.

One of Australia’s best loved storytellers and feature guest – author, songwriter, storyteller and performer, Bill ‘Swampy’ Marsh, (pictured) will run a five-hour workshop on September 1 and 2, Tales from the Swamp, as part of the program that runs until September 7.

Bill is an award winning-winning writer/performer of stories, songs and plays. He spent most of his youth in rural south-western New South Wales. Bill was force to give up any idea he had of a ‘career’ as a cricketer when a stint at agricultural college was curtailed because of illness, and so began his hobby of writing. After backpacking through three continents and working in the wine industry, his writing hobby blossomed into a career.

The festival, a celebration of storytelling, art, poetry and music on the banks of the Darling River at Bourke, has grown out of Bourke’s popular Poets Trek and was inspired by the poem, Bourke, written by local poet, the late Wilkie Davis.

Bourke Shire Council was successful in gaining a $3,000 Country Arts Support Program (CASP) grant to support this year’s event.

Manager of Tourism and Economic Development, Phil Johnston, said the CASP grant had helped to develop a stronger framework to support the activities of the first year of the festival to enhance Bourke’s identity as an Outback Literary hub.

‘People really seem to come out of the woodwork for the event and enjoy the chance to get together,’ he said.

Highlights include Poetry on a Plate, Mostly Original open mic sessions, an exhibition of Aboriginal art presented by 2 CUZFM and Muda Aboriginal Corporation, the Toorale Park Shared History Tour and Dinner with TED where attendants BYO dinner and watch a selection of TED talks and the Poets Trek. The week of events will finish with the market day at the Wharf and the PCYC’s Outback Colour fun run.

Full details of the festival are available here.

Applications for CASP grants for 2015 are now open and close on October 1. Details here.