ENTERTAINING: Folk musicians Glen Donald, Ian Heard and Bob Pound at a previous Maidenwell Folk Festival.
ENTERTAINING: Folk musicians Glen Donald, Ian Heard and Bob Pound at a previous Maidenwell Folk Festival. James Barclay

The music stays intimate at Maidenwell

THERE are musicians and crowds but, whatever you do, don't call it a music festival.

The Maidenwell Folk Gathering has been a popular fixture on the calendar for more than 15 years.

Founder and organiser Glen Donald said there was a simple reason for its popularity.

"It hasn't gotten big," Mr Donald said.

He originally got the idea for the gathering from attending the Maleny Folk Festival.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s that festival became bigger and more popular, and eventually morphed into the Woodford Folk Festival.

"I became disillusioned with how big it became," he said.

He started the Maidenwell gathering as something smaller and less formal but with more of a communal feeling.

Unlike a traditional festival, there are no headline acts, no paid performers, and not even Mr Donald knows who will play music on the day.

"Whoever makes it makes it and it keeps going until the musicians go home," he said.

"There is not that big divorce between the stage and the audience."

Over the years word has spread about the gathering and musicians come from across Queensland and Australia.

No-one is paid to play and no-one has to pay a cent to watch and listen to the various musicians strumming and singing.

Mr Donald said this changed the attitude of the event into a more dynamic experience.

"If someone pays a cover charge, they expect to be entertained, it changes the whole feeling," he said.

"The people aren't actually performing, they are playing music for music's sake.

"It's been going on like this for 15 years so we must be doing something right."

Maidenwell Folk Gathering is at Maidenwell Hotel from March 11-13.

 For more information phone Gavin 'Spud' Jones on 4164 6133.

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