Performing in 2016

  • Noel Stallard

    Noel Stallard

    It just wouldn’t be the John O’Brien Festival without Noel Stallard, performing both as himself and as John O’Brien. We are happy to welcome Noel back again in 2016!

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  • Gregory North

    Gregory North

    Winner of the Album of the Year and Single Recorded Performance of the Year at the  2014 Australian Bush Laureate Awards, and faithful curate to Noel’s John O’Brien, Gregory North will be returning in 2016.

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  • Me ‘n Me Mates

    Me ‘n Me Mates

    Crowd favourites Me ‘n Me Mates are returning once again in 2016! These brilliant storytellers from South Australia will be performing on Saturday afternoon at the CRC Theatre

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  • Karen Lynne & Pat Drummond

    Karen Lynne & Pat Drummond

    Blue Mountains-based country/folk duo Pat Drummond and Karen Lynne have been performing separately and together for over 20 years. Their songs speak of their love for Australia and her people.

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  • Drop Bears

    Drop Bears

    Wally & Mary Finch are the Drop Bears – a Bush Poet duo who will be performing at the 2016 Festival Welcome event on Friday evening.

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  • Geoffrey Graham

    Geoffrey Graham

    Geoffrey Graham will be returning in 2016. Geoffrey’s traditional bush poetry shows present comedy, intrigue, verse, songs, drama, conflict, audience repartee, and entertainment – all in the one performance!

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Competition Winners!

Congratulations to the winners of the competitions held during the 2016 John O’Brien Festival
Open Writing Competition
Poetry Section

Tony Hammill – Blood and Love: The Irish Saga

Short Story Section

Margot Ogilvie – The Legend of Paddy O’Malley

John O’Brien Poetry Recital Competition
Winner – Heather Searles with The Road to Danahey’s

Bush Poetry Competition
Serious section
Winner – Sue Pearce
Runner-up – Ted Webber

Humorous section
Winner – Rhonda Tallnash
Runner-up – Heather Searles

Jim Angel Award
Sue Pearce with Love You Daddy

Busking Competition
Winner – Jessie McDermott.
Junior winner – Mahni Ireland.

Colouring-in Competition
Kinder – Briley Clancy
Year 1 – Sophie O’Connor
Year 2 – Amy Hall
Year 3 – Oliver Hutchins
Year 4 – Talia Mathieson
Year 5 – Samantha Dwyer
Open section – Elizabeth Campbell

Rotary Art Show
Winners for each section were announced at the opening night, Thursday 17 March. Winning artworks are marked and on display in the exhibition.


We welcome your feedback

What did you enjoy about the Festival? What would you like to see done differently next year? Let us know.

Download the feedback form and return it to us at:

Narrandera’s John O’Brien Festival Organising Committee
c/o Narrandera Visitor Information Centre
141 East street
Narrandera NSW 2700

Fax: (02) 6959 2788

Email: [email protected]

Or fill out the form online.



Poet John O’Brien is the namesake of Narrandera’s flagship festival.

Narrandera was home to famed priest Monsignor Patrick Hartigan (1878-1952) who published his poetry under the nom de plume “John O’Brien”.

His best known poems include Said Hanrahan, Tangmalangaloo and Around the Boree Log. Books of his poetry are available at Narrandera’s Visitor Information Centre.

Narrandera’s John O’Brien Festival has become an annual pilgrimage for many who appreciate the great humanity and humour of “John O’Brien’s” poetry.

Find out more…



Check out the range of merchandise on display at the Narrandera Visitor Information Centre year-round. Get in early to ensure that you are ‘well versed’ in all things John O’Brien!



Stone the Crows!

Heading to Narrandera for the 2016 John O’Brien Festival? Why not stay in the area and attend the Stone the Crows Festival in Wagga Wagga the following week?

Wagga Wagga’s Stone the Crows Festival is a unique event designed specifically for grey nomads. It doesn’t matter what sort of recreational vehicle you travel in, whether it’s a caravan or a motorhome, a fifth wheeler or a camper trailer, a campervan or a tent – everyone is welcome at the fourth annual Stone the Crows Festival. There are old friends to catch up with and new friends waiting to be made.

The 2016 Festival will start on Tuesday March 22 and finish up with a gala night on Monday March 28.

Visit their website for more information.


NHMA 6th National Tractor Trek

The Riverina Vintage Machinery Club and Urana Vintage Machinery Club will be hosting the National Historic Machinery Association’s 6th National Tractor Trek on 17-19 March 2016.

The John O’Brien Festival welcomes the participation of these organisations, and is pleased to announce that the vintage tractors will be participating in our parade on Saturday 19 March.

For more information about the NHMA and the Tractor Trek please visit their website.