Performing in 2018

  • Noel Stallard

    Noel Stallard

    Noel Stallard is well known for both his original bush poetry and his performances in character as John O’Brien.

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  • Gregory North

    Gregory North

    Gregory North has a passion for performing. As a writer and performer of Australian Bush Poetry and yarns he loves to entertain. Greg’s quirky humour and wonderful gift for accents make his performances unique and memorable.

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  • Maria Forde

    Maria Forde

    Irish-Australian singer-songwriter, Maria Forde’s music incorporates sweet Irish melodies with observations of Australia, along with her personal experiences.

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  • Brenda Joy

    Brenda Joy

    Brenda Joy is known as the “Darling of the Outback”. Her shows contain a mixture of comedy and song and have delighted audiences all around the country.

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  • John Peel

    John Peel

    John Peel has twice won the original section of Tamworth’s Golden Damper Performance Bush Poetry Competition. His poems display his distinctive sense of humour.

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  • Grant Luhrs

    Grant Luhrs

    Riverina local Grant Luhrs has been writing and performing Australian Country music since 1981. His shows are a mixture of the silly and the serious, and are always great entertainment.

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  • The Tin Shed Rattlers

    The Tin Shed Rattlers

    Since 1971 The Tin Shed Rattlers have been entertaining crowds from the Riverina area and beyond, with a wonderful selection of folk songs, entertainment and music, from Ireland, Scotland, England, America and of course, Australia…

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  • The Poet & The Harpist

    The Poet & The Harpist

    Winners of the Victorian Bush Poetry & Music Association award 2012 for their Original song ‘Mighty Murray River‘. Tim’s stories, brought to life in song by Christine, evoke a passion for rural Australia.

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  • Robyn Sykes

    Robyn Sykes

    Champion Bush Poet Robyn Sykes loves to entertain. The Binalong Bard uses her energetic mix of original, traditional and modern verse to breathe life into poetic characters and stories.

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  • Des Kelly

    Des Kelly

    Des Kelly sings folk, country, evergreens and ballads, and enjoys traditional, contemporary and humorous verse.

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  • Leeton Town Band

    Leeton Town Band

    The Leeton Town Band is a group of over 30 volunteer musicians, who perform in and around Leeton, and the wider area, for public events and charities.

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  • Me ‘n Me Mates

    Me ‘n Me Mates

    Three Aussie blokes presenting Australian ballads, songs and yarns. Including works from the Great Names of Australian Bush Poetry.

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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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  • The King and Queen of Green

    The King and Queen of Green

    The King and Queen of Green perform shows for children, to raise awareness of environmental issues including pollution and landfill, and how to be more environmentally aware.

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  • Australian Army Band Kapooka

    Australian Army Band Kapooka

    The renowned Australian Army Band Kapooka will be performing in concert at the 2018 John O’Brien Bush Festival – not to be missed!

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Competition Winners

Congratulations to all the competitors and the winners of the 2018 John O’Brien Bush Festival competitions

Bush Poetry Competition
Winner – Rhonda Tallnash
Runner-up – Caroline Tuohey

Jim Angel Award – Rhonda Tallnash ‘Retribution Road’

John O’Brien Poetry Recital Competition
Winner – Caroline Tuohey

Open Writing competition

Poetry Section
Winner – Jim Kent ‘Calling to Me’
Runner-up – Jim Kent ‘Calling to Me – The Golden Days’

Short Story Section
Winner – Helen Cunningham ‘Calling to Me’
Runner-up – Margaret-Anne Cameron ‘Sisters’

Busking Competition
Winner – Susan & Bill Bevan



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…