The Friends of South Brisbane Cemetery (FOSBC) will host the first-ever folk music evening at the historic cemetery in September.

‘Tombstone Folk’ will feature sets from Luan Baldwin (singer-songwriter), and Shawn Riley (recorder) and Helena Bond (singer).

The FOSBC will be hosting a cemetery night tour afterwards ($10 per head).

Organiser Chris Dawson said that the event is designed to promote the special qualities of the heritage-listed cemetery to a wider audience:

“We believe that places like South Brisbane Cemetery hold a special place in the cultural landscape. It is a site of deep spiritual and personal meaning for many people, while also serving as a history archive, museum, and parkland. We want more people to appreciate these values, because the more people that understand the heritage of the cemetery, the more likely it is to be looked after into the future.

“To help achieve this, we’ve recently been running night tours there, which are going really well. We also support certain cultural activities in these cemeteries, but only if those events respect the heritage and spiritual significance of the place, and reflect the themes inherent to it. The idea for having live folk music there makes sense because a lot of traditional folk has a sense of melancholy and speaks to the themes of death and loss more eloquently than most other music. It has a personal and quiet quality that really fits with the atmosphere of a cemetery. In many ways, the artists will not only be performing for the audience, they will be playing to the place itself. The cemetery is home to the graves of many immigrants from early 19th-century Britain and Ireland, people who might well have been familiar with some of the songs being played on the night.”

There will be a barbecue and tea and coffee available on the night, and the FOSBC will also have an information and book stall.

Friday 22 September, South Brisbane Cemetery, Annerley Road, Dutton Park.

Two 45-minute sets of folk music will commence at 7.30pm.

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