Folk On

Hi all. Please consider this an open letter on behalf of the Folk’n Feet Fest team, regarding the cancellation of next year’s festival. My name is Edwina Berkin and I’m the acting festival director, although some of you may know me better for my antics on the washboards with Feral Rabbits. But I digress.

In my heart, I know that most of you will understand why we had to make the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 event. Still, let us be the first to say that it is a huge blow for our beloved community, especially after already having had to cancel this year’s festival. We would especially like to acknowledge that a great many of you were anticipating a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear and learn from Mary Widdlestein and her toework trio. We share in your disappointment!

The good news is that Mary has kindly agreed to conduct a series of masterclasses online, with thanks to her long-time sponsor, High Performance Orthotics Services. Melbourne ticket-holders will receive first priority, and general registration details will be sent out shortly. For now, we have some information on topics that Mary is willing to teach on. We may need to whittle this list down, so please let us know which ones you’re most excited about.

So far, the list includes:

  • History and theory of toework
  • Advanced toe-picking for banjo
  • Foot care and conditioning for toe mobility (we have been assured that this will cover Mary’s special approach to crafting bunion splints, for those wondering)
  • Fusing conventional banjo technique with toework
  • Toework on the fiddle

She will also host a live Q&A, followed by an all-in toe jam. We’re not sure at this point how that’s going to work in the online format, but we’ve got months to figure it out.

We hope this has gone some way towards lifting everyone’s spirits. In other news, we are still in the process of figuring out exactly what is covered by our insurance policy, but rest assured we are doing our darndest to get your refunds to you. In the meantime, stay well, practice your foot playing and tune up your instruments for Mary’s masterclasses.


Warm regards,