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Burning of effigy Big Willie at Mid-Winter Fest

Magical line-up announced for Tenth Mid-Winter Festival

Tickets go on sale today for the Willie Smith's Mid-Winter Festival as the line-up is unveiled for the milestone tenth edition, set to take place on Friday 14 July and Saturday 15 July 2023. Steeped in tradition and held in the enchanting Huon Valley of Southern Tasmania, this highly anticipated event promises an extraordinary experience for attendees of all ages.

Tasmania's iconic July festival celebrates the ancient pagan tradition of Wassailing, a ceremony to assist in keeping the apple trees safe from evil spirits as to ensure a good harvest for the year ahead, and the ritualistic burning of effigy ‘Big Willie’. The festival brings together uncommon people from near and far, to partake in feasting, live music, storytelling, Morris Dancing, and much more.

Willie Smith's Mid-Winter Fest is renowned for its vibrant and diverse line-up, and this year is no exception. Headlining the children's entertainment is Teeny Tiny Stevies, a high-energy band that captivates kids and adults alike with their rich melodies and infernally catchy choruses, their animated videos clocking up over ten million views on ABC iView. Long John's from Brisbane will grace the Saturday night stage, infusing the festival with their bluegrass melodies, banjos, and even a sousaphone, guaranteeing a rollicking good time. Brothers of Country will bring together stories and earthy sounds from the bush featuring Yorta Yorta and Yuwaalaraay man Warren Mason.

In addition, the festival proudly presents the Storyteller's Cup, Tasmania's premier storytelling competition, which harks back to the tradition of passing stories through spoken word. Attendees can also look forward to a spirited bush dance led by the dynamic David 'Oddsocks' Wanless, who has danced from Antarctica to Canada. This year the festival will also feature a captivating Drag Story Hour, creating a space where authenticity shines for people of all ages.

"The lineup for our milestone tenth festival exemplifies our commitment to renewal and inclusivity," says Event Manager Rachel Valentyne. "We are thrilled to offer extensive family entertainment, a dynamic arts program, and an awe-inspiring light installation, bringing the festival into the light as we celebrate this special anniversary."

Willie Smith's Mid-Winter Fest extends a warm invitation to visitors from near and far, beckoning them to join the festivities, dance around the fire, and revel in the darkness as they mark the beginning of a new era. Tickets for the Mid-Winter Fest go on sales today, with options for Friday night, Saturday or a weekend pass to enjoy everything the festival has to offer. Children under 16 years are free.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the official festival website.

The event is made possible with the support of sponsors and partners, including The Tasmanian Government through Events Tasmania, Metro Tasmania, Accor and Blundstone Australia.

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