Events Calendar

What's happening in Central Otago

Bards, Ballads and Bulldust Festival & Fund Raising Concert Tour

Dates: Wed, 28 April 2021 - Sat, 1 May 2021 @ Daily.

  • Bards, Ballads and Bulldust Festival & Fund Raising Concert Tour

Bards, Ballads and Bulldust Festival & Fund Raising Concert Tour is coming to Central Otago and the Maniototo April 2021 

The organiser, Roger Lusby, now living in Nelson, was born at Roxburgh and says his heart has never left Central. “It’s a great privilege to bring home the essential stories and songs that tell of Otago, the place and the people” he says. This year the pre-festival tour will include fundraising concerts in Roxburgh and the Earnscleugh Hall - Alexandra, before culminating in the festival at Naseby over the last weekend of April. The Roxburgh and Alexandra concerts will also help raise funds for the Teviot Valley Residential Rest Home upgrade, that will include a much needed short term respite bed available for anyone in Central Otago. 

The Bards Ballads and Bulldust Festival, a mix of New Zealand high country folk music, poetry, stories and folklore, was started in Naseby in 2006 by the late Folk Legend Phil Garland, and Warwick Brock, with help from Ancient Briton Hotel owner, Roch Sullivan. This unique festival will be held again 30 April - 1 May, highlighting the importance of stories and songs with New Zealand history.  It will feature poetry from the late local legend Ross McMillan and also gives anyone the opportunity to perform relevant material during Friday night and Saturday at the Royal Hotel.  There is no charge for Friday and Saturday and there will be a ticketed concert in the Naseby Town Hall on Saturday night with the nine featured performers. 

Visit  for more information and concert tickets. Prebooking advised, cash and eftpos door sales available if not sold out. $25.00 per person.

The featured concert and festival performers are:  

Graham Wardrop:  Singer, songwriter, acclaimed finger-style guitarist and luthier who is world famous in his back yard. This Christchurch based performer has his family routes in Otago  and recently performed at “Two Paddocks”. Sam Neill’s vineyard in Central Otago, and a pre-virus tour of five weeks of concerts and festivals in Canada. Graham has just added two new CDs to his self-penned collection of songs, and is really looking forward to playing some of them for you.

Rural Mail: Paul & Chrissie Bond, Roger & Deirdre Lusby A quartet started by Roger to perform New Zealand ballads, songs and poems, both traditional and self penned, the group has a unique sound featuring harmonies and variety and has been receiving very positive feed back and always delivers in time!  

Paul Bond: Spent his childhood years on farms in Thames and Pukekohe and became interested in poetry and folk music from the 1950s onwards.  Influenced by ‘The Kingston Trio’ Paul has written and recorded many well known pithy NZ songs. Paul is blessed with a beautiful tenor voice, and Chrissie and Deirdre add clear harmonies to lift the group’s performance levels to a new height.

Roger Lusby: A published song writer and award-winning poetic balladeer.  His songwriting programme for schools ‘Sing Out Kiwi’ has produced many songs children sing in schools today. They feature the NZ way of life, with an environmental theme. Roger has recently performed his work in Alaska and Mexico and has featured in the last 17 years of the Tui Farm Folk Festival hosting the hugely successful poetry session.

Hidden Talent:  Jane Edmed & Gary Elford, Sue Galvin & Tony Kiesanowski, is the combination of two Christchurch couples. This band formed through a friendship with each other, are experienced  performers presenting songs, wordless tunes, and tuneless words, especially music and poems of New Zealand and Australia, old and new, including a few they just made up themselves.

Sue Galvin: An extraordinary musician with a beautiful voice and performance ability, always adds sparkle to every show. She will delight you with her songs, poems and presence on stage. 

Gary Elford: Wears many hats and performs with style, humour and talent. Born on the mid north coast of New South Wales, he now lives in Christchurch where he has published three collections of his poetry.  A natural performer, Gary can sing, call a dance and spin a poem. His unexpected endings give his poems an added twist that everyone loves. Joined by his wife, Jane Edmed with her flute or trombone, they love to entertain.

Tony Kiesanowski:  A highly regarded singing song writer has received the greatest compliment of his songs being covered by other professional performers.  His songs tell of the romance of back country NZ  roads leading home to love and life. Tony is also an accomplished bush poet with many a good poem under his Akubra hat.