In a land far, far away, there was a Kingdom hidden deep within a lush valley where a fire breathing dragon turned the very rock to molten steel.
It was here, at the centre of the dragon's lair, that the clans would gather each year at the changing of the season when the leaves streamed red and gold from the trees, and the breeze scattered their richness across the land.
This magical valley was called The Kingdom of Ironfest.
In the twentieth year of the reign of the Kingdom, all creatures great and small, all clans, civilised and wild, are heralded to gather to create the magical story of "Ironfest - Once Upon a Time" in this, the twentieth year of The Kingdom of Ironfest 2019.
Words: Vicki Hartley | Photo: by Robert Muzzy Musgrave with Cliff Dorian
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Beginning as a glorified art exhibition and held in a number of shops in the East End Main St Lithgow, the first Ironfest celebrated the birth of steel in Australia in Lithgow and involved around 30 artists and performers. It also attracted around 400 people.
The following year it was expanded to include a number of venues outside of Main St including the Small Arms Factory Museum, the State Mine Museum, Talisman Gallery, and the Blast Furnace Park; involving around 70 participants and attracting 700 visitors In 2002/03 it moved to the State Mine Museum and in this fabulous setting became a real festival involving around 300 people (artists, performers and re-enactors) and attracting in excess of 3,000 visitors.
In 2004 it was forced (because of parking and traffic concerns) to move to its current home the Lithgow Showground where it has grown exponentially; in 2017 involving over 2,900 participants and attracting close in excess of 17,000 visitors.
It has had an immeasurable effect on Lithgow’s post-industrial image transforming it from a dirty old coal mining town into a place where quality events take place; many of Ironfest’s participants and acts are now involved in numerous Council run events and locals are proud to promote their town as somewhere worth visiting.
Ironfest is made possible by our generous sponsors.
Ironfest Inc: PO Box 461 Lithgow NSW 2790
Founding Festival Director: Macgregor Ross M: 0432 328 460
Production: Boris Hunt M: 0447 067 407
Stalls: Pennie Lennon M: 0411 819 281