Nariel has old hippies right down to bubs

THERE’S an unwritten rule that the skinny dippers go to one of Nariel Creek campside’s upper water holes.

The Nariel Creek bubbles alongside the campers and is for families and the adequately clothed.

The Nariel Creek Folk Festival is on again and while the 1970s introduced the perception of nudity that clings to the event today, its devoted followers say it’s always been about the music.

“They think we’re all mad hippies,” Jan Lewis, who was running a children’s craft session yesterday, said.

“There’s certainly a few old hippies left — I’m probably one of them — but we don’t run around all in the nude.”

The festival started 51 years ago by the Klippels, Simpsons and other families with a love of folk music and is now the country’s oldest festival of its kind.

Ray Simpson, a descendent of one of those families, said its purpose hasn’t changed.

“It’s for families to bring their kids and the interchange of music, song and dance — it’s more of a musos retreat than anything,” Mr Simpson said.

His three children have started a folk band and he remembers giving his son Declan, 26, a fiddle when he was four.

“By the time they’re two, they learn the whole English language by sound, so why not music?” Mr Simpson said.

His brother, Ian Simpson, said proudly the longest lineage of his family were at this year’s festival.

The fifth generation of his family, granddaughter Zoe Gilett, seven months, was at her first festival.

Mum Emma Gilett – Ian Simpson’s daughter – said Zoe was already shaking maracas and playing with tambourines.

The festival, which started on Friday, runs until Friday.

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