The Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival of Arts Committee would like to warmly welcome everyone attending our 2024 Festival over the June long weekend. On behalf of the Committee, I would like to encourage all visitors to attend as many Festival events as possible and experience the best that Grenfell has to offer.

This is the 65th Henry Lawson Festival and it’s been 67 years since the first Festival making it one of the longest running Arts Festivals in NSW. In 2024 we are looking forward to building on the strong history and success of past Festivals. We will be celebrating 100 years since the Obelisk was erected at Lawson Oval to commemorate the site of Henry’s birth. Grenfell was the first town to honour Henry Lawson after his passing in 1922. The Grenfell Municipal Council erected the white obelisk in 1924 on Portion 376, Parish of Brundah, the site where  Henry Lawson’s parents mined in 1866 and where Henry Lawson was born on June 17th 1867. The birthplace is dominated by a large sugar gum planted by Lawson’s daughter, Bertha on the day the obelisk was unveiled. The birthplace is located just a short two minute drive south of the Grenfell on Lawson Drive adjacent to Lawson Oval.

Again all our Competitions and Expressions of Interest will be Online. The program will showcase Grenfell, celebrate Henry Lawson and provide a variety of arts focused entertainment for all who attend. This year’s theme is ‘Up the Country’ which was first published in The Bulletin magazine on 9 July 1892, under the title Borderland, and started the Bulletin Debate, a series of poems by both Lawson and Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson about the true nature of life in the Australian bush.

In Up The Country, Lawson recounts his trip to the barren and gloomy Australian bush, and criticises “City Bushmen” such as Banjo Paterson who tended to romanticize bush life.

It is hoped that this years’ Henry Lawson Festival will remind everyone what an amazing community we have and revitalise our economy by bringing many additional visitors. The Committee believe that this years’ Henry Lawson Festival will continue the high standard of previous years’ and that the Festival will continue to be a source of pride for the people of the Weddin Shire.

Belinda Power
The Grenfell Henry Lawson
Festival of Arts