First there was Bob Dylan. More recently we've had Angus and Julia Stone. Now, the Illawarra is looking for the next big folk music talent amongst our local youth.
Organisers of the 2013 Illawarra Folk Festival are calling on the next generation of musicians and performers to consider folk music and keep the culture fresh and alive.
In its 28th year, the festival will for the first time feature the Youth Traditions Awards, aimed at encouraging and celebrating young artists who embrace the beauty of traditional folk songs and tunes.
Festival youth stage and folk school co-ordinator Ann Lehmann said she was excited to be able to support young and diverse artists to broaden their repertoire of folk music and thrive putting that on display.
"We hope that young people will listen and be inspired by the storytelling element of folk music [then] give their own take on songs and find their voice within the genre," she said.
The awards will give young musicians aged between 6 and 25 the opportunity to perform at what has become the biggest folk festival in NSW.
Young Austinmer singer-songwriter Mel Stjepanovic is excited to see more young people attracted to the style.
"Folk music has actually helped shape a lot of music that's out there now," she said.
The festival is at Bulli from January 17-20.