Goulburn is hot stuff

It’s the National Blues Festival in Goulburn this week, and we took our wwoofers out to the Goulburn Club for the night. Great music, great company, great evening.

Opposite the Goulburn Club is Belmore Park, and there was an acrobatic Fire Show there by the youth part of the Lieder Theatre, Goulburn’s and Australia’s longest-running community theatre group.

Here’s a still that I pinched from their website:

There were about 20 performers, a huge variety of techniques and props, heaps of energy. Kids of all shapes and sizes, working together with great skill and confidence. What a town.

The distinguishing thing about Goulburn is that everybody is so friendly, and a trip to the supermarket always takes six times as long as it should because people, including complete strangers, are so keen to chat. Everybody who moves here makes the same comment.

One day we read in the Goulburn Post a letter from some people who visited Goulburn and were upset because people had been rude to them. For weeks afterwards, lots of people wrote in with complete disbelief. Eventually one woman wrote in to say that Goulburn was the friendliest place she’d ever been, and the weekend the disappointed visitors came was the same weekend her extended family had visited from Sydney, and the visitors must have met them!

The arts community here is vibrant, and there are clubs for everything you can imagine, from the “Goulburn Bowmen” to the “Goulburn Horse Drawn Club”. The catch is, they don’t put out press releases and they don’t have websites. Goulburn is Australia in the 1970s. Word of mouth is everything.

It’s just possible that Goulburn is the most exciting place to be in Australia at the moment. Nobody realises that they’re living in a golden age until afterwards. Goulburn 2009 is a shining light, to which we bring our small candles to add to the glow.

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