A bush band is a group of musicians that play traditional Australian folk music or contemporary folk music played in a traditional Australian style. A similar bush band tradition is also found in New Zealand.
Bush bands play music for bush dances, in which the dance program is usually based on dances known to have been danced in Australia from colonial times to the folk revival in the 1950s. Contemporary dances, composed in the traditional style, are also featured at bush dances.
Some popular traditional bush dances are Stockyards, Haymaker’s Jig, Galopede, Brown Jug Polka, Virginia Reel and barn dance. Popular contemporary bush dances include Blackwattle Reel, Jubilee Jig, CHOGM Pentrille, Knocking Down His Cheque and Midnight Schottische.
Bush bands also play bush ballads, many of which date to the 19th century. Among the most notable bush lyricists was the poet Banjo Paterson (1864–1941).
The Bush Music Club, based in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, hold regular bush dances and Colonial Balls where bush bands perform.