As the year begins to draw to a close, we start to enter a very exciting time. Holidays begin, presents are bought and memories are made. A huge part of the year though, for us here on the Sunshine Coast, is enjoying a fantastic range of festivals and concerts nestled throughout our breath-taking region. For me, there’s one in particular I look forward to more than any other; the Woodford Folk Festival. It’s more than just music; it’s an opportunity to experience amazing works of art and life you won’t see in the big smoke. Held annually over six days and six nights from 27th December through to January 1st , it is an incredible ride through cultural bliss. More than 2000 performers and 438 events are programmed featuring local, national and international guests. This year will be the 31st Woodford Folk Festival and the 23rd held at ‘Woodfordia’.
“The festival programme features concerts, dances, street theatre, writers’ panels, film festival, comedy sessions, acoustic jams, social dialogue and debate, folk medicine, an entire children’s festival, an environmental programme featuring talks, debates and films, art and craft workshops, circus performances and workshops, late night cabarets, parades and special events including a spectacular fire event. Within the festival village you will find 35 performance venues, of which 18 are all-weather. The festival streets are lined with restaurants, cafes, stalls, bars, street theatre and parades. Tree-filled camp grounds, butterfly walks, ponds and wildlife complete the picturesque site.” It truly is a massive bill.
The festival grounds themselves, known as ‘Woodfordia’, are purpose built, maintained by the non-for- profit organisation called the Queensland Folk Federation, who run the festival, along with its sister festival, the Woodford Tree Planting Festival. It is a beautiful place, with strong roots in the local Aboriginal culture, which the festival organisers respect with the help of two Jinbara nation representatives acting as custodians of the land.
The festival has a very ‘hippy-dippy’ persona for most people, but I assure you the music and the line-up of talks and art on display far extend what you might expect. Musical artists will be sharing their unique take on blues, hip-hop, rock and much more throughout the weekend. Take the chance to take part in any number of fantastic arts and crafts workshops, experience dance like you’ve never seen before, or enjoy laughing until you cry with a line-up of incredible comedic acts including such names as Judith Lucy, Dave Callan and so many more.
For more information on the line-up itself, or anything else on offer at the Woodford Folk Festival, visit their website. You most sincerely will not regret, or forget, your time at the Woodford Folk Festival.