Woodford Folk Festival
With the start of the 32nd annual Woodford Folk Festival on Wednesday, the transformation of the site, one hour’s drive north of Brisbane, from lush parkland to Australia’s 67th largest town is complete.
This year, over 400 artists, speakers and performers, over 200 food and craft stalls, 220 visual arts workshops and 2,700 volunteers will join thousands of ticketholders to call Woodfordia, as the 500-acre festival site is known, home.
In Tent City, the temporary accommodation hub for campers without their own tent, close to 1,000 tents are standing and there’s room in nine other campgrounds for plenty more.
Following their biggest ever attendance at the 2016/17 event, the organisers behind Australia’s largest gathering of performers made the decision to cap numbers to this year’s event in order to preserve the atmosphere and comfort level of patrons.
To further improve/enhance the festival experience, a state of the art shade structure has been installed on parts of the main thoroughfare on which the Parlour Venue sits, along with entry to the Sacred Labyrinth, Chill Hill as well as numerous stalls.
Woodford Folk Festival General Manager Amanda Jackes says while 120, 000 trees have been planted on site over the years, organisers haven’t been able to provide enough shade for patrons on the streets of the festival proper until now.
“This year we’re working with Cave Urban to trial an installation which we hope will be rolled out on other streets in further years,” she says.
“We hope it will be great respite from the sun for some lazy shopping and dashing between venues to follow your new favourite festival performer.”
Another exciting addition to the Woodford Folk Festival site this year is the introduction of Chill Hill, a new chill out space located on the hill at the start of the road to the Amphitheatre, marked by a distinctive Hammock Hut.
The Hammock Hut is a bamboo shade structure 10 metres high, 20 metres long and between 8 and 12 metres wide, draped in hammocks and decked out with all the cushions and comfort patrons need to relax during the six day event.
These new initiatives will no doubt be welcomed by ticket holders, 70% of whom, according to the latest survey data, have visited the festival before.
Following feedback from patrons at last year’s event, the RFID payment system will return this year free of charge for purchases at the festival’s 35 bars as well as at food and merchandise stalls, the Festival Shop and the General Store.
The reusable cup system is another initiative from the 2016/17 Woodford Folk Festival which will carry over this year at not cost to patrons, preventing more than 250,000 cups from entering landfill.
Deputy General Manager Michael Peterson says reusing cups is the one of the most sustainable ways our patrons can help to minimise our impact on the environment.
“Woodfordians are some of the most eco-conscious festival patrons around”, he says.
“We’ve found they’re always willing to contribute in new ways to deepening the festival experience.”
Several other changes to the way organisers deliver the event were unveiled earlier this year, with the sale of all tickets only available online and the introduction of a vehicle pass.
The 2017/18 Woodford Folk Festival runs between 27 December and 1 January.
The full 2017/18 Woodford Folk Festival programme is available online at https://woodfordfolkfestival.com/programme/the-programme-book.html
26 December 2017.