Getting to the end of a busy year full of challenges, the temptation to wipe away your worries with a massive festival bender is huge.
Let’s face it- there is no way anyone can experience the entire Woodford Folk Festival programme. It is designed so that you can create your own festival experience, which means you’ll for sure be missing out on some things you’d probably love doing. We’ve put together a list of 10 things that you can do at The Woodford Folk Festival, that creates a bit of reflective space inside the Festival week. Meaning you can still let your hair down and have the Festival experience you crave, but you’ll also get the chance to bring in the new year in a deliberate and conscious way.
1. Make something
There is something about producing as opposed to consuming a festival experience that can make a world of difference to the pace of festival life. If you want a sure-fast slow down, book a workshop at Artisania, make a digeridoo, or create a lantern for the lantern parade as just some of the suggestions to help you focus in on the experience and reduce the fear of missing out.
2. Join a group activity that starts on the first day and finishes on the last
The people’s choir and orchestra, the lantern parade, poet’s breakfasts are just some of the daily activities where you are likely to front up at the same time, and see the same fellow festival-folk each day. It’s only about an hour out of the whole Festival day, but it is a great way to meet new people and feel part of the experience from start to finish.
3. Attend the ceremonies
The Welcome Ceremony and Fire Event are significant parts of the whole Festival experience. These events are dreamed and planned for a long time in the lead up to the event and are immersive experiences. Booking the time into your week to join the thousands of fellow Festival goers in the Woodford Amphi, you will share the wonders of amazing puppets, orchestras, performance and story telling on a grande scale. A great way to book-end your Festival.
4. Commit to at least one Meditation in Motion session
Ok, so chances are if you’ve been dancing like a demon to catch the shows you want, your high ambitions of daily power yoga are unlikely to come to fruition. It’s worth making just one session though. Your mind and your body will thank you for it, and you’ll be high-fiving yourself for the rest of the day. Imagining yourself in blissful new year contemplation? Let yourself have it once.
5. Attend a talk session
Music often gets most of the attention at the Woodford Folk Festival, but the reputation for important conversations and heavyweight speakers is well known. Movements have begun at the Festival. Whether it be at the Greenhouse, or in Songlines, have a look at the programme and ask yourself what issues are being discussed that during the upcoming year you will stay interested in. Indigenous constitutional rights? Environmental World Heritage listing? Renewable resources? Pick one and attend the session.- You’ll be glad you did.
6. Write a letter at the lettering house
There is something special in gifting that goes beyond the act. Writing a letter is a very personal experience both for the writer and the recipient. Seek out the Lettering House in Artisania and pen a letter to a friend, a stranger, yourself or for nobody to see at all. They’ll even deliver it for you.
7. Do a cultural dance workshop
Connecting our bodies in cultural rhythms can have a profoundly intoxicating effect. Linking the past to the present, the soles of your feet to the earth, you are bound to have a huge smile on your face by the end.
8. Have new food experiences
There has been some pretty consistent conversation about the positive effects on the brain when encountering new experiences. Considering the Woodford Folk Festival has over 70 restaurants and bars, there is opportunity to eat somewhere different every single meal if you want to. Challenge your palette with tastes and textures you wouldn’t normally go for.- You’ll be glad you stepped out of your eating comfort zone.
9. Document something each day
Whether you write notes, take photographs, a voice recording or mini vids on your phone – do something once a day to remember the experience. Don’t over-complicate it or you might lose motivation. You’ll be glad you gave yourself the little keepsakes for your memories.
10. Dress up for a late-night adventure
Give yourself permission on one night of the festival to discover your alter-ego. Whether it be a masked character, a different outfit or hanging out in a Festival space that you never had before. Try on the new skin and see how it fits. You never know – you might feel an affinity with the late night beat poets that you didn’t realise. You might realise that chanting alongside Tibetan monks is a true meditative experience. You might also find that LED hoola hooping is your thing – it’s all ok – try it on for size and have loads of fun!
About the Woodford Folk Festival
Woodford is 6 unforgettable days and nights from Dec 27 – 1 Jan. Held on the beautiful property Woodfordia, it is just over an hour north of Brisbane. For the full Festival programme and to book tickets go to the Website. You can also check out the Festival Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for news and information.