Future looking bright for the Woodford Folk Festival
The gates to the 32nd annual Woodford Folk Festival opened yesterday, with John Butler’s captivating solo set adding a further sense of ceremony to the announcement of $2 million dollars in funding for upgrades to festival site infrastructure by Queensland State Treasurer Jackie Trad.
The news of the infrastructure grant, announced during the recent state election, drew cheers from the crowd, estimated to be between 15,000 and 18,000, assembled in the Amphitheatre for the Welcoming Ceremony.
The grant is a welcome boon to festival organisers, who have been at the current site, just outside of Woodford town centre, since 1994.
The 2 million dollars in State Government funding will be matched by a further 2 million dollar cash injection from the Moreton Bay Regional and the Woodford Folk Festival’s parent organisation, Woodfordia Inc. (formerly QFF), who will each contribute 1 million dollars each.
Woodfordia Inc. General Manger Amanda Jackes said the total allocation of 4 million dollars would go towards upgrading vital services to the 500-acre site and would significantly improve the level of patron comfort and enjoyment.
“We can’t wait, after the gates close at the end of the festival this year we’re going to be starting work straight away so that our patrons are going to have a much greater level of comfort from next year onwards,” she said.
“We’re so excited about it.”
Other highlights from more than 200 performances on the first of the six-day festival include the debut performance of the Jinibara Dance Troupe, a key-note address from Indigenous leader Noel Pearson and an all-star performance at a newly expanded Grande stage from Mama Kin Spender who were joined by ARIA award-winners All Our Exes Live in Texas and lauded Canadian trio The East Pointers.
After a wet winter, the dedicated festival site, known as Woodfordia, is looking lush and green.
The forecast for the 2017/18 festival period is also in organisers’ favour, with conditions on the Opening Day topping out at 28 degrees, with a light shower mid-afternoon suppressing much of the dust which made conditions uncomfortable for patrons during the 2016/17 event.
This year, organisers unveiled two state-of-the-art bamboo shade structures to mitigate the summer heat: the Hammock Hut, which forms the focal point for a dedicated relaxation space on Chill Hill, and a large canopy running the length of the main promenade between the Tropic stage and the Amphitheatre.
The remainder festival period is expected to be hot, with temperatures ranging between 29-31 degrees celsius.
There is a possibility of showers on most days of the festival, which Festival Director Bill Hauritz said is necessary to ensure comfort levels of patrons.
“Between 1 and 5mm of rain is ideal for us; it helps cool things down,” he said.
Ticket sales remain positive for festival organisers, who made several changes to the way the popular event is delivered this year, including moving all ticket sales online and introducing a vehicle pass.
The six day festival will finish with the iconic Fire Event on the night of Monday, 1January 2018, and expected to be a fine and clear day.
Day + night tickets to the 2017/18 Woodford Folk Festival are still available online here.
The full 2017/18 Woodford Folk Festival programme can be viewed here.
All tickets to this year’s festival must be purchased online, and require a vehicle pass.
For media enquiries contact:
Jasmin Midgley, Media and Promotions Manager
Now in its 32nd year, the Woodford Folk Festival has become known around Australia and internationally as a leader in contemporary and traditional arts programming.
The Woodford Folk Festival plays host to an aggregate audience of 132,000 at a dedicated 500-acre festival site known as Woodfordia, one hour’s drive north of Brisbane. Held every year between 27 December and 1 January, the 6-day festival is Australia’s largest gathering of performers and presenters.