This is probably my eighth Woodford. My Woodfords have certainly changed from my late teens and early 20s, from a real party time Woodford to now being more chilled and about settling in and community, family, healing and wellness.
I haven’t been along for the last couple of years, especially since having kids, but before that I was coming along every year. Yeah, it’s a different festival for me now.
The beautiful thing about Woodford is that there’s something for everyone.
So, virtually as you evolve, and as you change, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for. For me, in the past it was seeing music, and now I like to hear talks on consciousness, and environmental issues that are going on, and I spend a bit more time in the Blue Lotus tent. So Woodford is certainly there to facilitate that change.
My first Woodford experience here, I came with a friend I met up in the Garma Festival in the Northern Territory, Ben. I met him and he said, hey, you’ve got to come down and come to Woodford with me. I was a young fellow out of the Territory. I’d never been to anything like this before, and I met up with a big crew of those guys. There was 20 or 30 of us, and it was just incredible.
It blew my mind. I’d never seen music like it before. I’d never seen lighting the fire show. I was just awestruck, and it was magical for me.
The lineup was just absolutely incredible. The Cat Empire was a real standout, and it was the era of John Butler Trio, the Cat Empire, Xavier Rudd, and Missy Higgins.
One of my favourite artists was Eric Bibb. Look him up if you haven’t seen him before. Really amazing. Kind of blues man from America. He’s in his 60s, I think.
The one standout show, because I’d never been to many performances, was the bubble show in the big top. This guy had giant human sized bubbles, and was doing stuff, and it was shimmering.
Another standout for me is just going up to the hilltop in my own time, and taking some time to look at the glasshouse mountains, and connecting, actually.
I like to go up there in the mornings. It’s pretty hot up there in the middle of the day. Yeah, the morning is just a wonderful time to go up there, and just connect. Yeah, take a chance to have some quiet time for myself, which I find is good when you’re amongst so many amazing people. It’s good to have some time out too.
In the past, it was always with friends, and we had a big group of us, but a lot of us have had young families. When they were little we’d have a couple that would drop off. Now I’m finding that more of us are coming back together with our kids, bit by bit. Maybe not for the whole time, but I really want to bring my family next year, for the whole time, and I feel like it will be part of our yearly tradition from here on.
You can’t explain the magic of Woodford. It’s something that needs to be experienced in person, and it’s amazing.