“I’m a pathetic fan of the festival. It’s pretty special.
“We’ve been here about 7 or 8 years, just a few because we’ve been overseas and stuff like that.
“We don’t deliberately set out to avoid it. We deliberately set out to be here and even this time we’ve had to compromise. We’ve had to come here for 2 days and 3 nights because we have a grandson, our first ever, so we have to dash home because we’re hopeless, besotted people. But he would love it here! He’ll probably be here next year. You know he’ll be 2 then and be demanding more rock’n’roll I suspect.
“We have 2 sons, 28 and 25. They have both been to the festival. In the case of my oldest son he and his wife, and in the case of our youngest son, his girlfriend is quite a new girlfriend but I’m sure he’ll demand her presence here in no time at all.
“We’ve been to The Dreaming as well as the ordinary Festival. We know Bill very well. We’re terrible admirers of Bill and the whole idea. I mean, I was just filling in one the forms you have to fill in, the survey, and I was finding it very difficult to say anything even vaguely negative.
“Yeah tick, Great! Tick, Fantastic! Tick!
“You know everything is good about it because it is! It’s so laid back and relaxed and everybody eats, drinks, dances, plays… All of the years we’ve been coming here we’ve never seen any trouble and I’m sure it must happen because there are a lot of people here but we’ve never seen it. It’s a credit to itself.
“I grew up in Queensland and I knew about the old Maleny festival but then I moved away. I think it was just word of mouth and friends telling us, “you’ve gotta go to Woodford.”
“I actually think we first started coming to Woodford because we were living in Bellingen where we’re living again now and Byron Bay and the Blues and Roots Festival was closest to us.
“I think we may have met Bill at Blues and Roots and people said to us “if you like Byron then you’ll like Woodford” because it’s different again, that’s what’s good about it, it’s not just another rock’n’roll event. The music choice is far more broad and you meet nice people.
“We’ve got friends from all over the country who are here, even now. You keep bumping into people,
“Oh, you’re here again!”
“So what, what do you expect?”
“Plus it’s just a nice place to be. It’s a congregation of people with music going on in the background.
“A favourite memory from the festival? Probably not. Probably a pathetic attempt by me to sort of harmonise with someone in the committee room or something.
“The first time I tried that somebody handed me a glass of ice cubes and said, “suck on these in 4/4 time that way you won’t cause any trouble. You are tone deaf!” And I am. I’m a music lover with no musical aptitude whatsoever.
“No, I think it would be unfair to pick out one thing because you never know what’s going to happen. You walk around the corner to hear music you didn’t expect to hear or listen to. You see something you didn’t expect to see. You see a food stall and think ‘oh that might be nice, that’s better than cheese on toast.’ It’s exotic without being intrusive.
“It’s friendly without being gawky and when everybody knows who you are, it can be tricky but it’s not peoples’ fault that I invaded their bloody living rooms for so bloody long. They’re usually very polite and might have a chat but they can tell when they are intruding and you can tell that they are very sensitive people, and a lot of the things that are going on here, the forums and discussions etc. are far closer to our view of the world than most places we go.”
George Negus and Kristy Cockburn