Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Woodford Folk Festival 08-09

In Easter 1987 the National Folk Festival was held at the
Maleny Showgrounds, this became the genesis of what was
to become the Woodford Folk Festival.
From then until 1993 when the festival attendance had grown
from some 3000 that Easter into some 65000, the festival
was held each year at Maleny. After the first one it was to be
held between Christmas and New Years, as not to clash with
the national festival.

The Maleny site, having been outgrown in 9 years, was
abandoned and the Queensland Folk Federation boldly
purchased the Woodford site in July 1994.
With additional land purchased in 2003 the site now covers
320 acres, a wonderful testament to the foresight of the
QFF and its dedication to future generations.

Woodford has become a monster event, with over
100000 persons attending, 2000 performers, 400
events over 6 days, as far as I know the largest event
of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
I was a regular, for 10 years I camped every year and
played at both Maleny and Woodford. The last full
year attendance however was 99-2000 after which
children slowed me down. So its day trips for me.
We went yesterday the 29th, a bit of a quieter day
usually leading into New Years and concluding day
with the fire event.

I didn't get to see all that much music, but as you will
see from the photos, music is but a part of what is on offer.
So this is a monster post with a selection of photos culled
down from some 400, that should give you an idea of
what its like, trying to describe it to my 4 year old,
I resorted to, "its like another planet"

It was some stage around 8pm my 8 year old described
it as awesome and did not wish to go home.
The best way to see the festival is to camp, you have
more time to see things as there's loads of clashes.
As well as more time to chill out, the big problem
is chilling cause its bloodly hot this time of year.
At least the rain held off this time.
Highlights included and remember I have 3 young
boys to please, Hawksley Workman, Kistina Olsen,
The Grimstones a 50min gothic puppet show,
Aboriginal dancers, fire twirling and the very
funny Tiny Top with its wonderfully sadistic circus

Kistina Olsen
Hawksley Workman

I also got my first chance to try out my new
camera on concert shots without flash, with which
I was well pleased. And the night time carnival
atmosphere was a big hit with the kids.

The Grimstones

I've included many street shots, the festival
village is very big these days, twice the size of
the Dreaming festival that's held mid year on the
same site.

Its great to just walk around the 100's
of stalls selling everything hippy and loads of
hand made instruments for the folk musicians.
As Maude in Harold and Maude said
"everyone should be able to play a musical
instrument" Of course this ethos is well followed
at Woodford and when all else fails there's always
drums and let me tell you there is drums.

The Tiny Top

There's nothing like fire twirling to get attention at
night especially the attention of my boys,
so we watched that for a while.
We left about 10 PM as the kids started
to meltdown as the bands started that I was really
interested in The Herd and Augie March came on
different stages. For those interested I've uploaded
a few more photos on my myspace page here.
Be sure an leave some comments.

Its a fitting post to end off the year, Woodford looks both
backwards and forwards, the QFF have a 500 year plan
I believe and much of the festival harks back to an era
of times long gone.
Happy New Year to all who read this blog and find it useful
and many thanks all everyone who has contributed over
the year with much of the fine music you find here,
all your stories and all your encouragement.


Anonymous said...

Hi Bob,

wishing you a great 2009 - finding this blog has been one of my highlights of 2008.


Unknown said...

you have a mighty fine new years yerself bob :)
thanks for all the great music / vibes and info your wonderful blog provides.
the woodford pics are nice. i havent been for years - hot days and rain days scare me off all the good times, but a joy to relive some memories in your pics.
Ill be chatting at ya in the next year and swapping some good sunlight sounds - ciao