Woodford Folk Festival
Promotional art for the 2009/2010 Woodford Folk Festival.
|Location(s)||Woodford, Queensland, Australia|
|Founded by||Queensland Folk Federation, Bill Hauritz, Amanda Jackes|
|Date(s)||27 December – 1 January|
The Woodford Folk Festival is an annual music festival held near the semi-rural town of Woodford, 72 km north of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It is one of the biggest annual cultural events of its type in Australia.
The festival takes place over six days and nights from 27 December to 1 January each year. It features a wide range of performance styles, musical genres and nationalities, in many simultaneous venues across the site. About 130,000 patrons attend annually, camping on-site—some just overnight—many for the full festival experience. The final evening of the Woodford festival culminates in a spectacular New Year's Day closing ceremony, Fire Event.
Unlike many festivals which are held in or near urban centres, the Woodford Folk Festival takes place on a 250 hectare rural property known as Woodfordia, in a forest setting. The land is owned by the Queensland Folk Federation, producers of the festival.
The Woodford Folk Festival developed from the Maleny Folk Festival which began in Maleny in 1987. In 1994, the festival was moved 20 km away to Woodford when it outgrew the Maleny Showgrounds site.
The final evening of the Woodford festival culminates in a spectacular New Year's Day closing ceremony, Fire Event. Over 20,000 festival goers seated on a grassed hillside witness a spectacle of dance, music, theatricality and fire - with the burning of a large structure heralding the New Year. The Fire Event was developed by Neil Cameron at the former Maleny festival and continued at Woodford, Paul Lawler worked with Cameron and took over as creative director of the event from 2003 - 2011. Joey Ruigrok Van De Werven directed the 12/13 and 13/14 Fire Events respectively, and had also worked with Cameron previously.  The January 2000 Fire Event was featured in the global live TV broadcast heralding the new millennium.
In 2005–2006 a record aggregate attendance of over 130,000 visitors attended the festival, injecting $21 million into the Queensland economy.
In 2008 the festival won the FasterLouder Festival Award for the most Green Friendly festival.
This is a selection of the line-ups of recent Woodford Folk Festivals:
- Missy Higgins, The Cat Empire, Doch, Xavier Rudd, The Beautiful Girls, The Waifs, Bomba, Kate Miller-Heidke, The Boat People, Rebecca Wright, Resin Dogs, Butterfingers, Afro Dizzi Act, Jeff Lang Band, Hot Rubber Glove, Pty Ltd, Kooii, Ash Grunwald, and Kafka.
- The Cat Empire, Pete Murray, Doch, Bomba, Kate Miller-Heidke, Jodi Martin, Wild Marmalade, Tribalicious, Tommee and the Neighbourhood, That 1 Guy, Sophie Koh, Circle of Rhythm, Rob Longstaff Band, Mia Dyson, LABJACD, Kafka, Jambezi, Genticorum, Blue King Brown, Afro Dizzi Act, and Ash Grunwald.
- The John Butler Trio, Xavier Rudd, Youth Group, Lior, Angus and Julia Stone, The Herd, The Beautiful Girls, Blue King Brown, Resin Dogs, Tim Freedman, Jeff Lang, The Bird, The Audreys, Ash Grunwald, Kate Miller-Heidke, Jodi Martin, LABJACD, Kooii, Kafka, Leo, That 1 Guy, Hamell on Trial, Waiting For Guinness Umbilical Brothers, The Black Market Rhythm Co. and Tripod.
- Bobby Flynn also made an uncredited and unexpected appearance and performed.
- Backsliders, The Cat Empire, Angus and Julia Stone, The Waifs, Sarah Blasko, Jackson Jackson, Blue King Brown, Archie Roach, Lola The Vamp, James Morrison, Mia Dyson, Tinpan Orange, The Toothfaeries, Blue Grassy Knoll, Ernie Dingo, Dick Desert, Mojo Webb & Band, Women In Docs, The NEO, Worldfly, Babylon Circus, The Black Market Rhythm Co., The Quills and many more.
- Backsliders, Josh Pyke, The Herd, Hermitude, Kate Miller-Heidke, The Gin Club, Bob Evans, The Ellis Collective, Ash Grunwald, Augie March, Dead Letter Circus, Jeff Lang, Waiting For Guinness and Lior.
- The John Butler Trio, The Middle East, Lisa Mitchell, James Morrison, The Panics, Kaki King, Deep Blue Orchestra, Lola The Vamp, Afro Dizzi Act, Chocolate Strings, Hungry Kids of Hungary, Clare Bowditch, Emma Dean, Whitley, Tinpan Orange, Tripod, Dubmarine, and Endorphin.
- Arrested Development, The Cat Empire, Kate Miller-Heidke, Katie Noonan and The Captains, Blue King Brown, Archie Roach(Archie Roach could not perform due to medical issues, a tribute show was held and other performers at the festival played his songs), Lola The Vamp, Dick Desert, Jeff Lang, Lior, You Am I, Edge of Colour (Michelle Xen) and Siobhan Owen.
- Gotye, Xavier Rudd, Cloud Control, The Herd, Owl Eyes, Jesca Hoop, Andy Bull, Tripod, Skipping Girl Vinegar, Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro, Busby Marou, Husky, Eagle and The Worm, Tinpan Orange, Die Roten Punkte, Lola The Vamp, The Medics, Hanggai, Joe Robinson, The Red Eyes, Matt Andersen, Elixir (featuring Katie Noonan), Brothers Grim and Siobhan Owen.
- Angry Tradesmen, John Butler Trio, Angus Stone, Julia Stone, Kate Miller-Heidke, Katchafire, Darren Percival and Band, Archie Roach, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Hermitude, Will & The People, Sticky Fingers, Urthboy, Warsaw Village Band, Nicky Bomba's Bustamento, Emma Louise, The Saints
2013–2014 This event saw 1,239 performances by 441 acts across 28 venues.
In 2011, organisers of the festival were criticised for inviting Meryl Dorey, president of anti-vaccination group the Australian Vaccination Network to speak at the festival. The Australian Medical Association described the group's views as "dangerous", and said organisers "had a responsibility to add speakers who could provide the medically approved side of the argument" so the audience were aware of "the risk of the information being presented [by Ms Dorey]". In response, festival director Bill Hauritz defended Dorey's appearance, saying "We've had a number of speakers, environmentalists and such, who have been discredited by some people in the past, this is no different." Queensland Health Minister Geoff Wilson advised attendees "not to take [Meryl's] nonsense too seriously".
- Wright, John (6 November 2009). "Folk behind Woodford Folk Festival have a feel for the crowd". The Courier-Mail (News Corporation). Retrieved 8 November 2009.
- Price, Sally (9 December 2007). "Chariots of fire". The Sunshine Coast Daily (APN News & Media). Retrieved 11 January 2008.
- Natalie Bochenski (10 January 2014). "Woodford needs to chill". Brisbane Times (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- Woodford Folk Festival Visitor Survey Report 2005/06
- FasterLouder Festival Awards: 2008
- Woodford Folk Festival. Australian Music Festivals. Retrieved on 13 January 2012.
- Woodford Folk Festival 2008/2009. Live Guide. Retrieved on 13 January 2012.
- Miles, Janelle (15 December 2011). "Anti-vaccination activist Meryl Dorey needles opponents of her speaking at Woodford Folk festival". The Courier Mail (Brisbane: News Ltd). Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- Dunlop, Dr Rachael (December 2011), Meryl Dorey at Woodford Folk Festival: a hazard to your child’s health?, The Conversation.edu
- Nancarrow, Dan (14 December 2011). "Woodford not immune to medical controversy". Brisbane Times (Fairfax). Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- "Minister needles folk fest speaker". Sunshine Coast Daily. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2011.