Woodford Folk Festival

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Woodford Folk Festival
Woodford Folk Festival 0910.jpg
Promotional art for the 2009/2010 Woodford Folk Festival.
Genre Various
Dates 27 December – 1 January
Location(s) Woodford, Queensland, Australia
Years active 1994–present
Founded by Queensland Folk Federation, Bill Hauritz, Amanda Jackes

The Woodford Folk Festival is an annual music festival held near the semi-rural town of Woodford,[1] 72 km north of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It is one of the biggest annual cultural events of its type in Australia.[1]

The festival takes place over six days and nights from 27 December to 1 January each year.[1] It features a wide range of performance styles, musical genres and nationalities, in many simultaneous venues across the site.[1] About 130,000 patrons attend annually,[1] 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.[2]


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,[3] in a forest setting. The land is owned by the Queensland Folk Federation, producers of the festival.


Kerry O'Brien at the 2009 festival

The Woodford Folk Festival developed from the Maleny Folk Festival which began in Maleny in 1987.[1] In 1994, the festival was moved 20 km away to Woodford when it outgrew the Maleny Showgrounds site.[1]

The final evening of the Woodford festival culminates in a spectacular New Year's Day closing ceremony, Fire Event.[2] 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.[2] 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, followed by Joey Ruigrok Van De Werven from 2012 - 2014, and Alex Podger from 2014.[2] 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.[4]

In 2008 the festival won the FasterLouder Festival Award for the most Green Friendly festival.[5]


This is a selection of the line-ups of recent Woodford Folk Festivals:










2013–2014 This event saw 1,239 performances by 441 acts across 28 venues.[3]


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.[8][9] 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."[10] Queensland Health Minister Geoff Wilson advised attendees "not to take [Meryl's] nonsense too seriously".[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g 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. 
  2. ^ a b c d Price, Sally (9 December 2007). "Chariots of fire". The Sunshine Coast Daily (APN News & Media). Retrieved 11 January 2008. 
  3. ^ a b Natalie Bochenski (10 January 2014). "Woodford needs to chill". Brisbane Times (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Woodford Folk Festival Visitor Survey Report 2005/06
  5. ^ FasterLouder Festival Awards: 2008
  6. ^ a b c Woodford Folk Festival. Australian Music Festivals. Retrieved on 13 January 2012.
  7. ^ Woodford Folk Festival 2008/2009. Live Guide. Retrieved on 13 January 2012.
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ Dunlop, Dr Rachael (December 2011), Meryl Dorey at Woodford Folk Festival: a hazard to your child’s health?, The Conversation.edu 
  10. ^ Nancarrow, Dan (14 December 2011). "Woodford not immune to medical controversy". Brisbane Times (Fairfax). Retrieved 18 December 2011. 
  11. ^ "Minister needles folk fest speaker". Sunshine Coast Daily. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 26°54′54.15″S 152°45′19.54″E / 26.9150417°S 152.7554278°E / -26.9150417; 152.7554278