The 24th Woodford Folk Festival programme is as diverse and delightful as ever, with 580 acts gathering in the forested valley of Woodfordia, over the six days between the 27th December and the 1st of January 2010. On offer is an epic journey into a village of contemporary culture celebrating the richness and diversity of many musical genres and art forms, the planet and our own wellbeing.
Whilst Woodford is one of Australia’s largest festivals, the atmosphere remains peaceful and family friendly. The whole festival is set in a parkland, one hour’s drive from Brisbane. The site features treed campgrounds and festival streets lined with 22 venues, 45 restaurants and over 100 stalls.
Musical highlights this year include John Butler Trio, Clare Bowditch, Vince Jones, Paul Dempsey, James Blundell, The Panics, Mama Kin, The Middle East, Bonjah, Lisa Mitchell, Ryan Meeking and The Few, Shellie Morris, Dallas Frasca, Grace Barbe, Mojo Juju and the Snake Oil Merchants, Afro Dizzi Act featuring Jali Buba Kuyateh, Angie Hart, Busby Marou Dubmarine, James Morrison, Jen Cloher and The Endless Sea, Juke Baritone & The Swamp Dogs, Miguel, Mr Percival, The Rhythm Hunters, NGAIIRE, The Sins, Nicky Bomba, Rapskallion, Street Warriors, The Audreys, the medics, The Red-Eyes, TinPan Orange with Harry Angus, The Hungry Kids of Hungary, Whitley, Leah Flanagan Band and sunset concerts in the Amphitheatre with the Deep Blue Orchestra.
Woodford’s international repertoire offers Toni Childs (USA), one of New Zealand’s favourites Don McGlashan, Nathan (Canada), Nano Stern (CHILE), the extraordinary Kaki King (USA), Ember Swift’s new project LENTIC – a curious mix of Chinese influences (CANADA), and the seriously funky jazzy outfit Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro (JAPAN).
In what is sure to be dynamic live discussion, Bob Hawke, Senator Christine Milne and Clive Hamilton will join Kerry O’Brien on the Couch. Bob Hawke will also present a session on Political Bigotries and Statesmanship. The Great Green Debate is “You Can Trust The Media” with Fiona Scott Norman, Sandy McCutcheon, Professor Ian Lowe and Dr Wendy Sarkissian, Bill Hoffman and Ian Mackay.
Organisers of the Woodford Folk Festival have been forging sustainability issues since 1992 at The Greenhouse venue and the programme this year offers an extensive insight into the most current state of our planet. Hot off the plane from the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen are Senator Christine Milne, Deputy Leader of the Greens; Steve Campbell, key spokesperson for Greenpeace and Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics and author of Affluenza. World-renowned environmental scientist Professor Ian Lowe will present radical solutions for the Australian environment and Graeme Taylor author of Evolution’s Edge won the Independent Publishers Prize for the ‘book most likely to save the Planet’. The Greenhouse offers an abundance of speakers addressing our everyday actions for a healthy planet and global examples of progressive lifestyles.
Celebrating the diversity of Australian culture, the Folklorica venue takes us on a cross continental journey through ceremony, ritual, music and dance. Presenting over 20 cultures, from Africa to India, Transylvania to Tibet, from the sacred to the magical, the harvest to the wedding and an enlightening performance of The Tibetan Book of the Dead.
Circus & Sideshow treats include the internationally acclaimed FlameOz performing legendary fireshows, The Mutant Barnyard and a trip into a world of Disturbia. The Palace features evening shows with Ganga Giri, and the combustion of Miguel, Lady Torpedo and The Big Swing Brothers who combine circus and samba with a 9 piece 50’s swing outfit and a trio of circus vaudevillians.
Woodford Folk Festival’s Children’s Festival runs from 9am until 6pm daily. Eight venues offer puppetry, cooking, art, craft, music and circus workshops all culminating in a street parade inclusive of the whole family. At night the Land of Nod offers parents the opportunity to enjoy the festival while the kids are entertained.
Each evening from 9pm to 11pm, The Woodford Comedy Club presents a rib cracking time with the hilarious Akmal Saleh in a new show supported by Joel Ozborn, Jenny Wynter back from a tour in Canada, Nimbin’s own S Sorrenson and the world’s only saxophone playing comedian Gary Bradbury.
Daily visual arts workshops will give you something to take home, book early for these ever-popular workshops. There are also workshops in circus skills, Indigenous arts, sign language, poetry, singing, songwriting, comedy, music and the opportunity to refine your dance moves during daily dance workshops with acclaimed performers from around the globe.
Come along, leave the everyday world behind, dive into a magical week of culture, ceremony, camping, celebration and community.
Programmes and tickets are available on the Woodford Folk Festival website www.woodfordfolkfestival.com or call the Queensland Folk Federation on 07 5496 1066. Selected newsagents have the programmes, check online for these outlets.