15 December, 2023

Folk festival ready to thrill

The 36th annual Woodford Folk Festival is fast approaching, with the week-long event starting December 27.

Folk festival ready to thrill - feature photo

In the past, the Woodford Folk Festival has attracted more than 120,000 attendees and participants which supports local cafes, restaurants, accommodation and tourist locations.

Each year, the Woodford Folk Festival becomes a world of its own as thousands of visitors of all ages celebrate the end of the year and experience a diverse range of music, dance, circus, films, street theatre, visual arts, children’s activities and ceremonies.

It provides a wonderful opportunity to connect with creativity and to be immersed in a range of traditions and customs, including the cultures of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders.

Festival Director, Amanda Jackes, said the festival aimed to deliver a reprieve from the stresses of modern life and increased social isolation and lift people up to meet challenges with optimism and action.

“The festival is a place where the division between life and art blend,” she said.

“This is something that Indigenous communities have at the core of their culture.

“It is something we hope we can all experience living together while engaging in the expression of our rich and diverse cultures.

“For some, it can be an awakening, for others a rites-of-passage and for many a familiar path travelled by an pilgrimage.

“Whatever the festival is for you, we hope you come away with renewed hope and reconnected energy.”

This year’s schedule is staggering in its diversity, quality and expression of the culture which will celebrate an incredible creative depth and cultural diversity.

It’s a place where lawyer, academic and Indigenous policy advisor Noel Pearson, takes to the stage to address festival-goers while 50 metres away, DeJa Voodo hosts Juju Jungle, a mesmerising menagerie of marvels where cabaret meets mind-bending art; where multiple Walkley-Award winning journalist Tracey Spicer AM warns of the bigotry embedded in AI technology while Australia’s Queen of Burlesque, Imogen Kelly, runs a talk and workshop on breast health and burlesque; where Federal Arts Minister Tony Burke discusses the magic of art while Austral teach Irish dance steps, and where Dr Karl lectures on great moments in science while artists like Regurgitator rev a crowd up to fever pitch.

It’s also where beloved Gardening Australia host Costa Georgiadis hops off stage at the biggest venue onsite to grab a snack before jumping up later that night with his party band, The More Please Orchestra.

Household names include first time visitor, Ben Lee, who, alongside his regular stage show is also dropping a DJ set as DJ DadBod.

Formidable singer songwriter Lisa O’Neill and the legendary Andy Irvine are visiting from Ireland, and trekking out from the United States are psychedelic Panamanian Kansas City-based band Making Movies and sensational cabaret star, Rizo.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the annual Woodford Folk Festival will usher in the new year with an inspiring celebration of arts, culture and community bringing together diverse artists, speakers and audiences.


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