25 May, 2024

Good Folk to support

Woodford Hotel owner, Richard Deery, says the Folk Festival provided a huge boost to the town over the Christmas break and its demise would be a huge loss to the region.

Multi-cultural fun at the Woodford Folk Festival 2023.
Multi-cultural fun at the Woodford Folk Festival 2023.

The 2022/23 six-day festival generated an estimated $28m economic impact across the Moreton Bay region in 2022/23.

It attracts around 35,000 unique vistors annually of which 30 per cent are interstate.

But earlier this month Woodford Folk Festival organisers said the future of the iconic event was “at stake” without strong support and early ticket sales.

Festival managing director, Amanda Jackes, urged people to “get behind the festival and help make it happen” aft er poor sales last year.

The risk to Woodford follows the collapse of high profile events such as Groovin’ the Moo and Splendour in the Grass.

Cost of living pressures were seeing punters shy away from spending money on increasingly expensive live music tickets.

Mr Deery said the festival was a great boost for his business as well as the town, bringing an extra 20 to 30 per cent more people over the Christmas/ New Year break.

“The festival brings people in the week before and the week of, with people often coming to wind down in the hotel.”

“The festival is fantastic because it puts Woodford on the map and is an amazing event supporting cultural mixture.

“It would be a real shame if it didn’t happen.”

A federal funding injection aimed at the live music scene could not come soon enough, industry says.

The Australian Festival Association (AFA) said last week’s $8.6m federal injection was vital.

AFA managing director, Mitch Wilson, said the $5m increase from the previous Live Music Australia Program was very welcome “at a time when our industry needs it most”.

Mr Wilson said the industry was in crisis mode, with the flow-on of collapsing events impacting local communities, suppliers and contractors.

“With costs up 30-40 per cent across the board and affordable insurance difficult to obtain, margins are tight,” he said.

“Festival organisers haven’t raised ticket prices to off set or meet these increases due to cost-of-living challenges being faced by anyone.

“The current poor strength of the Australian dollar and high travel costs impacting the ability of festival promoters to entice headline artists, further impacting demand for tickets when disposable incomes are tight.”

Mr Wilson echoed Ms Jackes plea telling festival goers “if you don’t want to see more of your favourite festivals cancel, please show your support and but your tickets early”.

Woodford local, Kim Hennessey, said she wasn’t surprised about falling ticket sales, saying they were too expensive.

“I would be sad to see it go, but just frustrated that considering the situation our economy is in right now, they didn’t even take that into consideration and perhaps lower the entry prices or have some cheaper passes,” she said.

Another resident, Cory Braad stated: “Like all events, they cost money to run. There’s wages, out goings, insurances and other costings.”

Early bird tickets available:

Public tickets open May 28.


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