7 May, 2024

Woodford festival at risk

Woodford Folk Festival organisers say the iconic event is at risk of collapse following last year’s poor ticket sales, and are urging patrons to support the event with early pre-sales to ensure its ongoing viability.

Woodford festival at risk - feature photo

In a sobering letter from managing director, Amanda Jackes, she said last year’s poor sales had left the festival in a precarious position.

The revelation comes after large festivals including Splendour in the Grass and Groovin’ the Moo collapsed in recent months amid low ticket sales and high operating costs.

Ticket sales for Woodford 2023-24 had fallen “way short of what we needed to make it a financial success” with day tickets down 34 per cent despite camping tickets nearly selling out.

“Because of the impact of last year’s festival results, it’s crucial that this year works. Once again, we’re asking all of you to get behind the festival and help us make it happen,” Ms Jackes wrote.

“Woodfordia itself is at stake, and we know it is in the downtimes when we need to have faith in our loyal patrons to help us.

“‘This is the year’, needs to be our catch cry and we’ll do our bit to make this year’s festival the best yet.

Ms Jackes said 2023-24 had been severely impacted by extreme weather forecasts, which were exacerbated by media ‘hype’ and calls from authorities for people to stay home.

“The last three weeks before the festival, our biggest selling period of the year, storms and blackouts in SE Queensland headlined the news daily,” Amanda wrote.

“Even during the festival, texts went out to everyone in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast warning people not to leave home.”

She said that while there was heat and some rain, “the weather at Woodfordia did not live up to the media hype”.

“This cycle of weather and the news around it impacted our day patron numbers, which resulted in a reduction of 34 per cent; however, we still went close to selling out our season camper tickets.”

Ms Jackes said Woodford faced similar issues to the other 50 music festivals that had cancelled across Australia in recent months.

She cited low pre-sales, cost of living pressures, increases in event costs and declining audiences attending festivals.

Ms Jackes said it was critical that people purchased Woodford tickets early to ensure the success of the festival.

“Woodford Folk Festival has traditionally had a strong pre-sales culture,” Ms Jackes wrote.

“We are so grateful for this and are asking for your support this year in particular.”

Tickets for Woodford Folk Festival tickets launch on Tuesday May 28.

Early bird tickets are available for Woodfordia Citizens on Wednesday May 22.


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