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WOODFORD FOLK FESTIVAL
(Dec 27, 2006 - Jan 01, 2007 inclusive)


An annual event of international standing, the Woodford Folk Festival presents a remarkable program of more than 2000 performers and 400 events. The festival features some of the finest Australian artists and a range of international guests, and caters for a variety of tastes with concerts, dances, workshops, forums, street theatre, writers' panels, film festivals, comedy sessions, acoustic jams, social dialogue, a childrenís festival, art and craft workshops, late-night cabarets, and more. Starting on 27 December, Woodford runs for six days and nights, culminating in the spectacular fire event on 1 January.
 
The award-winning festival had its humble beginnings at Maleny in March 1987, and relocated to the present site at Woodford in 1993. Woodford is run largely by volunteers, which results in a chilled-out atmosphere among performers and audience alike.

Not only does Woodford provide a great week of entertainment, itís also a platform for the Australian creative industries, and has been known to host local performers who have gone on to achieve wider recognition in the Australian music industry. Xavier Rudd and the John Butler Trio are among the established Australian artists who have returned to perform on this occasion.
 
  Bill Smith joined by enthusiastic  children dancing to his tunes and beats.  Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative.
Bill Smith joined by enthusiastic  children dancing to his tunes and beats (above)
 
Added to this list are 2006 ARIA award winners The Audreys, who performed at Woodford in 2005-2006, and this year returned as nationally renowned artists. ďItís a gorgeous festival,Ē says lead singer Taasha Coates.

Five-time ARIAs nominee Lior performed at Woodford for the second time, and is equally enthusiastic about the festival. ďThere is a sense of community to Woodford and a sense of ownership, people have this pride in Woodford, they donít feel they are paying just to come in. Itís really inspiring for an artist to be in that environment, I honestly think itís the only festival that has that huge size and diversity but can also retain that sense of community,Ē says Lior.
  First time ARIAS nominee and Award winners for the 2006 ARIAS Blues and Roots album category - The Audreys return to perform at the festival. Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative.
First time ARIAS nominee and Award winners for the 2006 ARIAS Blues and Roots album category - The Audreys (above) return to perform at the festival.

 
Talented Lior and Xavier Rudd. Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative.
Double whammy: Talented Lior and special guest appearance by
Xavier Rudd,  just prior to Xavier's own performance at the festival (above).

Itís not just the musicians who love Woodford.   First-timer Shane Dundas of comedy duo The Umbilical Brothers enjoys the festivalís cruisey feel: ďItís amazing, itís so much bigger than I thought it would be and itís really well run.  I donít sense any bad behaviour or any ill feeling here, itís all positive and relaxedÖ..the hippy feel actually lives!Ē
  Another musician who knows Woodford well is Brisbane-based Tyrone Noonan.  Tyrone is the originator and lead singer of the successful band George, who have performed at the festival in the past.  Tyrone returns this time as a solo artist and is quickly making his mark in his new career.  His opinion of the Woodford Folk Festival is simple and to the point: ďItís the best value festival in AustraliaĒ.
 
Tyrone Noonan at the Woodford Folk Festival.  Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative.
Multi skilled artist and ARIA award winner
Tyrone Noonan (above) adds some heavy soul to the festival which co-coincides with his current mini album title Heavy Soul Part 1.
 
Unique and diverse comedian duo, The Umbilical Brothers.  Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative.
 
From a first-timer to a regular, actor and television personality Ernie Dingo loves the diversity of the festival and the fact that it gives him a chance to catch up with regular festival mates, as well as see some of the regular performers.  Ernie says that the good thing about the festival is that he can just continue conversations left from the previous yearís festival. He says, ďI love it. I used to go to the Maleny Festival when it was up thereÖI love it here, the thing about [Woodford] is that it has its own path; itís not something that will shift. This is where itís held every year. The streets are basically the same, the faces are basically the same, and the characters are basically the same.  Itís like: Ďhere it is for one week of the year, and the other 51 weeks is getting back here againí.  Itís good funĒ.   Ernie Dingo at the Woodford Folk Festival.  Photo by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative.
Unique and diverse comedian duo, The Umbilical Brothers (above), 2006 AFI (Aust Film Institute award) nominee for their "The Upside Show".     Extravert and fun loving Ernie Dingo (above) looks forward to returning to the festival every year to catch up with people.

So what makes the Woodford Folk Festival so special? Is it the hard-working organisers, the friendly volunteers, the talented performers and variety of activities, the great food and stalls, the location with its open spaces, or the people who attend?   Or is it that every one of these somehow gels so magically, letting people soak up the unique, stress-free atmosphere? Whatever it is, if you havenít had the chance to experience the Woodford Folk Festival, itís something you should definitely think about for next December, and we in Australia should consider ourselves lucky to have such a remarkable and renowned festival within armís reach.

 
Various sights to see at the Woodford Folk Festival which includes the fun-loving people who participate in adding different characters and variations to the festival's atmosphere.  Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative.   Various sights to see at the Woodford Folk Festival which includes the fun-loving people who participate in adding different characters and variations to the festival's atmosphere.  Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative.   Various sights to see at the Woodford Folk Festival which includes the fun-loving people who participate in adding different characters and variations to the festival's atmosphere.  Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative. Various sights to see at the Woodford Folk Festival which includes the fun-loving people who participate in adding different characters and variations to the festival's atmosphere.  Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative.
Various sights to see at the Woodford Folk Festival which includes the fun-loving people who participate in adding different characters and variations to the festival atmosphere. (directly above and below)
Various sights to see at the Woodford Folk Festival which includes the fun-loving people who participate in adding different characters and variations to the festival's atmosphere.  Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative.   Various sights to see at the Woodford Folk Festival which includes the fun-loving people who participate in adding different characters and variations to the festival's atmosphere.  Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative.   Various sights to see at the Woodford Folk Festival which includes the fun-loving people who participate in adding different characters and variations to the festival's atmosphere.  Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative.   Various sights to see at the Woodford Folk Festival which includes the fun-loving people who participate in adding different characters and variations to the festival's atmosphere.  Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative.
 

Article and photos by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative 12/1/07

Associated article click on:  Woodford Folk Festival 2007/8

 

The Woodford Folk Festival website  www.woodfordfolkfestival.com

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