WOODFORD FOLK FESTIVAL
About the festival
Woodford Folk Festival is the largest annual not-for-profit arts and music festival of its kind in Australia, showcasing 2000-plus artists, musicians and presenters in over 400 acts, across 25 venues to an estimated aggregate attendance of 125,000 people. The festival showcases the depth and diversity of Australia’s cultural, artistic and social expression with music, dance, cabaret, circus, comedy, workshops, debate, street theatre, films, forums, visual arts, an entire children's festival and many special presentations, including a spectacle Fire Event on New Year’s Day.
The Woodford festival organisers aim to create a deep, rich and colourful experience for its patrons – a veritable feast for the senses. It is based on a vision for an inclusive and creative community, which fosters the growth of cultures and traditions through generations expressed through story and ceremony. This is exemplified by the large-scale spectacle theatre at the Welcome Ceremony, and the Festival’s flagship closing ceremony, the Fire Event.
The festival’s home, Woodfordia, is a one hour drive north-west of Brisbane. The 500-acre property has been developed into a cultural parkland dedicated to the arts, humanities and lore. Woodfordia has infrastructure to accommodate a live-in population of 25,000 people and has been lovingly regenerated with 110,000 subtropical rainforest trees, orchids, ferns and sedges planted to create habitat for butterflies and wildlife. 2680 volunteers across 162 departments are at the heart of the organisation and contribute to the setup and day-to-day running of the festival.
A diverse array of professional images and artist bios are available for download.
Woodford Folk Festival Official Media Photo Stream:
Artist Images for Woodford Folk Festival 2019/20 available from October 12 2019:
2019/20 Programme Highlights
Speakers & Word Comedy
Folklines, Circus, Dance & Street
Woodford Folk Festival celebrates its 34th year with an ambitious programme in 2019. Continuing its reputation for blending tradition with discovery, Woodford Folk Festival brings together music, art, circus, cabaret, yoga, dance, comedy and ceremony in its latest programme.
Woodford has a strong reputation internationally as an important event for emerging artists from Australia and overseas, and it aims to continue the trend this year. The collection of quality entertainment and diverse cultural experiences has come to be expected by the patrons, volunteers and artists who travel across the country and around the globe on their annual pilgrimage to Woodfordia, the Festival’s home.
With the festival being the largest gathering of artists and musicians in Australia, it encompasses many genres and art forms. The programme reflects the broad demographic which consist of young party-goers, music lovers, families, community leaders, educators, students, entrepreneurs, artists, environmentalists, politicians, retired professionals and people of all kinds who find something to love and be part of at Woodford. From the 25,000-seat Amphitheatre to the more intimate experiences, such as visual arts workshops and letter writing, the programme aims to create a great experience for everyone.
The Programme Booklet
The Programme Booklet is an essential guide to the festival. The uniquely designed, 136-page colour booklet is not only full of information but presents the philosophy, spirit and vibrancy of the festival, containing biographies and information about artists, performers, musicians, dance groups, speakers and other festival participants.
Programme booklets are proudly printed on 100% recycled paper and are available from mid-October through postal order from the Woodfordia office, festival website, or through selected retailers throughout the country.
Directions & Transport
The Woodford Festival Site is easily accessible by car and public transport from Brisbane. Special bus services run between the site and Caboolture Railway Station. Commencing on December 26 and ending January 2, this service costs $15 each way. See www.woodfordfolkfestival.com for the bus timetable and more information.
Woodford Folk Festival is held at Woodfordia, on Woodrow Rd, Woodford, South East Queensland. The festival site is 5km from the town of Woodford, and just over a one hour drive north west of Brisbane or 45 minutes south west of the Sunshine Coast.
The Festival Grounds
The Woodford Folk Festival is a temporary village with infrastructure to accommodate 25,000 patrons per day. It boasts 25 performance venues plus nine within the Children's Festival, as well as The Village Green and Chill Hill, which offers a shady resting spot. Interestingly, all of the festival infrastructure but one venue (the Halcyon) and the toilet blocks is built in the 16 days leading up to the festival by hardworking, enthusiastic volunteers. It is all then disassembled in the 10 days after the festival, leaving barely a trace on the picturesque festival grounds.
Dotted around the site are 195 stalls including bars, cafes, restaurants, crafts, clothing, merchandise, information stalls, an on-site doctor's surgery and two general stores. The stalls create economic opportunities for small local and interstate businesses well beyond the six-day festival, and offer a smorgasbord of craft and culinary delight for our patrons. There are also nine campgrounds with 223 named streets surrounding all corners of the festival.
Woodfordia has a long commitment to practicing environmental sustainability. Woodfordia has a 'closed loop' water and wastewater management practice with permanent installation of onsite water and grey water treatment facilities. The festival maintains high levels of recycling and onsite composting innovations and provides a diverse, educative and environmental programme of events over the six nights and days. From tree planting, to installing nesting boxes and butterfly habitats, Woodfordia has transformed dramatically since its days as a dairy farm.
The festival attracts a demographically diverse audience of all ages. Interestingly, 44.9% of patrons come from the management and professional sector, and 61.8% have completed or are currently enrolled in some form of post-secondary education. Most significantly, the festival has high return visitation, with 71% of those surveyed being repeat visitors with an average visitation of 6.3 times. Of those who have previously visited the festival, 70.7% said they were likely or very likely to come back the following year.
The 2016/17 Visitor Survey has revealed that the top attendance motivators are learning and culture, followed by ‘party and friends’, and ‘family and entertainment’. Festival atmosphere has consistently been the most highly rated aspect of the event. The survey’s request of a one-word summation of the Woodford experience regularly evokes responses of: joyful, magical, rejuvenating, inspiring, stimulating, diverse, eclectic, uplifting & wonderful.
Patrons travel from all over the country, and some internationally, to attend the festival. The 2016/17 festival attracted an aggregate audience of over 132,000 of which 90.6% were visiting the area specifically to attend the festival. Of these event related visitors, 61.7% were from Queensland whilst nearly 35% were from interstate. The festival also attracted an additional 3.8% of patrons coming from overseas (predominantly the UK, Germany, New Zealand, and USA). Full information about visitor demographics can be requested from the festival office
Woodford has a strong tradition of volunteering. The festival relies heavily on the magnificent support of volunteers. Many volunteers are veterans of several festivals, however each year 40% of volunteers are new, joining the community of giving and becoming a festival contributor.
Many volunteers and contractors work throughout December to build the festival and service its needs during the event before dismantling the temporary infrastructure within 10 days after the event. During the festival, volunteers work to ensure the site runs smoothly and festival patrons are well looked after. From answering the phone to serving a drink, the volunteers provide much of the festival atmosphere. Like the patrons, festival volunteers come from all walks of life (from retirees to students, medical professionals and valued tradies) and many from around the world.
A Brief History of Woodford Folk Festival
Proving the adage, 'from little things big things grow', the Woodford Folk Festival started as a small event in Maleny, Queensland. Produced by the newly incorporated Queensland Folk Federation, the first Maleny Folk Festival commenced on March 13, 1987 at the local showgrounds, and attracted 900 people. But even with its small turnout, the festival organisers had a big dream of what a folk festival could be. This vision of an inclusive, creative and inspiring community, which would foster the growth of cultures and traditions through generations, has remained an underlying motivation for Woordfordia Inc (formerly Queensland Folk Federation) in producing the Woodford Folk Festival.
The festival at Maleny grew rapidly and, in eight years, it was receiving attendances of more than 50,000 people. As the festival developed, it outgrew the site at Maleny and, by 1993, the organisers were looking for a new home. A 240-acre site at Woodford was purchased in 1994. In 16 weeks, organisers built a 16 mega-litre dam, water tanks and a water treatment plant, installed underground water services and 2 km of sewerage lines, quarried road-base and constructed 6km of roads. They also installed underground communications to each venue, built bridges, constructed four amenity blocks, pathways and designed a layout and plan for the festival.
One of the extraordinary things about Woodford Folk Festival is the organisation which produces the event – a non-profit community group has developed the site from a dairy farm to a festival precinct with one of Australia’s largest camping grounds. Woodford was the first festival to do this in Australia and, indeed, the first festival in the world to own its own land. Being caretakers of a large block of land has affirmed the organisers' long-term aims for sustainability and enriching growth.
Over the past 24 years at Woodford, festival organisers have made many improvements to the site that now boasts a revolutionary Wastewater Treatment Plant, 55 permanent amenity blocks, all weather roads, landscaped festival precinct areas, permanent electrical reticulation, large water storage capacity, and underground water reticulation and communication installations.
Is now its 34th festival
Is the largest gathering of artists and performers of its kind in Australia
Becomes the 67th largest town in Australia during festival period
Presents over 400 distinct acts with more than 2000 artists, performers and presenters
Presents over 2410 hours of performances in 1,314 shows - if all acts were strung end-to-end would it would run for 101 continuous days - that's 301 working days, or over 60 working weeks!
Has an aggregate attendance of approximately 125,000 over the 6-day event
Covers more than 13,888m2 with tents and structures for its venues
Provides 200 retail spaces to 200 small business and individuals
Local Incorporated Community Groups both fundraise and network at the festivals, allowing the opportunity to educate and articulate the group’s aims and objectives.
Spreads across 1,030,000m2 of land for the Festival Village, camping and cars
Has a closed loop water system – all water for the festival is collected on site and treated in a revolutionary wastewater treatment plant, the recycled water is used for irrigation
71% of the audience are repeat visitors
Is intergenerational with as many as four generations of one family onsite at the same time
Uses about a million litres of water per day with 335 water saving shower nozzles, and 141 basins and other tap facilities
Uses 50,368 recycled toilet rolls (that’s more than 1,000kms) in 466 toilets
Has 223 named streets in Season and Overnight camping – walk along Wotta Way, or take a drive down Mohammed Alley!
Bars serve more than 21,385 pints and 65,760 cans of beer over the course of the festival, but adult patrons on average drinks less than two drinks per day.
Erects around 2500 signs throughout the site - Way To Go!
Recycles 6.76 tonnes of cardboard and 43.38 tonnes of co-mingled recyclable waste
Has planted more than 110,000 trees and 600 species on the festival site since 1994
Fills more than 300 different positions in 162 departments with over 2600 volunteers.
New Features of Woodford Folk Festival This Year
All Media representatives wishing to attend the festival in a professional capacity will need to apply for Media Accreditation. Media applications are open online at www.woodfordfolkfestival.com/media from the 12th October 2019.
There are three types of Media application (details of which can be found on the website):
Media Accreditation: For members of the press – print media, photo, radio, TV, online, film and news agencies. Applications need to include contact details of the editor, general manager or chief of staff of the media organization they represent.
Freelance Accreditation: Independent journalists, photographers, website managers, filmmakers etc. who are intending to publish material from the festival. Please note that Freelance Accreditation does not include any complimentary tickets.
Student Accreditation: Students of Universities and TAFEs who wish to cover the festival as part of their communications studies. Student Accreditation does not include complimentary tickets and students are required to attend a media protocol induction at the Media Centre on the festival site before the pass can be issued.
Accreditation will be assessed upon the following:
1. Completed online accreditation application (one application per person).
2. Supplied contact details of Chief of Staff, Editor or General Manager.
3. Copies of 2 x previously published materials, no less than 4 months old.
4. Outline of commitment to any available pre-festival coverage in the lead up to the Woodford Folk Festival between 17th October (programme launched) through to 27 December (Festival Begins).
Media representatives will require photo ID to collect tickets and media passes. All media must register with the Media Centre upon arrival onsite. In addition to giving you your media pass so that you will be recognised by staff, security and patrons as a media representative, the Media Centre provides valuable facilities such as interview arrangements with performers, access to communications technology and power, not to mention a nice cup of tea.
The chiefs of staff of major newspapers and television channels covering the festival on a day by day and changing staff basis are asked to make contact with the festival Media Contact pre-festival and the Media Centre during the festival, so that appropriate arrangements can be made for news crews (i.e. access onto site whether by company vehicle or helicopter). The Media Centre phone contacts will be made known in the week before the festival.
Material for WFF consumption and archives
The Woodford Folk Festival will utilise current published articles to re-share on social media channels when available. Please tag the WFF to notify of publication via @woodfordfolkfestival, #woodfordia #wff2019 #imagineabeautifulfuture
The Woodford Folk Festival greatly appreciates receiving copies of material from broadcast and publication. Please send any published material to or to the postal address below.