One of the popular Woodford Folk Festival wellness sessions.
One of the popular Woodford Folk Festival wellness sessions.

Woodford bash putting positive spin on future

With more than 1600 shows across 25 stages, the 2019 Woodford Folk Festival (December 27 to January 1) is all about imagining a beautiful future to counteract some of the current negative rhetoric.

"Woodford Folk Festival aims to create a platform where artists, speakers, comedians and scholars can profess their views in the ancient troubadour traditions," says festival director Bill Hauritz.

"It's about the here and the now, where we come from and visualising a clearer path to our future.

"It's through these artists, their spirit, their words and their passion that we can together discover our beautiful future."

The 145-page program for the six-day event includes performances, workshops and talks.

"Woodford's been around for 34 years, and so organisers who started the festival are now in their 60s, so it makes sense that many of the patrons are too," says Woodfordia head of programming Chloe Goodyear.

"The festival is very conscious of the broad demographic of attendees each year, but Woodford is a cultural celebration that transcends age. The programming team don't program Woodford with ages in mind, more different people, different tastes.

"Festival organisers don't think your age dictates your taste in music or entertainment. It certainly doesn't dictate the way you dance!"

This year some of the bugbears have been addressed with upgrades to internal transport and traffic arrangements.

The 2019 event also marks the start of what is set to become a new Woodfordian tradition. Bathing for Change will see two festival participants win one of two chances to enjoy the luxury of fresh towels and clean pyjamas after they sink into a deep tub full of Dr Bronner's bath scents on January 1. The Lord and Lady of Bath will have the pleasure of starting the year squeaky clean and smelling divine.

Money raised by the event will support the replanting of rainforests in Borneo.

The program includes returnees include Kate Miller-Heidke, Harry Manx, Electric Fields and Archie Roach. The line-up of speakers and panel discussions features Dr Karl and Leigh Sales interviewing Michael Gudinski. Tickets at woodfordfolkfestival.com/tickets.


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