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Woodford Folk Festival Will Finally Return This Summer for Its First End-of-Year Fest in Three Years

Mark December 27–January 1 in your diary — southeast Queensland's huge end-of-year festival is back.
By Sarah Ward
May 17, 2022
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By Sarah Ward
May 17, 2022
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If you haven't made the December pilgrimage to southeast Queensland's Woodford Folk Festival at least once, have you truly celebrated the end of the year to the fullest in Australia? No, no you haven't. Due to the pandemic, however, that hasn't been an option for the past few years — but the beloved festival has confirmed its return to see out 2022 and welcome in 2023.

Mark December 27–January 1 in your diary, and prepare to catch a heap of bands, wander between arts performances and get a little muddy. Exactly who'll be playing the fest, which takes place about 90 minutes north of Brisbane, hasn't yet been revealed. But the 2019–20 fest boasted Lior, Horrorshow, The Herd, Kate Miller-Heidke, Electric Fields, Emma Louise, Archie Roach with Paul Grabrowsky, and Kasey Chambers, which gives you an idea of the kind of mix of artists that's usually on the bill.

Also typically part of the Woodford experience: over 2000 artists putting on more than 1600 shows across the festival's 25 stages, in venues that range from a 25,000-seat amphitheatre to chilled-out hangout spots.

Exactly what this year's figures will hit also hasn't been advised as yet, but this is never a small-scale fest. Indeed, announcing the event's return, Woodford General Manager Amanda Jackes advised that "over the past two years, Woodfordia organisers have delivered 1372 shows with 1032 artists over eight national tours and eight multi-day events, to an audience of 20,000 with overnight visitation totalling 50,192. To put this into context, as only one event, Woodford Folk Festival hosts 1800 shows across 25 stages featuring 2800 individual artists and performers to an aggregate audience of 132,000 with overnight visitation totalling 222,356."

Beyond the numbers — yes, Woodford is massive — Founder and Director Bill Hauritz said that "this year will see the festival built from the ground up with new ideas, new programming, a new layout but always maintaining the festival tradition of the key corner stones of what has made it so successful for a long period of time."

"In the past we have spent a lot of time planning, sometimes two and three years ahead, which we've been unable to do during COVID times," he continued. "Instead, we've been creative in the space and using the time to both restructure our organisation, always making improvements to our considerable systems."

The festival will once again take over its Woodfordia parklands base, which now boasts a lake — and is in the process of getting 20 permanent glamping tents installed.

And, as always, the fest's lineup will span everything from music, art, circus and cabaret to yoga, dance and comedy again, plus spoken word, comedy, workshops, bars, cafes and restaurants.

If you're already keen to buy tickets, they're expected to go on sale in mid-June.

The 2022–23 Woodford Folk Festival will run from December 27, 2022–January 1, 2023 at Woodfordia on the Sunshine Coast. For more information, head to woodfordfolkfestival.com

Images: Woodford Folk Festival via Flickr.

Published on May 17, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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