Celebrating its 32nd year with a vibrant and ambitious programme in 2017, the Woodford Folk Festival welcomes a record number of new acts who have never performed at Woodford before, a testimony to the festival’s long-running theme of exciting new discovery.
The largest annual not-for-profit arts and music festival of its kind in Australia, showcasing more than 2000 artists, musicians and presenters in almost 400 acts, across 25 venues, 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 spectacular Fire Event on New Year’s Day.
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, there is something to be found for everyone. Highlights this year include: John Butler, Kate Miller-Heidke, The Beautiful Girls, Husky, Holy Holy, The East Pointers, The Babe Rainbow, Jan Van de Stool, San Lazaro, My Little Havana Cuban Dance, ree of Forgotten Dreams, and Strange Fruit.
The festival will also feature Timberwolf, Montaigne, Mama Kin Spender, Vaudeville Smash, The Hi-Boys, Cheap Fakes, Molsky’s Mountain Drifters, The Small Glories, Baker Boy, Apakatjah, The Railsplitters, Joanna Wallfisch, AMISTAT, Tinpan Orange, Sampa The Great, My Bubba, Lior & Paul Grabowsky, and POW Negro!
A meeting of the minds, the Talks Programme has always been an important part of the festival. This year’s diverse range of guests include John Butler, Ramy Essam, Fanny Douvere, Dion McCurdy, Elham Day, Festival Director Bill Hauritz, Namita Mehta, Rhoda Roberts AO, Sandeep Gupta, Scott Ludlam, Tracey Spicer, Yasmin Khan, Wendybird, Wil Thomas, Heather Shearer, Darren Percival, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and former Prime Minister, Bob Hawke.
The festival experience is deep, rich and colourful – a veritable feast for the senses. It is based on the vision of an inclusive and creative community, which fosters the growth of cultures and traditions through generations and is expressed through story and ceremony – an opportunity to reflect, remember and re-create our connection with the physical and non-physical environments and with each other. When ceremony meets tradition, our hearts erupt in silent fireworks.
From dance and ritual on the Village Green through to the tiny flames, shelter together in the shared 3 Minutes of Silence on New Year’s Eve, to the great gathering in the Amphitheatre at the Fire Event. Rituals and traditions give us moments that make us laugh, make us gasp, make us hold our breath, and might make us take each other’s hands for the coming year.
The 2017 Woodford Folk Festival starts today (27 December) and continues through to 1 January 2018. For more information and complete program, visit: www.woodfordfolkfestival.com for details.
Image: Fire Event at the 2016 Woodford Folk Festival (supplied)