Organisers Relieved as Woodford Folk Festival Shines Through a Stormy Year07-Jan-2012
As the tents come down and the Volunteer crews gradually depart, the Woodford Folk Festival organisers are feeling a great sense of relief with the results of the festival.
Festival Director, Bill Hauritz commented ‘We were nervous, ticket sales were well down in the lead up, we were attacked on social media about Santos’ funding for The Dreaming and by a well orchestrated and funded campaign against vaccination speaker Meryl Dorey’s inclusion on the program, we were on our last legs financially and the weather needed to be good if we were to survive.’
With perfect weather conditions for the festival, clear skies and cool temperatures the festival attracted an aggregate attendance of 95,000 people over the 6 days with the box office totalling $4.3M.
‘One thing for sure, I can safely announce after such a rough year, is that there will be a Woodford Folk Festival at the end of the year.’ said Hauritz to a cheering audience at the Director’s Report on the last day of the festival.
The festival featured over 2500 performers, including 65 from Canada, performing across 21
The Dreaming festival was held alongside the Woodford Folk Festival this year, due to storm damage on site in January. The Queensland Folk Federation are hoping that The Dreaming will return as a stand-alone event in May 2013. “The survival of The Dreaming will depend on the festival attracting long term funding partners.’ said Hauritz
Organisers have already commenced planning for The Planting festival over the May 2012 long weekend, with the aim to create a significant environmentally themed event with an interesting variety of workshops, a Children’s festival, music, ceremony, and to plant 4,300 trees sponsored by the Woodford audience at the recent festival.
The Garbology department has composted 20 tonnes of green waste from the festival and laid it on Woodfordia’s compost facility, ready to use during The Planting in May. Hauritz said ‘This festival would not exist if people didn’t give to it and this year has been no exception. The contribution by Volunteers was outstanding with Vollywood covering 303 shifts during the festival and a total of 1989 festival volunteers completing11,934 shifts. Our youngest volunteer was 14 and our oldest was 80, with a league of nations represented on our setup crew, including Germans, Canadians, Kiwis, Italians, Scots, Irish, English, American, Venezuelan, Portuguese, Slovenian, French, Danish, Polish, Russian and Tasmanian.’
Hauritz complimented the patrons ‘I don’t believe there is a festival in the world as lucky as the Woodford Folk Festival is to have the audience it does. Our performers consistently talk about the generosity of the audience and again on my drive around the site on the 2ndJanuary there was not a piece of rubbish to be seen in the campgrounds. The 3 Minutes of Silence on New Years Eve was beautifully observed and respected and to top it off festival security reported the quietest and best festival ever.’