Get ready for Woodford from December 26.

Ready for colourful fun.

A perennial in the Australian festival calendar for 36-years, the iconic Woodford Folk Festival has another massive program planned for this year.

As always, the schedule is full of diversity, quality and expression of the cultural zeitgeist. The Woodford Folk Festival is a week-long celebration of incredible creative depth and cultural diversity.

It’s a place where lawyer, academic and Indigenous policy advisor Noel Pearson, takes to the stage to address festival-goers while 50 metres away, DeJa Voodo hosts Juju Jungle, a mesmerising menagerie of marvels where cabaret meets mind-bending art; where multiple Walkley-Award winning journalist Tracey Spicer AM warns of the bigotry embedded in AI technology while Australia’s Queen of Burlesque, Imogen Kelly runs a talk and workshop on breast health and burlesque; where Federal Arts Minister Tony Burke discusses the magic of art while Austral teach Irish dance steps, and where Dr Karl lectures on great moments in science while artists like Regurgitator rev a crowd up to fever pitch. It’s also where beloved Gardening Australia host Costa Georgiadis hops off stage at the biggest venue onsite to grab a snack before jumping up later that night with his party band, The More Please Orchestra.

“We see the end of the year – Woodford time – as a time for revelling and reckoning, for recreating ourselves and gathering hope and goodwill around us to bring into a new year. We do this, along with our community, by inviting intelligent debate, creating diverse opportunities for reflection, and fuelling brilliant celebration,” explains Festival Director, Woodfordia’s Managing Director and CoFounder, Amanda Jackes.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the annual Woodford Folk Festival will usher in the new year with an inspiring celebration of arts, culture and community bringing together diverse artists, speakers and audiences.

“The much-loved Woodford Folk Festival is a highlight on our state’s cultural calendar, showcasing the exceptional work of local, national and international artists and inviting audiences to participate in rich conversations, workshops and ceremonies.”

“The Queensland Government supports Woodfordia to realise the key priorities of our Creative Together 2020-2030 roadmap including elevating First Nations arts, sharing our stories and celebrating our storytellers, and activating local spaces and places.”

“Events like the Woodford Folk Festival reinforce Queensland’s reputation as a cultural tourism destination, generating positive social and economic outcomes, and showcasing our unique arts, cultures and stories as we look to the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games when our cultural identity will be celebrated on the global stage.”

Household names include first time visitor, Ben Lee, who, alongside his regular stage show is also dropping a DJ set as DJ DadBod. Locals will love the Brisbane-centric line up of Resin Dogs, the aforementioned Regurgitator and Custard, as well as the massive AFRO DIZZI ACT all-star show. Voices you’ll recognise from television also have a strong presence – Karise Eden (The Voice) and producers of the woodford folk festival, the planting, festival of small halls and lake gkula camping Isaiah Firebrace (The X Factor Australia, Eurovision – Australia Decides) are well-known to fans, but both first time visitors to the festival.

A cavalcade of incredible musicians and returning artists are set for the festival’s biggest stages, including Kasey Chambers, Kate Miller-Heidke, ARIA nominee Mo’Ju, Yirrmal, FourPlay String Quartet, Leah Flanagan, and Wanderers. They will be joined by quickly rising stars and Woodfordian first timers like Go-Jo, Odette, A.Girl, Haiku Hands, Bumpy, Aya Ives, Steph Strings, Loretta, Late November and Felicity Urquhart and Josh Cunningham (The Waifs). International visitors The East Pointers (Canada) are returning to their Australian ‘home’ to Woodfordia after the immeasurable loss of their banjo player, Koady Chaisson, for three huge shows.

Woodford also welcomes Colours in the Street (Alex Colours), Cécile Lacharme and Hugo Barriol for the first dates of their Australian tour.

“Because we’re open to expressions of interest, there’s a sense that the programme is creating itself each year,” adds Program Manager, Courtney Wild.

One program where this is evident is the Talks and Ideas program. Indigenous representation has always been a foundation of Woodfordia and this is evident with powerful speakers and presenters such as Noel Pearson, Linda Burney MP, Leeanne Enoch MP, Lyndon Murphy, Mary Graham and Morgan Brigg who are raising their voices in conversation and debate. Rhoda Roberts AO presents her perennially popular series, Ancient Culture, New Conversations, in which she explores artist’s creative work and cultural experience – this year: Yirrmal; Charlie Needs Braces; Isaiah Firebrace and Dr Shellie Morris AO. Sharing the experiences and culture of remote Australia, Dr Shellie Morris AO and the Borooloola Cultural Songwomen sing to maintain and revive Indigenous languages, and The Traditional Healing Women of North East Arnhemland visit to share important cultural traditions, a huge undertaking and important part of this year’s event.

Functioning art gallery and laundromat The Blak Laundry is activated by Libby Harward and Dominique Chen, and revolves around a simple concept: bring your dirty linen, pop it on a warm wash, and engage in critical conversation whilst it cleans.Traditional Custodian and Jinibara delegate to the festival, Uncle Noel Blair releases his autobiography, Man on a Mission, after popping down to meet this year’s crop of Woodfordian kids at the eight venue Children’s Festival.

If you’ve never been to the Woodford Folk Festival, you won’t understand how program like morning Hilltop and Village Green yoga and tai-chi sessions, and a full program of cultural dance and movement classes can exist alongside sparkling circus and rambunctious cabaret explosions from the Cirque and Parlour venues (this year includes – Head First Acrobatics, Betty Grumble, the 3rd year of the Queer Ball, Imogen Kelly, The Birdmann and Egg, Dr Hubble’s Bubbles, Kaput, Backbone Young Creators, Rema: To Emit Light – the premiere of a collaboration between Rako Pasifika, Rindi Harradine and Chelsea McGuffin Productions – and more).

It won’t be 100 per cent clear how the strings of fiddles, guitars and mandolins ring out constantly in sessions at The Craic while the beloved Pineapple Lounge hosts crams nine-piece band onto a stage made for three and dances the night away with hours of some of the best local DJs. How can Woodfordia’s streets be constantly alive with giant puppets like The Elder and Emir,stilt-walkers, fantastical creatures and ambassadors from other lands producers of the woodford folk festival, the planting, festival of small halls and lake gkula camping (The Fae, created by Folly Games) while Robin Clayfield’s ceremony builders lovingly tend visitors walking The Sacred Union Labyrinth in quiet contemplation?

The Woodford Folk Festival program is available online along with all the information needed on how to do Woodford here: https://woodfordfolkfestival.com/programme Buy tickets to this year’s Woodford Folk Festival here: https://woodfordfolkfestival.com/tickets/ Demand for hiring on-site tents with bedding has grown, and bookings for these are filling quickly.

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