The Woodford Folk Festival is so much more than just music. It can be an immersive participatory theatre engaging with roving thespians as they perform on street corners, all forming a network of interrelated experiences festival patrons are captivated by. This year, Goat Track Theatre has fielded 8 Gold Coasters, led by Louise and Andrew Wright and their talented team, in a primarily avian-themed concept. All manner of bird life – magpies, bush turkeys, galahs, kookaburras and lyrebirds – move around the festival in flocks to the delight of Woodfordians. The kookaburras trade jokes with patrons, offering the stereotypical bird laugh regardless of the quality of the joke. Each bird delivers its unique qualities in theatrical style, particularly captivating children stimulating their sense of wonder.
Liam Owen-Jones, a first time Woodford performer, remarked on the platform for young actors.
“It’s a great environment because Woodford seems so open to theatre as part of their festival experience. The whole place is a theatre. The team I’m with are loving our first Woodford.”
But back to the music… highlights on Day 2 and 3 included Irish Mythen’s festival return, her Irish/Canadian sense of fun and political insight resonating with the growing daily crowds. Gold Coasters might remember Irish from her Festival of Small Halls performances in the Springbrook and Mudgeeraba in 2016.
The Cat Empire Amphitheatre set was amazing. A dozen exceptional musicians, jamming on stage to tunes well known, and new rhythms designed to ruin any thought of sitting still, entertained the masses under the stars until late. Harry and Felix’s crews almost two hours on stage was fuel for festival goers, who flocked to other venues like Bluestown and the Pineapple Lounge to party the night away. At Bluestown, The Big Ilch brought funk, hip hop and reggae vibes to their crowd who were stacking chairs back to make more room. Gold Coast party band Burger Joint filled the Pineapple Lounge (to be fair, the infamous Champine also draws in quite the crowd). Rumour has it that during a moment in the set, a machete juggler was introduced to perform while G writhed on the floor mid-guitar solo, to concerned looks from T-Bone (a solo drummer might not have as much appeal as the duo, were machetes misplaced midair).
So ended another few Woodford days. Our second wind is around the corner.
HEADER IMAGE Goat Track Theatre (c) FishFilms