The first day of Woodford had all the ingredients one expects from a delicious festival like this one. Some great music, yummy food, some rain to wash away the dust and dilute the responsible beers, and so much love. Love everywhere. Some dude even lent me $50 until the ATMs opened for the day. Martin = Kindness Champion.
Juzzie Smith’s one man band vibes kicked off my day, and he packed out the Bluestown tent encouraging everyone to adopt the fun-loving relaxed life he loves from his Ocean Shores home. Juggling while percussing was a highlight. Juzzie has mad dexterity skills.
My cheerleading for Gold Coast linked acts continued with the tropical vibes of The Bella Fontes who sing about coconuts and pineapples and other lovely Carribbean experiences. The familiar smiling face of Nadia Sunde beams out into the bar and reminds me of home and the Bleach* Festival.
Wyatt Roy MP, Seb Eckersley-Maslin and Monica Bradley delivered a panel session on innovation, and discussion of changes to bankruptcy law and tech startups provided a stark contrast to the chilled music emanating from tents around the grounds. The beauty of Woodford Folk Festival is that diversity of entertainment and the participatory atmosphere from the speaking sessions. Unique.
The Jeff Buckley-esque Timberwolf was impressive and might be my day’s highlight amongst those acts I hadn’t heard before. A new album is on the way and will be worth checking out. The homecoming for the Festival of Small Halls was a beautiful little gig and saw a hundred or so patrons amongst the thousands of Woodfordians pack into the little themed country hall tent. Irish Mythen and the Starboard Cannons did not disappoint.
The welcome ceremony’s poignancy was partly stymied by a torrential downpour, but it wouldn’t be Woodford without a cleansing rain to accompany the cleansing ales. A quick wardrobe change ensued as the clouds parted and while the crowds remained thin at the Ampitheatre for Josh Pyke, his classic ballads were still perfect for an evening singalong.
We snuck in Bearfoot, a Sunny Coast reggae act, before catching the fantastic Tijuana Cartel with Paul George’s fingerpicking good middle-eastern and Latin stylings over some fine dance beats. I’m a convert.
All of a sudden it was 2.00am. Everyone was very well behaved and headed back to wet tents for a responsible night’s sleep. Well, that was the story we worked out. Bring on day two.