Woodford Folk Festival: day three reflections

Coconut Bircher with fresh strawberries and watermelon. Man, what a great start! Yum. Such a variety of delicious food at this little shindig makes for a different taste for every day!

Timberwolf kicked off the music schedule for the day at the Grande, with his provocative hip-shaking melancholic, almost Jeff Buckley-esque, tunes. Picked up his EP for $10 as well. Bargain. Snuck in a coffee at Common Ground with the Gold Coast-based Circus Stars owner, Kristy Seymour, to hear a bit about her 2016 and the work she’s doing on her PhD recording the history of circus in Australia, and the circus therapy programming she’s putting together to help parents and kids affected by autism spectrum disorder and Aspergers. Another Gold Coaster changing the world!
Possibly the highlight of my day was a surprise. Darren Percival’s “Men’s Singing Session” was a simple concept but there’s something strangely spiritual about raising your voice with a group of other men. It’s been a while since I’ve sung anywhere other than in the car or shower so the experience of singing an African meditation with a bunch of strangers, and laughing along, was more than memorable.
The day’s music schedule filled up with Tinpan Orange (and Emily Lubitz’s Joe Cocker hands), Canada’s The East Pointers (who replayed their cover of Sia’s Chandelier to wild applause) and the almost conversational Scott Cook (who was much more bittersweet than depressing and sang a lovely little ditty about an unwanted pipeline in northern Canada).
Kate McDonald’s Inaugural Annual Dance Affair debuted at Bleach* Festival on the Gold Coast this year to rave reviews. The participatory dancehall theatre experience was again impressive here at Woodford and punters, including myself, loved it. It’s a great advertisement for the Gold Coast’s thriving cultural scene when a performance like Kate’s Dance Affair is met with such support and engagement from festival crowds. I spoke to mum Sharon and her daughters Jasmin and Tilia, who had travelled all the way from Innisfail to visit Woodford;
“We thought it’d be fun to have a dance together. What fun! We’ve never really thought of the Gold Coast as a cultural city… but wow.”
I snuck a quick beer in at one of the Cheap Fakes many gigs, watching Scotty French at his energetic best on stage, and then set out for the Ampitheatre. Fourplay’s cover of Rage Against The Machine’s Killing in the Name Of will possibly rate as the best cover of the festival, particular since they’re a string quartet. Yes, a string quartet. Amplified. Oh my.
Michael Franti was at his engaging best. Overcoming some considerable plectrum adhesive issues and fold back positioning issues while still keeping people jumping, Franti’s friendly style and positive vibe was addictive. Everywhere, and every age of patron, were bopping and grooving away. There was even a moment when Franti jumped into the crowd and walked to the hill highfiving and hugging the crowd, in true Woodford spirit. His first gig ever at Woodford was surely memorable, and I must say it was truly exciting to see the effervescent reigning Gold Coast Music Champion award winner Polly Snowden (pictured onsite with Michael Franti) flitting about on stage during sound check and pre-performance, videoing and cheerleading from behind the curtain. Another proud Gold Coast moment at this beautiful festival.

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