Each year Woodford Folk Festival brings for me a mix of new music and established musicians I love, in a village of delicious food, amongst intellectual conversation about the society we live in, and often in a meeting of dust and mud specially unique to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.
This year I’m excited to be writing about the festival, not just as a lover of music and advocate of all things Gold Coast but as a dad initiating his three sons for the first family camping trip at a festival.
At eight, six,and four years of age they’re as excited as I, and as Boxing Day arrived we perused the schedule and came up with five anticipated highlights for Gold Coast family visitors in advance.
- The Children’s Festival
Woodford has for many years crafted the very best in kids entertainment in a dedicated precinct at their festival, making it the best of the music events for families who love the indie experience. This year, Dancing Dragon Puppets and Nearly Normal Norman accompany Cedric Irving’s Mighty Juggling Show and Grandma’s Magic Story Quilt to build an impressive schedule expected to be memorable for my kids first Woodford as engaged participants.
- Wednesday’s Welcome Ceremony, followed by The East Pointers and John Butler
My sons have been cutting a rug to the traditional Celtic Folk shenanigans of The East Pointers since I enjoyed a dance at Bleach 2017 in Mudgeeraba’s Memorial Hall. They’re back at the festival supporting John Butler, and my sons are pumped. Wednesday night is gonna be a great night.
- Saturday night’s Kate Miller Heidke set
The operatic pop songstress Kate has already been announced for Festival 2018, the cultural accompaniment to the 2017 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, and we’re looking forward to hearing her latest at Woodford as one of the headliners.
- The Gold Coast connections
A country duo, partially hailing from Banora Point – Little Georgia – showcase themselves at the big Woodford dance this year. Little Georgia are one of a few lesser known acts with links to the Goldie that we can’t wait to show our support for, checking them out and cheering. Another is the Scrims who, as the Scrimshaw Four, impressed many at Buskers By The Creek a few moons back – taking out the Battle of The Buskers and then recording at Love Street Studios. The Cheap Fakes, featuring GC staple Scotty French, along with the Small Halls reunion will also be must sees for us.
- Holy Holy
Finally, I’m proud that my eight year old son has developed a thirst for the tunes of my current fave outfit, Holy Holy. While we can’t establish any significant southern Queensland beach links (other than reminiscing about their incredible set at elsewhere a few years back), my young man is so excited about his green light for a 9.30pm set on Friday, staying up way past his bedtime hopefully for the most memorable set of his little life thus far. Can. Not. Wait.
Of course, the beauty of Woodford is the unknown musicians, the spontaneous crafternoons, or the surprise processions of puppets through the streets stopping you in your tracks. The sights and sounds of this year’s event will be etched in my memories and that of my sons, so I hope, for many years to come.
You can still buy tickets online for this year’s Woodford, but please remember no tickets are available at the gate.