Woodford Folk Festival is back!

Published 14 June 2022

Image of Woodford Folk Festival

The Woodford Folk Festival has found its groove again and will return for its 35th instalment thanks to more than $5 million worth of investment from the State Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council in recent years after the festival was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19.

Mayor Peter Flannery said the site’s amenities and infrastructure had been considerably improved in 2019, including new permanent shower and toilet blocks, 10km of sealed internal roads to reduce dust and mud, extra lighting, and the famous new filtered swimming lake.

“The Woodford Folk Festival is an absolute institution on the Australian music and festival scene and has long been a major drawcard that pumps millions of dollars into the local Moreton Bay economy each year,” he said.

“The iconic festival draws in over 100,000 visitors each year and has been a regular hang out for famous musicians, artists and even the late great Prime Minister Bob Hawke, so I’m proud we could help it return for its 35th edition.

“Festival goers will love the new Lake Gkula area which will be a focal point of this year’s festival and if you’ve ever been you’ll know how hot it can get, so it’s a great way to cool down and enjoy the festivities.

“I’d like to thank the State Government who has contributed significant funding toward new features that have helped keep Woodford alive during some of the toughest times in its history.”

Woodford Folk Festival director Bill Hauritz AM said the addition of the filtered swimming Lake Gkula, which means ‘koala’ in Jinibara language, had been a lifesaver.

“The lake was originally designed to combat the heat during the summer, but it became our lifeline during the past two years of COVID when we couldn’t host the festival, by providing us with a source of revenue from our visitors.

“Because of the lake we’ve been able to do other functions like Lake Gkula Camping and Bushtime in the Summer and other events that have kept us going.

“It’s a fully functioning conservation and recreational lake that’s chemical free and has an all-natural water filtration system, so visitors can swim alongside more than 16 species of native fish and crustaceans and over 8,000 plants.

“Without the contribution from the State Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council over the years, we might not have been able to return this year for our 35th edition of the folk festival.”

Thousands of contractors and volunteers will once again transform the former dairy farm between December 27 and New Year’s Day into Australia’s largest outdoor event with 100,000 visitors. 20 venues will host over 2,000 local, national and international artists, musicians and presenters over 400 acts.

This comes after Council’s beautification project for the Woodford town centre with $2million worth of streetscaping to give Archer Street a facelift.

Division 12 Councillor Tony Latter said after COVID people would be keen to get back into the festival spirit. 

“After the lock downs and uncertainty of the last few years, people are looking for rich cultural experiences for the holidays within a few hours’ drive from Brisbane,” he said.

“Woodford offers all this and more and has broad appeal for people from all walks of life, young and old alike.

“Along Archer Street we’ve beautified the garden beds and improved the roads, pathways and drainage of this historic town to help get the retail, hospitality and tourism operators back to business as usual after COVID hit.

“This will also ensure it’ll be ready for the hordes of visitors heading to town at the end of the year. We’re also seeing a real interest from day-trippers to the hinterland region travelling north-west because they know it’s better than the Bruce.”

The festival programme features concerts, dances, street theatre, writers’ panels, film festival, comedy sessions, acoustic jams, social dialogue and debate, folk medicine, an entire children’s festival, an environmental programme featuring talks, debates and films, art and craft workshops, circus performances and workshops, late night cabarets, parades and special events including the spectacular fire event.

Tickets are on sale in June - visit https://woodfordfolkfestival.com/tickets/ for updates and information on how to book your tickets.