Get this party started: Woodford scores $500,000 to ring in New Year!
Published 29 June 2022
Woodfordia could never be silenced forever! And after two distressing years of cancellations, the iconic Woodford Folk Festival will roar back to life in 2022 thanks to a $500,000 injection from Council over two years.
The funding will ensure event organisers can deliver this epic event given the enormous financial losses suffered when the event was cancelled in 2020 and 2021.
Mayor Peter Flannery said it wasn’t just a unique and iconic event for the region, but an event of national significance.
“Nothing compares to the Woodford Folk Festival, it’s the biggest event on our calendar and we have all been hurt by the deafening silence at the Woodfordia precinct over the past two years,” he said.
“This six day event attracts 124,000 people each year and 40% of those attendees come from interstate and overseas.
“Guaranteeing this year’s event will be better than ever is the completion of more than $5 million worth of investment in facilities upgrades from the State Government and Council.
“The site’s amenities and infrastructure were 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, Lake Gkula.”
In addition to the community and cultural benefits generated, the Festival also makes a highly significant economic contribution to the Moreton Bay Region and the state of Queensland.
An independent economic impact study funded by Tourism and Events Queensland demonstrated that the 2019 Festival:
- Generated 222,356 visitor nights in Queensland, more than 71% of which were in the Moreton Bay Region;
- Was responsible for the generation of 158 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs in the Moreton Bay Region and a further 89 FTE jobs in other parts of Queensland; and
- Resulted in a total economic impact of $17,160,000 to the Moreton Bay Region, and a further $12,350,000 to other parts of Queensland.
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.
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 deliver 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 following 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.