Posts Tagged ‘Woodford Folk Festival

18
Dec
18

Louise Bezzina to Lead Brisbane Festival as Artistic Director

 

Brisbane Festival announces Louise Bezzina as Artistic Director

 

Brisbane Festival has announced Louise Bezzina as the incoming Artistic Director for a four-year term. Her first festival will be presented in 2020. Bezzina is the creator and inaugural Artistic Director of Bleach* Festival; the Gold Coast’s Festival. Relocating to the Gold Coast from Brisbane in 2011, Bezzina created Bleach* Festival and built it from a pilot project to a major annual event that has reached almost 1million people since inception. 2019 will be her 8th and final Bleach* Festival, having led the organisation through the Commonwealth Games as part of the Creative Lead Team for Festival 2018 and establishing Bleach* as one of Australia’s leading site-specific contemporary arts festivals.

 

 

For Bleach*, Bezzina has commissioned more than 50 new works, from major outdoor spectacles to intimate dance and theatre productions from local, national and international artists. In 2018, four Bleach* Festival commissions were nominated for Helpmann Awards, with TIDE by Gold Coast dance theatre company The Farm winning Best Visual or Physical Theatre Production. Bezzina also co-produced the inaugural Opera on the Beach by Opera Australia and is one of the curators of sitespecific immersive arts experience Hotelling; a groundbreaking cultural tourism initiative of the City of Gold Coast. Bezzina was listed as one of 11 inspiring women of the Commonwealth Games on International Women’s Day in 2018 and has won several awards for her contribution to arts and culture in Queensland. She recently completed the Australia Council for the Arts’ Arts Leaders Program. Prior to Bleach* Festival, Bezzina held a number of high-profile roles in Brisbane, including Program Manager for the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts; Producer at Brisbane Festival, including Producer for the opening of the cultural precinct (GoMA, QPAC and State Library of Queensland); and Director of the Mackay Festival of Arts. Brisbane Festival Chair, Paul Spiro, praised Bezzina’s commitment to the cultural sector in Queensland and said her extensive festival experience and broad international connections made her an ideal candidate for the coveted role.

 

 

“After a competitive international search, the Board of Brisbane Festival is incredibly excited to appoint exemplary cultural leader Louise Bezzina to role of Artistic Director to guide Brisbane Festival future development alongside CEO Charlie Cush,” Mr Spiro said. “Having known and admired Louise as Bleach* Festival’s creator and Artistic Director, I’m delighted that she will be our next Artistic Director.

 

“Louise’s deep understanding of festivals, her curatorial rigour and vision for the future of Brisbane Festival made her an irresistible choice,” Mr Spiro said. “Brisbane Festival celebrates and reinforces Brisbane’s international cultural reputation and I look forward to Louise being part of Brisbane Festival’s ongoing development and change.” Bezzina said she looked forward to returning to the Brisbane Festival team following Bleach* Festival in May 2019. “The combination of Brisbane’s rich history, its contemporary dynamism and future ambitions offers a great thematic foundation for a festival and its artistic program,” Bezzina said. “The responsibility of an Artistic Director is to find the unique gems, welcome all citizens and, most importantly, turn the city ‘on’ during festival season. “Our job is to inspire audiences with new ideas and experiences that leave life-long impressions,” Bezzina said.

 

 

“As Artistic Director, I will showcase what characterises Brisbane, celebrating its wonderful artists, delivering a strong Indigenous program as well as curating a bold international program that makes sense for the city, ensuring it is loved by all of Brisbane.” Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch thanked outgoing artistic director David Berthold for his many achievements and welcomed the appointment of Louise Bezzina. “Louise has done an extraordinary job leading Bleach* Festival, helping to shape the Gold Coast event into one of the state’s leading multi-arts festivals,” Minister Enoch said.

 

“She will bring to the Brisbane Festival her passion for creating unforgettable arts experiences and a commitment to showcasing Queensland artists.” Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said. Bezzina takes over from David Berthold, whose fifth and final festival will take place in September 2019. Brisbane Festival Chair, Paul Spiro, paid tribute to Berthold’s contribution to Brisbane Festival during his tenure as Artistic Director. “Queensland audiences have benefitted from the extraordinary vision of David Berthold,” Mr Spiro said. “Over the past five years, the festivals that he curated have confirmed his status as a truly international festival director, able to connect with audiences of all ages, tastes and sensibilities. “He has brought unseen and unforgettable worlds to Brisbane for which we are deeply grateful,” Mr Spiro said.

 

The Spirit of Churaki

 

The Spirit of Churaki will be seen next at Woodford Folk Festival December 28 & 29

 

14
Sep
15

FLOWN

 

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FLOWN

Brisbane Festival & The Courier-Mail

The Courier-Mail Piazza

September 11 – 25 2015

 

Pirates of the Carabina (UK)

 

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

 

We all wanted to run away with the circus, but these are the kids who ran away with the circus and then ran away again to join the Pirates of the Carabina, a special bunch from the UK, positioning themselves far away from the establishment, and bringing a new circus sub-culture to Oz. Can we keep them???

 

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FLOWN is an entirely new take on an eternally popular, reinvigorated form, which celebrates high above our heads, human daring and awe-inspiring achievement. The only slightly irreverent stuff that comes close is Circa (their youth performances particularly) and Chelsea McGuffin’s Company 2 (Scotch & Soda returns to the Judy in November… Don’t miss it!).

 

FLOWN is unique in terms of its approach to the traditional conventions, its chaotic energy, and its hipster vibe juxtaposed against surprising elegance.

 

Where other companies have tried and failed to pull off something so expertly nonchalant, these piratical acrobats proudly retain a sense of themselves as individuals as well as coming together as a tight-knit rebel band, literally, of multi-talented performers who know their strengths and play to them. We witness behind-the-scenes catastrophe and terrific comedy in the on-stage shenanigans, and these elements have the audience in stitches as well as gasping in horror/mock horror – was something supposed to fall or not?!

 

The circus acts form the basis of a loose narrative: the company makes a concerted effort to put on a show, despite frequent disaster. Monologues delivered by cast members break up the acts by putting voice to random thoughts and memories about the circus. (The whole premise of talking to us has already been established by a woman dressed in theatre blacks, who offers in the tradition of Hamlet to the Players in Act 3 Scene 2, her “Director’s Notes” before the show starts).

 

It’s an exercise in neatly conceived contrast. The delight inspired by a miniature horse drawn chariot, which appears for no particular reason, plays sharply against the surreal beauty of a mischievous flying floor lamp, or a length of white fabric amassed before a robust tissu act is performed. For some reason the cascading tissu elicits an emotional response that catches me off guard. Is it the music? The imagery? This is not the only moment of beauty to creep up and take me by surprise…

 

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Shaena Brandel’s counterweighted aerial hoop duet with Barnz Munn, the most extraordinarily captivating aerial rigger ever, amazes, not least because it involves an ironing board, which has previously been played and ironed upon. She makes me think of Essie Davis as Miss Fisher and Lizzie Moore as herself, her loveliness made all the more alluring in the crescent of her swinging, spinning, silvery full moon and a sweet moment stolen by Munn.

 

 

Performed by the petite Laura Moy (and Munn), a counterweighted flying pole act is beyond beautiful; serene and overflowing with the sensation of flying, even for us, transfixed in our seats. Another more traditional pole act becomes a thrilling, gravity defying pas de deux.

 

 

A high wire act featuring the too-cool-for-school Ellis Grover showcases not only his perfect balance but also his knack for casually playing harmonica and chatting away about life-changing childhood experiences from a great height. He quips, “This is as hard as it looks!” Not only that, but he’s the drummer in the band! A class act, this guy proves that playing around and swinging on chairs in the classroom can pay off!

 

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Tia Kalmaru seduces and stuns old-school Tori (faery) Amos / Jesca Hoop style, with her vocal and instrumental versatility, fitting in and standing out like a pin-up storyteller rock star. Her monologue is delivered in her native Welsh – pure magic – and she too flies for the finale, looking completely at home playing electric guitar mid-air.

 

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The entire show feels like it was created at Woodford Folk Festival over several years, in between Circadia gigs, Pineapple Bar drinks and post-show recovery brekky antics on the Village Green just for fun and then, one day, magically, funding allowed it to fly free and travel the world! (#everyartistsdream)!

 

The soundtrack is sensational – you can purchase the CD and relive the experience at home. Or, if you miss it, imagine it and wish you’d seen it for yourself. But it’s not too late, you can still catch it…this festival run won’t finish until Saturday 25! Book online.

 

FLOWN is a joyous, momentous circus event. It will delight, surprise and inspire the whole family. If only I had time in my life to see it again…often.

 

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25
Sep
14

Scotch and Soda

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Scotch and Soda

Brisbane Festival & Judith Wright Centre

Judith Wright Centre

September 23 -27 2014

 

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

 

Well, this is a bit of fun! A hit at Woodford Folk Festival last year and at Sydney Festival earlier this year, Scotch and Soda (not the fashion label) is a collaborative effort by Company 2 and the Crusty Suitcase Band, with support for the Brisbane Festival season from the Judith Wright Centre’s Fresh Ground program. I didn’t see Company 2’s Cantina during Brisbane Festival last year but I love, love, loved She Would Walk the Sky, commissioned for WTF 2014. Chelsea McGuffin, director and performer, in her only Director’s Note, simply invites us in to join the company for some fun, so if you read the program notes (and you know I do), we are ready! Bring it on!

 

We walk into what’s billed as a “speakeasy” but to me, having only ever experienced the speakeasyness of Motherboard’s Underground, this gorgeous, vintage-ish, circus-ish backstage-ish space (try saying it ten times fast!) feels like any venue at Woodford Folk Festival, which is great; I miss it every year until it comes around again (and it’s coming around again! Hooray!). I stop and breathe in, expecting to get a whiff of incense. Nope. Ah well, nevertheless it’s a wonderful sensory experience, the carnival space jumping with the same feel-good vibes and excitement you get at Woodford when walking through the site late at night, or when a headline act doesn’t come on for another hour and you’re already set up with friends, beers and a selection of international cuisine in paper tubs. Of course you ate the Byron Bay Organic Doughnuts while you were waiting for the Langos… #truestory #notproudofit #dessertfirst

 

This show is one big late-night-all-night party.

 

Every night during a festival anywhere, and particularly at Woodfordia during the folk festival, you’ll hear similar riotous fun. In fact, we did! Musicians become acrobats and the acrobats are musicians too. Here, it’s the ridiculously talented percussionist, Ben Walsh, who leads a merry band – bohemian looking Beverly Hillbillies meets Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. (You sang that, didn’t you? I always do too). These guys are all too talented to care much about cleanliness or matching pants (or reliable stayupable pants). At least, that’s the gimmick.

 

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The show is a succession of daring and amusing shenanigans, eliciting gasps and guffaws from the audience. Not your usual festival crowd, in fact, a distinctly non-theatrical crowd, rather like we saw walk in off the street to see our 2008 production of Shout! Wearing jeans and t-shirts, most of them thought they were coming in to see a movie! But is this the new circus crowd I see before me? I hope so! Circus and good gangster dub afro gypsy swing is for everyone!

 

We ooh and ahh, admiring the classic circus acts, including balancing, tumbling, cycling and flying. Transitions involve the necessary set ups, Mozes on home made clodhopper roller skates, and a couple of card games. One such card game evolves swiftly into a mini brawl, which becomes an entertaining, toe-tapping percussion session utilising the various boxes and suitcases also used in a tabletop construction for a balancing act, and a strange and probably unnecessary clarinet solo. A clowning routine towards the end of the show, thinly veiled behind cheeky characters and a loose love triangle becomes an aggressive game of catch. Um. Yes. It’s McGuffin the boys are throwing and catching. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s actually a little unsettling and would have made a more interesting and exciting finale than the jumps and board tricks, which, to be fair, may have looked more impressive from the floor.

 

Hmmm… A note to producers and venues: QPAC this does not apply to you, having always designated appropriate seating to your reviewers, thanks. Everybody else, consider where you seat your reviewers. Especially for “General Seating” ticketed shows. Just saying.

 

The only woman in the company, McGuffin stands out; her strength is mighty and her smile is wicked sweet, like Little Red with a fake ID in her pocket and an extra bottle of whiskey in her basket. (We know that whiskey’s not for Granny). If every performer invested half as much character and sass as McGuffin and Mozes the Scotch and Soda stakes would be raised through the roof. The strength and control in the trapeze acts Mozes performs makes him the other standout. His comedy is in turns tongue-in-cheek and slightly lewd…I love it! He’s the epitome of the bizarre, beguiling circus performer. Did you know he didn’t even start any circus training until turning 25?!

 

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Sometimes a smile is just not enough to sell such daring feats, many of which are not new, but need to appear so, or at least appear more daring than we remember them to be. At least the pace is quick, the acts are neat and the live band is fabulous. Wait. What is with the long, quiet lead-in to the show? (And does Walsh’s drunk entrance really work?). Why does the band not play a set as we enter the space and take our seats? Why do they not play us out? We would happily have heard much more from them, and for my hot date, a friend of Woodfordia and the Festival of Small Halls, the Crusty Suitcase Band was the absolute highlight of the evening. Clearly, in that camp, there’s no man crush on Mozes.

 

Despite its tame tone and perhaps because of its sweetness masquerading as a-little-bit-naughty nature, Scotch and Soda is the most fun at the circus you’ll have this festival. It’s a show I would expect to see in any city in any country in the world, or – note for Sam – at my next birthday party. Thanks, honey! And if you ever catch Company 2 and the Crusty Suitcase Band as separate entities, I ‘reckon you’re in for another couple of rollicking good nights. In the meantime, get to the bar before the show and not during (#youidiotstimpy #sitdowninfront #itsa70minuteshow #youcanwait), and enjoy some Scotch and Soda!

 

 

13
Jan
14

Sunshine Coast Arts January 4 2014

 

So you know I have this little column in the local paper, right?

 

When Synda Turnbull asked me to take this on in 2013 (she helped keep the arts pages plump for the ten years prior), I had a moment of quiet indecision and debate about artists working for free, but decided pretty quickly that the column needed to continue regardless of whether or not the publication can afford to pay, which seems to be the most prominent current issue again in discussions online and amongst artists in foyers and coffee shops. I accepted the challenge to fit something else into my week gratis, because the value of the weekly exposure of the arts on the Sunshine Coast is worth more to me than say, $100 each week to write it. You know I don’t make money from blogging about the arts, either, despite inspirational writers and business heads all around me, like Styling You’s Nikki Parkinson, working to achieve just that ever since she left print media and logged on! Maybe this is the year, although up until July we’re pretty busy making actual theatre again – I can tell you more soon but there’s a bit of stuff embargoed for another week or so. If you’re following us on Twitter and Instagram you’ll be the first to know.

 

Are you an artist working for free in some capacity? How’s that working for you?

 

A number of people suggested I post the columns here, so here they are. A bit of catch up first, and then I’ll post the copy each weekend. If you can pick up the paper on a Saturday, I suggest you still do that because of course there are a heap of arts stories that I’m not able to cover…

 

If you’re a Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance member with some copy and fantastic images for me, email xanthe@xsentertainment.com.au

 

SCD Arts Saturday January 4 2014

Xanthe Coward

 

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In 2013 Sunshine Coast theatre got braver and bolder. Behind the scenes we saw some new systems put into place and some key people come and go. The Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival in August enjoyed its best ever attendance, and box office records were set for Noosa Arts Theatre. With Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance President, Sam Coward, at the helm for his third consecutive year, we enjoyed new confidence in untapped talent and in the rediscovery of some favourite performers, designers and technical operators. Noosa Arts Theatre’s acclaimed production of West Side Story, a September sell-out directed by Sam Coward, reminded us just how deep our local pool of talent is, and challenged preconceived notions surrounding community theatre, from its inception to its final curtain call.

 

The Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance Season Launch Soirée is your next opportunity to rub shoulders with local theatre types and find out how you can be involved. Join the makers and lovers of local theatre at Noosa Arts Theatre on Saturday February 8 from 6pm. Limited tickets available. Bookings online livetheatre.com.au

 

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Take the kids to this entertaining panto and have just as much fun. This traditional version of the classic fairy tale is directed by Susan Dearnley and runs for a strictly limited season at Noosa Arts Theatre January 4 – 19. All tickets just $12. Bookings online noosaartstheatre.com.au or call 5449 9343

 

Cinderella

While Cinderella searches for her true love, enjoy cheering the goodies and booing the baddies along the way. Directed by Mary Newton, BATS’ panto runs January 11 – 19. All tickets $12. Bookings online batstheatre.com or call 5445 2515

 

NT Live Screenings

 

Free Air Entertainment and Noosa Arts Theatre continue their screenings of Great Britain’s superb National Theatre productions with Othello January 10, Macbeth January 17 and The Habit of Art January 31. Bookings online noosaartstheatre.org.au or call 5443 9343

 

 

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Images – Men In Black (MIB) for SRT’s The Mystery Bus at Woodford Folk Festival 2013-1014. Images by XS Entertainment

 

 

09
Dec
13

Woodford Folk Festival’s iWoodford app

 

iWoodford app

Available in iTunes

Launched December 1 2013

 

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

 

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I’m no techie but I love my apps! And one that looks pretty and proves super easy to use to help me get organised for our massive week at Woodford Folk Festival is a winner. Finally, after years of other developers making half-hearted attempts to build something, our awesome friends in Maleny decided to give it a shot and they’ve come up with a good looking, user-friendly, efficient app that means we can plan our entire week around The Mystery Bus shifts (yes, even Poppy has to work! She is meeting and greeting the artists this year), and not miss a thing.

 

I created My Program for our week at Woodford using iWoodford, developed by Kris Randall, Angel Goulter, Jule Rebeiro and Jimmy Halliday. I knew it would be good because these guys are old Woodfordians. Well, you know, they’re not THAT old, but they’ve certainly done their time at Woodford (Folk Festival!). These guys know Woodfordia well, and by sharing it via iWoodford, they’re hoping to make the whole experience easier.

 

It took me a little while to get to it though, because Poppy (seven years old) had to trial it and put her events in first. She browsed the Children’s Festival program and clicked “Add to My Program” without any tricky questions for me (phew!) – no worries. When she finally handed back the iPhone I re-read the artist bios for those who sounded unfamiliar and made sure I won’t miss Half Moon Run and Matt Corby by clicking “Add to My Program”. Now, Poppy and I are not able to save separate programs for this year but that’s okay because we’ll stick together at the Festival! Instead of stopping and having to flick through the book this year, Poppy will be able to tell me, “Check out My Program, Mum, so you know when to meet me at the Children’s Festival!”

 

The List of Artists and List of Venues provide details that are included in the printed program, and there’s a handy Shopping List on the Festival Shop page so I can make a note of the artists whose merch I want to take home with me. We’ve learned in the past to pick up our favourite CDs as soon as we see them…or we miss out!

 

Once we’re on site we can mark our campsite on the Woodfordia map (Mark Campsite), and then we can locate our campsite (Find Campsite). There’s a nifty Torch feature too, so we don’t trip over tent pegs and guy ropes in the night. We’ll see how it measures up to iTorch!

 

Within the map feature, we can click on a venue and bring up the details of the events. This is especially useful for Poppy, who can check out what’s happening in her favourite spaces, including the Big Ideas tent in the Children’s Festival. It’s just a brief blurb on each venue, which gives you an idea of what to add to your program from the venues or artists lists, or right underneath the blurb within each day’s program of events. While there are no food stalls marked on the map, you’ll find and remember your faves. We love the ice-cold rose slushies just up the road from our venue, run by Sunshine Reparatory Theatre (SRT) – That’s right! Believe the rumours!

 

 

It’s the last year of The Mystery Bus so come say HI!

 

 

If you haven’t been to Woodford Folk Festival before, the map won’t give you close-ups or direct you through the Festival site…yet! You’re going to have to get your bearings when you get there, and you will, very quickly. It’s a massive, big, busy village but it becomes familiar after the first hour or so on site.

 

With iWoodford at your fingertips you can get around without that big printed program in your bag, and with the confidence that you’re headed in the right direction at the right time to catch your favourite artists and workshops at Woodford Folk Festival, as well as a whole host of new entertainers and speakers you’ll be delighted to discover. Get the iWoodford app before you go and with it, get to do and see more at Woodfordia.

 

 

Download iWoodford in iTunes for just $2.99

 

 

 

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Got feedback? The iWoodford app builders welcome all feedback! The best feedback will win but be quick because the comp closes tonight! Score a free season ticket to Woodford Folk Festival by providing your suggestion for next year’s app. Download NOW

30
Dec
12

Woodford Folk Festival: Day 2

Hey! We’re back! Well, for a little while. So while I can, I’ll tell you what’s been happening out here. Day Two was HOT! DAMN HOT! Despite the oppressive heat and the sudden storm on Friday, the Woodford Spirit was – is – alive and well! The Mystery Bus is a busy little hive of activity and on Friday we were graced with the presence of some amazing artists.

Charlie Mgee

Penelope Swales

Emma Louise

The Good Ship

Hailey Calvert

Mustard Courage

Darren Percival

Penelope Swales told me a story about meeting Johnny Depp in the showers back at camp…that’s right! If you’re out here you will have seen him getting about, looking just like Captain Jack Sparrow. As it turns out, he’s on some team that comes to fix things. When Penelope reported a leak in the bathroom, as you do when you’re at Woodford because everyone is responsible for the state of the place, Penelope came face to face with Jack Sparrow, when he jumped off the back of a truck with tools at the ready! Is that not every girl’s dream come true?!

During the middle of the day, which is anytime after 8am and before 3pm, the heat is pretty harsh. For some, it’s unbearable and the best thing for those hippies to do is to hide away in a venue or in the shade with a cold drink. It’s useless heading back to camp during this time. Far better to enjoy a beer at Bill’s Bar – this year’s hottest new venue and after 5pm singles’ hang out – or grab a(nother) fresh fruit smoothie or rose slushie and head to the Village Green. Apart from the bank, The Mystery Bus is the only air conditioned spot so it’s a popular one, despite the un-knowingness surrounding it! As Rachael, from the Sydney Morning Herald has observed, The Mystery Bus is a lottery; it’s pot luck, with a host of headline acts and the audience queuing to see whoever it is on the bus. It’s been such a success for so many years now that it just keeps getting bigger and bigger!

In fact, The Mystery Bus is the favourite gig with so many punters that they come back time and time again. And so do the artists. Darren Percival says that The Mystery Bus IS Woodford Folk Festival. “And that’s all.” On Friday night, Darren rocked the bus with a 20 minute acoustic set. He traded his headdress for a wolf hat and sang, among others, The Mystery Bus song!

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Earlier that afternoon, I took four children between the ages of 6 and 11 to do Mal Webb’s vocal workshop, From Lips to Lung. I met them in the Children’s Festival and with umbrellas held down against the wind and rain into which we walked, we made our way to the Joy Luck Club. Mal Webb is extraordinary and rates highly, fellow vocalists including Darren Percival and Stringmansassy’s Kacey Patrick, who appears in Linsey Pollack’s new show, The Dream of Zedkat Nabu. Mal’s workshops are always terrific fun, especially for the kids, who have been practicing their beat boxing since starting out with Mal.

Mal made an appearance on the bus on Day Three…

27
Dec
12

Woodford Folk Festival: Day 1

We’ve been at Woodfordia – the Woodford Folk Festival site – since 8am on Boxing Day. That’s right. While you were sleeping in after a massive Christmas Day, we were settling into our camp site and setting up our venue: The Mystery Bus. The Mystery Bus has never seen so many props, set pieces and bits and pieces of gadgetry so there was a lot to do before the punters were granted entry!

Congrats and thanks to Laura and the ticketing team for making our arrival a beautiful thing of smiling efficiency and good humour. The guys and girls out front have a mammoth job to do, welcoming artists and making sure we have everything we need before the production (and various other teams) check in. It’s the hard-working teams, under confident leadership, that make so many aspects of the Woodford Folk Festival so easily managed.

We arrived in rain so nothing unusual there, but I was hoping that was the extent of it! HA! Actually, I was hoping we’d be getting a lovely shower each afternoon, as we did last year; rain to settle the dust and cool us down. So far so good. Having said that, it’s continued to rain on and off throughout this evening’s major events: the welcome ceremony, our mate Darren Percival, and Angus Stone. Tip for the punters: Always come prepared for the rain! After some shopping today, Poppy has a waterproof cotton parasol, and Sam and I are grateful for our enormous rainbow bright umbrellas…The best twenty bucks you can spend at Woodford! We also seemed to somehow acquire –

– another Amsterdam skirt. I’d picked one up at Eumundi Markets and knew Monique intended to bring out a heap to the festival. The skirts are reversible and each has a detachable bag and belt. Perfect for trekking through Woodfordia.

– a felt hat from the beanie shop. Wesley, Jo says HI! She spoke so fondly of the fascinating process she was involved in during the research, writing and rehearsal stages of QTC’s A Head Full of Love. Poppy chose a beanie we both loved and I was happy to hand over our cash to help raise some extra dollars for new dialysis machines in remote areas of Australia.

– a Sea Shepherd dolphin necklace. I’m so proud of Poppy. She was determined to speak with the Sea Shepherd guy and give him some extra coins after she’d bought her necklace “for the turtles too”.

– feather earrings to match the Salita Matthews necklace. I know. The colours are perfect. I couldn’t help it!

Meanwhile, down at The Mystery Bus, which is next door to The Gremlins, whose show this year is directed by Hayden Spencer (you’ll also see Carita about; she’s hosting the Dancing with the Gremlins comp), and the Mutant Barnyard (don’t ask), we are having a ball! You know only the boys are involved in the show this year, don’t you? That leaves the girls to look after the photographic evidence, social media and the artists. The artists are a joy and they love coming to do The Mystery Bus. Many of them tell us it’s their fave gig of the festival! It’s such FUN! Of course, the whole mystery is that you don’t know which festival headline act you’ll get to see… See? FUN!

If you’re following us on Twitter and Instagram, you will have seen lots of festival images already.

Use the hashtags –

– #woodfordlove

– #woodford2012

– #mysterybus

And let us know if you’re at Woodfordia!

However, let me tell you that the Internet connection, or the lack of it, is a problem. If you’re here you know it. For those of you playing at home, you’ll understand why you’re seeing sporadic updates and suddenly a flurry of pics and comments! I’ve spoken with the media team today and as much as they are working on it, there’s little they can do to improve access this year. That means there are some things on the list for next year. In the meantime, even with 3G and 4G connection you’ll need to be patient. So many people give up their gadgets for the week but so many more are wanting to tweet and share images and comments. And that means that literally thousands of people out here are online. Try to avoid peak times and enjoy the festival – in real life – in between status updates! Serious! If you stop looking around you’ll start missing the magical moments. And there are MANY. What’s been your favourite event, experience, meal, music and venue so far?

Now, although we missed yoga today we did do Tai Chi, and we found Byron Bay doughnuts and Bill’s Bar; it’s new and it’s the fave hangout this Woodford! #FTW

That’s Day 1 done! Happy Woodford!

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