Woodford Folk Festival program launched

The fairies make their way through the Woodford Folk Festival.
The fairies make their way through the Woodford Folk Festival. Lucy Cantori

AN ANNOUNCEMENT of record early-bird ticket sales bolstered the energy stocks of organisers when the Woodford Folk Festival's Program Launch was held on Saturday night.

Festival general manager Amanda Jackes told the crowd ticket sales were 10% ahead of last year, drawing loud cheers from the 400 in attendance.

"Our history has shown that ticket pre-sales can be volatile and don't always reflect what happens on the day, but it has to be a good sign for us," Ms Jackes said.

The festival's 31st program is an evolution of the cultural, artistic and social expression it has become internationally known for, showcasing more than 400 acts across 25 venues from December 27 to January 1.

Festival-goers will be treated to genre-crossing performances in music, trad, blues, folk and rock, world and indigenous, right through to dance, circus, spoken word, comedy, a series of pertinent conversations in the speaker's program and a full-to-the-brim Children's Festival.

Head of programming Chloe Goodyear said it was hard to narrow down a list of acts to name as features this festival. 

"There are so many performers we've been having conversations with over many years from Australia and across the world, this is both a year of firsts along with a year of great past-performers returning," she said.

"We are pretty sure there are going to be some delighted supporters and as always, an abundance of new discoveries."

Some of the headline acts performing at this year's festival are:

Buffy Sainte-Marie (CAN), Paul Kelly and Charlie Owen, Half Moon Run (CAN), Wallis Bird (IRE), The Bamboos, Dr Karl, Urthboy, Amanda Palmer (USA), Meow Meow, Lake Street Dive (USA), Thelma Plum, The Little Stevies, Tash Sultana, Keith Potger, Swamp Thing, Hot Potato Band, Tim O'Brien (USA), Chad Morgan, Sharon Shannon (IRE), Steve Poltz (USA), Jerron 'Blind Boy' Paxton (USA), Yirrmal, Kev Carmody, Die Roten Punkte, Gregory Page (USA), Vieux Farka Toure (MALI), Jaron Freeman-Fox and the Opposite of Everything  (CAN/USA), FourWinds (IRE), Gang Of Youths, Dubioza Kolektiv (Bosnia), Xylouris White (Greece/AUS), Judith Lucy and Charles Firth.

This festival features master puppet maker, Daniele Poidomani in the creation of 14 giant puppets to explore the festival in the evenings and star in both the Opening Ceremony and flagship Finale,

In a third collaboration with QUT Creative Industries, students from a variety of creative disciplines will work with Mr Poidomani to bring the puppets to life for the festival shows. Two of the puppets, Astrid and Naught, feature in this year's festival poster - the first of a new triptych series by Woodfordia artist-in-residence, Gavin Ryan. 

Premier and Arts Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk congratulated the festival on its success. 

"Woodfordia is a very special place for tens of thousands of people who attend the internationally-acclaimed Woodford Folk Festival each year," the Premier said. 

"My Government is proud to support Woodford Folk Festival through Arts Queensland and Tourism and Events Queensland, recognising the importance of this annual event in enhancing the State's cultural vibrancy and driving visitation to Queensland."  

Festival director Bill Hauritz proposed that artists were a conduit to an appreciation of the human experience.  

"Without artists we might as well be living on the surface of the Moon, devoid of the air to breathe ... they provide inspiration, beauty, thoughtfulness and commentary on our lives and their influence on our culture is profound," he said. 

"At Woodford, they're let loose and make a great festival experience for everyone."

Early-bird tickets are on sale now for the six-day annual event.

Visit www.woodfordfolkfestival.com

Topics:  bill hauritz culture general-seniors-news noticeboard premier annastacia palaszczuk program launch woodford folk festival

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