Last Night the Woodford Folk Festival celebrated one of its most spectacular opening nights across the site. Thousands of families and festival goers flocked to the Amphitheatre where the 28th Woodford Folk Festival was officially opened by Festival Director, Bill Hauritz.

The hour long Welcome Ceremony featured bamboo forests, fountains of light and huge shadow puppets that filled the amphitheatre.  Long time festival fire lighter Rick Roser and traditional custodian, Kenny Murphy performed the welcome to country and ignited the first festival sparks, which then lit the torches of 20 local ambassadors from Woodford who welcomed the crowds to the festival, and to their home in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Homage was paid to Queensland Folk Federation President Des Ritchie OAM who was honored for his stewardship as President of the QFF as he announced that he will retire in January after 18 years as President.

As the festival was declared open, three giant monsters entered the arena led out on leashes by the children who created them, in a monsters parade which included flags and lanterns depicted on the festival poster.

Thousands stuck around at the Amphitheatre after the Welcome Ceremony to rock out with Canadian fan favourites Half Moon Run. Up next was Matt Corby and his haunting voice who, in a rare moment, addressed the crowd and summed up the atmosphere... "Is everyone well?" he said, "Of course you're well... it's Woodford".

Other highlights from Day 1 included the lovely Thelma Plum who made a welcome return to the Woodford stage. The sounds of her sweet voice echoed throughout The Grande to a mesmerised crowd.

In his festival debut, Brendan Maclean captivated a packed Parlour crowd with his quirky, pop/cabaret balladry... with three shows still to come Maclean is sure to attract growing crowds over the next few days...

Check out more highlights from Day 1 click here

All in all Day 1 was a huge success and the perfect start to this year's festival. As the crowds streamed out the exits to campgrounds and for some, to head back to the real world there were smiles all round thinking about the day that was, and what was to come...

Woodford Folk Festival Children's Festival
Woodford Folk Festival Children's Festival Supplied


FOR DAD: GANGgajang -7pm Concert
Dad will remember GANGgajang from their hit song "Sounds of Then - This is Australia" back in the 80's. Back together for their first festival gig since the passing of their bass player Chris Bailey, this show promises to be a special one.

FOR MUM: Clare Bowditch - 8pm and Beth Orton - 9.30pm Amphitheatre The perfect evening of music for Mum, grab the picnic blanket and head up to the Amphitheatre and settle in for the evening.  Catch Clare Bowditch indulge the audience with her big band and the gorgeous songs she's so well known for... After Clare stick around and catch Beth Orton... All the way from the UK Beth, who built a loyal fan base in the 1990's, is sure to wow the crowd with her fresh, distinct fusion of roots and rhythm.

FOR THE TEENS: The Illuminescence Party featuring Half Moon Run, Michelle Xen & The Neon Wild and Nova Heart - 10.30pm The Grande Folks who like to light the night can dress to party in whatever catches their eye- gold, glitter and sequins or fluorescent body-paint adornments . Setting the tone for a huge night in The Grande is Canada's Half Moon Run, fresh from their European tour with Mumford and Sons,  followed by Brisbane's  iridescent Michelle Xen and China's Nova Heart, highly anticipated for their first show on Australian soil.

FOR THE KIDS: The Children's Festival runs from 8am - 5pm every day and there's plenty for the little ones to get their teeth stuck into. Sunday's highlights include Play and Clay 10am - 4pm at the OUT THERE tent where kids will be able to get their hands dirty and let their imagination run wild. From Trash to Treasure 2.30pm at the Mish Mash tent where kids can learn the value of recycling and turn trash into treasure and Gerry Paul & the All Star Elephant Tree Band 11am at the Stardust Theatre, sure to get your kids up and dancing.

FOR THE GRANDPARENTS: In the Time of the Troubadour: Book Launch - The Young Lion - 4pm Folklorica Blanche D'Alpuget celebrates her first fiction novel in twenty years. Blanche reads excerpts from the book, talks about the history of the time and the real life characters, accompanied by the troubadour music of the era.

FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY: MALPA - 7.30pm Village Green. MALPA is a dance theatre performance specially commissioned for the Festival. The Pormpuraaw and Injinoo clans people perform ancestral dances, traditional songs and sounds from Cape York against stunning backdrops of traditional artwork and sculpture. MALPA is a journey with the clans people through the physical, spiritual and stories yet to come, a visual feast for the whole family.

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