The Woodford Files 2014-15: Goodbye, Farewell and Amen (for 347 days…), January 2015

Woven Cloud. Image courtesy of Woodford Folk Festival.
Woven Cloud. Image courtesy of Woodford Folk Festival.

“I always judge a festival by its program. If a festival can’t attract big name acts, it’s not much good and I’m not much interested.”

I listened to my host as they spelt out their assessment criteria of whether a festival is deserving of attention.

Without much in the way of any comment from me. Certainly no critique or counterpoint.

I’f I’m living temporarily under someone else’s roof, I listen and nod a lot. Even if I have strong opinions to the contrary, it usually takes a team of wild horses to extract them.

Here’s a case in point of initially ignoring the program before embarking: The 2014-15 Woodford Folk Festival. Continue reading

The Woodford Files 2014-15: Save The Last Dance Or Beer For Me, January 2015

The Volunteer Party is like a baffling market selling ice cream and fruit dessert in tall glasses: a trifle Bazaar
The Volunteer Party is like a wondrous market selling ice cream and fruit dessert in tall glasses: a trifle Bazaar

As the sun set slowly over Kilcoy, we bade farewell to the last performance at Woodford Folk Festival as Fantuzzi reggaed the crowd into a fervour.

Actually, the sun was long gone by the time Fantuzzi closed out proceedings. And as they finished their last number, the vollys were just getting going and took responsibility for their own entertainment.

I was professionally torn. My obligations were long since dispensed with. I wanted to capture some vision of the band, but……….

The Woodford Files 2014-15: Volunteer Party, January 2015

Image courtesy of Woodford Folk Festival
Image courtesy of Woodford Folk Festival

2014-15 is only my fourth trip to Woodfordia, so there are others who are 25 visits ahead of me.

The first three festivals I attended as a volunteer, and like my introduction into the world wide weird of folk merely two years previously, I could not have made a better choice than to join the ranks of vollys, as they/we are affectionately known.

Woodford Volly Camping
Woodford Volly Camping

I have very little if anything to compare with the frissons of excitement I had as a wide-eyed young 41 year old, reduced by an event to a gibbering little schoolboy.

(Except when on stage; always a professional behind the microphone, of course!)

I was in a trippy paradise of heaven. Everything was new, everything was bigger and more colourful, more musical, more stunning, than anything else I’d encountered in music and art to that date.

Sorry, Bayern State Opera, but Woodford takes the strudel!

(It even proved to be a sorting hat for me, because my partner at the time came with me (to her first Woodford). In stark contrast, she whinged and whined and moaned and griped and complained. It was too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, too expensive, too cheap, too too too much. I put her at an arm’s distance, revelled in my then very patchy mobile phone reception, and on 31 December when she texted me to say she’d gone home to mother near Chermside, I punched the air, danced a jig, yodelled from the Hilltop, and dived right back into the festival. A week later we were over for good and she ended up marrying the sound guy. Good luck to them both!)

I left home several days before the festival started and made a savage hook turn trip from Canberra down to Bodalla then later from Moruya to north Brisbane in one Christmas Day non-stop haul. Google Maps informs me that’s about 1450kms on the black-top. Another 74kms to the front gate of Woodfordia, in near carpark conditions on the Bruce Highway.

Travel north from Brisbane to the festival on Boxing Day at your own peril.

The taste of service station sausage rolls still lingers to this day. Nothing on the highway of any higher gastronomic fare was on offer in 2007, apart from days-old sandwiches in those hideous plastic containers that look like they’d been washed and glazed for display.

Continue reading

The Woodford Files: Fire Event Climaxes in Fire (hence the name), January 2015

Fire Event image courtesy of Woodford Folk Festival
Fire Event image courtesy of Woodford Folk Festival

Before I’d heard much of anything about Woodford Folk Festival, back in the unenlightened days of roughly 2006, I’d sure heard about the Fire Event. Attending between 2007-2010, I joined the Fire Choir each year, initially with the tenors then the bass-baritones, and loved it to bits.

BUT being able to sit in the audience with a smashing view, able to take in the full spectacle and stunning sound and light production, I was like an excited 10yo boy.

Heightening the experience just behind me was an almost two year old who was in paroxysms and frissons of delight and was joining in, improv-style, during the choral bits.

Wonderful. An absolutely stunning achievement.

My favourite part, and a moment for me that seemed to encapsulate Woodford, was when the cast on the ground just got stuck in hoe-down style while the tragic-comedy drama face burned.

The Woodford Files 2014-15: New Year’s Eve at The Duck with Black Market Tune, December 2014

Image courtesy of Black Market Tune
Image courtesy of Black Market Tune

You’re spoilt for choice as to where to spend those last moments of the year at Woodford Folk Festival.

I had probably my most memorable NYE a few years ago in the then Duck and Shovel, at a Beatles Singalong of all things. This year, it was a case of same venue, completely different music on offer.

Enjoy these guys’ new year vicariously again!

The Woodford Files 2014-15: Coming Attractions, January 2015

Woodford 2014-15: In the rear view mirror, but not out of sight yet
Woodford 2014-15: In the rear view mirror, but not out of sight yet

The curtain has long since fallen on Woodford Folk Festival for 2014-15.

However, I still have a stack of video to share, and a notebook overflowing with observations, gags, anecdotes and stories.

I’ll bring those to you very soon, though right now I’m a little tech-challenged.

I’m writing this in a tent. To get reception, I’m holding one phone balanced on my stomach pointing towards Maleny while typing on the other.

During the day, I either walk down to the road and lean one phone against a fence post, OR I have now found if I place it in the tree in the forecourt, I get a good data flow, but it’s no good for phone calls.

Please comment on this post
Please comment on this post

Tomorrow, the public library beckons.

Apart from the midnight countdown, Fire Event, camp wrap-up, and volly party plus speeches, I do want to tie a bow around the lot separately for Timber and Steel, Galloping Sheep, and Trad and Now.

Coming here and there soon.

 

Bill Quinn
In a tent
Sunshine Coast hinterland
Queensland, Australia

Writing on the road: it's in tents
Writing on the road: it’s in tents

The Woodford Files 2014-2015: Trouble In The Kitchen (Sarah Island), December 2014

Trouble In The Kitchen at the Concert Stage
Trouble In The Kitchen at the Concert Stage

Youtube has a simple facility where at the push of a button, your shaky video is stabilised and appears much more professionally-recorded than you could manage when you were adding some extra jigginess via mundane bodily functions such as breathing or sneezing.

Or as I was here, weeping uncontrollably.

Let’s go back a few years.

At probably my first Woodford Folk Festival, I got a treasured copy of the then very new ‘The Next Turn‘ album by Trouble in the Kitchen. As I set off down the D’Aguilar Highway on 3 January, processing eight days’ worth of festy wonderfullness, I was in an emotional, impressionable state, making listening to the 14 tracks all the more powerful.

(Some of my most treasured and loved folk albums have seared straight into the deepest levels of my cerebrum by dint of being absorbed in post-festival drives.)

However, my attention must have wandered on Track Five as I didn’t pick up all the lyrics nor their significance. I acquired and adopted a handful of mondegreens, and ran with those for many months until one day I sat with a stack of 20-25 Woodford-collected/purchased CDs and…

I read the liner notes.

Continue reading

The Woodford Files 2014-2015: The Lettering House, December 2014

The Lettering House at Woodford Folk Festival
The Lettering House at Woodford Folk Festival

Bill Quinn was sitting having his ritual cup of peppermint tea in Fine Earth Foods at Woodford Folk Festival when a postie came into the venue and started attempting to deliver letters.

To people.

He sought out the recipients by announcing certain characteristics like a writer from Sydney (“Hello!”) with blue eyes (“Strike one!”)

And then someone with odd socks.

What could possibly be happening? What was this specifically non-specific form of delivering items of mail?

After an intrepid search through the back-blocks behind the Holy Cow chai tent, we managed to find Roger the Postie who explained all.

TLH1
Image courtesy of Woodford Folk Festival

*** Audio file will be deleted by end March 2020 ***

*** Audio file will be deleted by end March 2020 ***

And as mentioned in the rambling intro, and to Roger off air, the whole shebang gave a strong resonance of Jacques Tati in Jour de Fete.

 

Continue reading

The Woodford Files 2014-2015: Underwater Basket Weaving with Aly de Groot, December 2014

Underwater Basket Weaving at Artisania
Underwater Basket Weaving at Artisania, Woodford Folk Festival

Woodford Folk Festival has an amazing array of hands-on arts workshops clustered into an alley called Artisania.

Bill Quinn stopped on his amble along the individually decorated paving bricks to chat with Aly de Groot about her workshops.

Book for Aly’s workshops at the Artisania office opposite the Coopers Bar.

*** Audio file to be deleted by end of March 2020 ***

*** Audio file to be deleted by end of March 2020 ***

AdG
Image courtesy of Aly de Groot

Continue reading

The Woodford Files: Fred Smith On The Couch With Melanie Tait (ABC RN), December 2014

Image courtesy of Fred Smith
Image courtesy of Fred Smith

Fred Smith is at Woodford Folk Festival showcasing his Dust of Uruzgan and Home albums, with a killer backing band.

Melanie Tait: image courtesy of ABC Radio National
Melanie Tait: image courtesy of ABC Radio National

After packing them in at The Bazaar today, Fred is going to take it easy, put his feet up and have a chat on the couch with Melanie Tait from ABC Radio National.

It takes place tonight in the Greenhouse at 8pm, so that gives you plenty of time to shovel down a plate of Govinda’s indian goodness or some gozleme or a plato spaghetti up the Junction, and wash it down with a quenching beverage at the Tokyo Bar before joining Fred and Melanie.

If they’re still hanging around at that hour of the day, be sure to have a chat to the lovely Michael just outside the Greenhouse about Future Super (getting all ethical on yo’ asses about where you put your retirement pesos) and the other green stall whose number plate I just can’t recall right now.

Fred’s other remaining gigs at Woodford folk Festival:

Wednesday 31 December, 3.30pm – Small Hall
Thursday 1 January, 11am – Concert Stage