Woodford Folk Festival 2014/15

Visual vignettes from the famed Woodford Folk Festival. I should definitely head south for summer (or to another hemisphere, if not planet) but if I am required to head north, it might as well be for interesting gainful employment, and it is.

Fascinating forms in duplicate. Sign here. Initial here.

A stylised Stetson that eclipses Katter's titfer, Wang Wen-Chih's Woven Sky fascinates from all perspectives and in all lights. It is 100 metres long and 12 metres tall.

Selfie in cap with the giant hat. Its pine log and cane construction portends impermanence.


The sculpture's tunnels link the Amphitheatre to the rest of the festival site.


Engaging street events bring smiles to all, although there seem to be fewer young buskers plying their performance wares than in the past.

Humans pat the robot baby. Robots have feelings too, you know.

Street theatre parking...

...and on the musical move.

The Great Scot, with man's best friend and man's worst enemy. Hey, don't bag the bagpipes!

Sensory stimulation.

I wondered when I saw this lad salivating into the tube to play-test a music stall melodica. Surely that is not permitted... 

...but when I spied this sign I concluded that Woodford's inclusive spirit transcends basic hygiene. 'We strongly advise that you please play with everything, and have fun doing so!'  Righto then, gob (and blues) away with impunity, young lad.

Toothbrush bangles under the light of a toothbrush lamp.

Mic prepares. We're minutes from the curtains revealing all. Giant rotating fan lights on the curtains compel one to try to capture their beauty - but they do nothing to reduce the oppressive humidity!

Josh, of the Junk Band Family, repairs another of Mic's exotic stage props. If I divulged the nature of the repair it would contravene the Magicians' Code - and I'd have to kill you. We don't want that, do we?

Technology Corner: A cassette-USB? If I told you how it worked it would contravene the Nerds' Code - and I'd have to kill you.

Technology Corner meets First World Problems: Battery life. I wondered about (and planned for) this before the trip. We're all so smartphoned up now, won't everyone be desperate to recharge their beloved iThings? I bought a cheap rechargeable recharger (yes, they are definitely a 'thing') figuring that I'd be unlikely to need it, but I might be able to help others and thus recharge my Karma.

I am obsessed with never permitting my battery percentage to dwindle to anything remotely risky (except for the occasional discharge for general battery health). I'm careful to run lean mean teensy iComputers, deploying myriad preventative strategies to conserve battery life. With accommodation offsite I knew that every day I'd be leaving my wonderful billet home with my three items (iTems) fully charged - yes, two iPhones, and the aforementioned rechargeable recharger.

I needn't have worried (and indeed I had not). Necessity has evolved a new (to me) beast. Witness multitudinous multi-cabled Medusas, with instructions to tether one's device and associated wayard umbilical-ity with hair elastics or similar.   

Late night waits in the (closed and being cleaned) Green Room, for organised transport to get back to my billet house, I was intrigued by the sight of the empty recharge stations. I assumed that all the little phones were home with their owners, snuggled up together in their tents, for coolth. No! I learned that Green Room volunteer staff lock all temporarily-orphaned phones in a security box until the morning. 

I express astonisment that folk would leave their phones there overnight. What would they need them for? I'm asked. The clock, I offer. Clearly my punctual city ways are too hard-wired. Never mind that I do not use a smartphone for my alarm clock (I use a dumb phone) - and surely everyone (not just me) wakes bloody earlier than ever (if they sleep at all) in we-don't-do-daylight-saving Queensland. I do like to know the time, though. Mostly. And my watch is broken.

The loneliness of the long-distance charger.

The Green Room's extensive infrastructure seems all the more wonderful when the potential plight of the punters is witnessed. I'm sure folk have every solar charger under the sun, and only need to pay at the internet cafe in desperate times.

Perhaps I'm wrong. The queue stretches out onto the street.

Yes, queue, people, queue. People queue. So I haven't dumbed it down to line. I realise that line is a perfectly acceptable term, but its use somehow irks me more than queueing! 

No phone charge? Go postal. Back when beards were fashionable (razors were scarce) everyone wore hats, and penny-farthings had front fork suspension - back then folk wrote letters, and queued to collect them, or post them, or complain about the cost of stamps, or something.

When it absolutely positively has to be there... oh, you know, whenever. Stop being so darn city-uptight, it's Woodford. 

The Lettering House: I never learned exactly how the onsite postal service works, but I am charmed by its very notion. 

Surely he's delivering love letters, with love stamps, it's Woodford.

Like The Lettering House, the Small Hall's charming I-am-not-a-marquee allure adds further appeal to the ever-evolving festival site. Witness the deserved overflowing house for Franky Walnut's performance, squeeze in if you can.

Sage advice from herbal hippies. 

Mr Tackle and Mrs Bush...

...peruse the eateries.

Bam-booze-ling - crocheted stubby holders. Only in Woodford.

And I didn't (hence this belated blog entry). Big-ups to Andy Gough, who'll find this page when he next gives himself a good Googling.

Phil does his bookwork. We're all set with our setlists.

Dog day afternoon. One of the few dogs who doesn't cause a disproportionate flight-not-fight adrenaline response from me. This dog is a person, I mean literally - I'm not given to anthropomorphisation. Oops, too many syllables for Pink Gumboot University.  

Diesel, my billet family's friendly red cattle dog. A caring and careful introduction ensured that I could finally reach the stage of being relaxed around The World's Laziest Cattle Dog

Tales of previous Woodford experiences from the blog archives: