GRACE Dawson and Divya Gordon were dressed to impress at last year's Woodford Folk Festival.
GRACE Dawson and Divya Gordon were dressed to impress at last year's Woodford Folk Festival. Tessa Mapstone

Woodford Folk Festival keeps its cool

AN international army of more than 400 volunteers from 47 countries have worked through the heat during the past week to prepare Woodfordia ahead of the 2017 Woodford Folk Festival.

Festival director Bill Hauritz said predicted cooler weather for the festival start on December 27 would be a welcome relief from the high temperatures that have challenged volunteers preparing the site.

The final construction phases were on track and Mr Hauritz said ticket sales had been strong with a late surge despite the decision to cap numbers this year.

Million dollar grants from both Moreton Regional Council and the State Government would ensure work starts early after the festival closes on January 2 to upgrade infrastructure and camping areas to provide greater comfort for patrons.

Hot weather for the 2016 event has also prompted the creation by festival sponsor Cave Urban of a massive shade bamboo walkway which was 60 metres long and 12 metres wide as well as a number of other bamboo structures throughout the festival site.

"A heatwave during the last three days of last year's festival prompted us to take action," Mr Hauritz said.

"We're preparing for the heat in a cool festival."


THE improbable mobile street cloud that will keep 2017 Woodford Folk Festival patrons cool from December 27 to January 2 is a typical piece of Woodfordia ingenuity.

One of the more innovative approaches has been the creation of a mobile street cloud, a concept as improbable in its imagination as it has been in its construction.

How it was made and that it actually works is just another example of how Woodford continues to make the improbable possible.

It is the brainwave of Tim Monley, who is responsible for the festival's interactive projects including the Tree of Forgotten Dreams, and its lead artist Buck.

The cloud combines a steel frame and insulation batting, the diff from an old BMW, a ride-on lawn mower gear box, the steering column from another vehicle, a tank that can carry a tonne of water that is sprayed in a fine mist out over patrons during the middle of the day and is propelled by two riders pedalling a bicycle like set up.

"It's geared very low and goes very slow," Tim laughed.

"We started building it two months ago with a mechanical engineer working on it. We're still working the angles."


Woodford Folk Festival 2016.
THE lantern parade which is a feature of the annual Woodford Folk Festival fire event. Tessa Mapstone

The 2017 festival continues a three-year interlocking theme based on the inter-connectiveness between humans and the natural elements of the universe with a strong focus on the Great Barrier Reef.

It features a strong speakers' program and an entertainment line-up performing on multiple stages over six days and nights and a village of food outlets, bars and retail stalls.

A corresponding children's festival also offers a full program over the six days.

Festival highlights include The Beautiful Girls, Kate Miller-Heidke, John Butler, Mama Kin Spender, Lior and Paul Grabowsky, Tinpan Orange, Jeff Lang, Dubmarine, Cheap Fake, Afro Dizzi Act, Mr Percival, Montaign, Husky, Cheap Fake and Barry Charles and Peter Wells among a line-up of more than 2000 artists.