Woodford Folk Festival organisers have just announced this year’s festival has been cancelled, but they have a camping event planned that will hopefully ease the pain.
The announcement was made this morning (August 14) on the festival’s Facebook page.
“The time has come for us to formally announce that Woodford Folk Festival will not be going ahead this Summer. It feels so surreal to be writing those words,” the post said.
“We have been hinting at this for weeks now, however we wanted to be able to share some good news at the same time. Even with our heavy hearts, we are excited to announce a new five-day/night inspired camping holiday at Woodfordia, now called Bushtime.
Woodfordia’s 500-acre parkland will be opened as an inspired five-day/night camping holiday over the school holiday period with an experience called Bushtime.
Initially held over the two-week September holiday period, Bushtime will also run over the seven weeks of the whole summer holidays.
Festival and Executive Director of Woodfordia Bill Hauritz explains: “Our team have spent a lot of this year hopeful that we could do a scaled down version of Woodford, but the more we studied, the more impossible it became. We can never meet reasonable guidelines rightly imposed by authorities to make it safe in this Covid-19 world”.
State Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch says festival organisers had reimagined this iconic event in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was affecting festivals and cultural events across the world.
“The Woodford Folk Festival team have found an innovative way to activate the festival site, provide unique experiences for locals and visitors, and provide jobs for Queenslanders working in the arts and cultural sector,” Minister Enoch says.
“The Palaszczuk Government, through Arts Queensland, is providing funding of $170,000 in 2020 to support Woodfordia’s activities.”
Tourism Minister Kate Jones says events will play an important role in the state’s economic recovery.
“This event will deliver a great boost for local businesses at a time when everyone is doing it tough. Woodfordia is one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit and Bushtime gives visitors another reason to book a trip to the region.”
“Bushtime is ambitious and we’ll be throwing all our energy at what we hope will be a magic multi-day experience at Woodfordia around our beautiful Lake Gkula this spring and summer – each series of Bushtime would be capped in numbers to keep our community safe and comply with the necessary Covid Safe practices” General Manager Amanda Jackes explains.
“We’re so lucky to have our dedicated team of superb creatives on this just now - they will return a magnificent and totally original experience”.
The project will create employment for staff, performing artists, arts workers, event suppliers and tradespeople. Ultimately, it is planned that Bushtime will run throughout the year after this coming summer has been completed.
“While we’re saddened that we’re not doing Woodford this year, we really think we’ve got a wonderful new Woodfordian experience on hand” Bill says.
“We want to play a role in Queensland Tourism and we think that Bushtime can not only fill a hole in the festival’s absence but become another added attraction even after the festival returns,” Amanda adds.
“A successful Bushtime will also enable our current staff to be gainfully employed which keeps together the capacity and the capability without whom it would be impossible to bring back Woodford Folk Festival.
“Because of Woodford Folk Festival, we have the largest database of artists, writers, jugglers, spruikers and candlestick makers in Australia from which I know, we can make Bushtime a fantastic and very different holiday camp experience”.
Bushtime will be held over the September school holidays from:
Saturday, September 19 – Wednesday, September 23
Saturday, September 26 – Wednesday, September 30
Bookings will open on Tuesday, August 25.
Information, ticket conditions, FAQ’s, performance and workshops details will all be available online when bookings open.