Twenty years ago we were preparing for our 9th festival, the first at Woodfordia. We feared back then that our loyal patrons from eight great years at Maleny wouldn’t support the move to Woodford. Our lucky stars shone brightly. We had nothing to fear.
Many of those loyal patrons and organisers are still with us. We feared that a new generation of young organisers and patrons mightn’t have assumed the mountains of responsibilities that they have. Our festival is so much better for it. We had nothing to fear.
In recent times we’ve aimed to build stronger themes, integrate our ceremonies and rituals to build meaning. Together we’ve channelled our wildest imaginations and invited our artists to give expression to our deepest feelings. We hoped the theme would drive a collective partnership that underpins our festival ideals with the notion that our planet and communities might be better for it.
Over the years we’ve watched you all engage in the practice of joy - letting go your scepticism and being unafraid of rejoicing in all that our festival has to offer. That’s been just as inspiring as absorbing the talents of our wonderful artists. While there’s a lot of serious business going on, you have demonstrated that our absorption rate is greater when we conduct ourselves in fearless frivolity.
We’ve learnt that a good festival is a result of thousands of good little intentions by everyone. It’s a long way short of perfection, though. If we are to improve our festival’s essence, we need to correct those little flawed intentions that live within. These gremlins are like little monsters that nest in our hearts and minds. So, our idea this year is to bring those monsters out into the open, take a good look at them and drown them with love, dissolving the fears that created them. We’re inspired by Mahatma Gandhi:
"The only devils in the world are those that run around in our own hearts and that’s where our battles should be fought."
So, it’s on behalf of the committee, the staff, the organisers, the volunteers, the artists and presenters, the merchants and cooks, I welcome you to our 28th Woodford Folk Festival, the 20th at Woodfordia. Bring your monsters, love them to death and join us in facing our fears away.