Woodford, Australia -- (ReleaseWire) -- 12/16/2019 -- Woodford Folk Festival's 2019/20 programme represents 30+ international groups, with speakers and performers hailing from, New Zealand, Philippines, Indonesia, Vanuatu, Nepal, Tibet, India, Japan, USA, Canada, Scotland, Serbia, and England, alongside 400+ Australian acts.
Head of Programming, Chloe Goodyear, states that, "As always, this is a programme created by, with and for many people. It consists of 1,600+ shows across 25 stages; a collection of performances, workshops, talks, and experiences that celebrate who we are, examine the issues we're facing as a global and local community, and inspire us to move forward together."
Now in its 34th year, the six-day festival takes place at Woodfordia, a 500-acre property nestled in a hidden valley in the Australian bush, one hour's drive north of Queensland's capital, Brisbane. Cared for and loved by organisers and patrons alike, the land sees monthly working bees, regular tree-plantings and many festivities all year round.
This year, Woodfordia will play host to the likes of modern-day troubadours from the Asia Pacific including – striking vocalist and gifted musician, Tio (VANUATU); fire dancers specialising in fire pois, umbrellas and juggling, Vanua Fire (VANUATU); reviver of the ancient Indian sarangi playing styles, Sangeet Mishra (INDIA); outstandingly melodious classical North Indian vocalist, Sunita Tikare (INDIA); and The Kimono Band (JAP), with multi-instrumentalist and social media influencer, Ayumu Yamashita.
The festival will also be joined by internationally renowned artist/activist, Mama Mihirangi (NZ) and her traditional female dancers, The Mareikura, in a powerful and fierce all-female Maori world-roots production
The cherished Hilltop Sunrise Ceremony overlooking the Glasshouse Mountains, this year celebrates is 20th anniversary. As is tradition, the first sunrise of the New Year will be accompanied by the Monks of Tibet, along with Tibetan-born, Tenzin Choegyal, an outstanding internationally recognised vocalist playing the dranyen lute and lingbu bamboo flute.
Artists and performers, volunteers and patrons with a Season Camping ticket are this year invited to swim in Woodfordia's new Lake Gkula. The lake was officially opened on Saturday 7 December and is the largest all-natural conservation and recreation lake in Australia.
Lake Gkula honours the region's traditional owners, the Jinibara people, named after one of their principal spokespersons, Uncle Noel Blair, who's indigenous name is Gkula, which translates to Koala.
The world's oldest living cultures are also presented across the festival, with Australian Indigenous performers, storytelling, artwork and workshops available on all six days and nights of the event. Jessie Lloyd's ensemble, Mission Songs Project, reveals what daily life was like for Indigenous Australians on Christian missions and state-run settlements, through rare secular songs.
The festival also welcomes its first visit from the Traditional Women Healers of North East Arnhem Land – important Elders and their daughters and granddaughters, who will wake up the Talking Circle each morning, telling stories for children and families and sharing their bush medicine, used as part of sacred knowledge for healing and smoking ceremonies.
On the first day of the new year, patrons will be lucky enough to watch the sun slip below the horizon whilst listening to a reading from Neil Gaiman (ENG/USA), multi-award winning, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of over a dozen books beloved by adults and children alike including, American Gods, Coraline and Stardust.
One of 35+ participating festivals in the Year of Scotland in Australia 2020, Woodford Folk Festival's programme includes a bevy of talented Scots including, the trad, electronica, funksters, Elephant Sessions, heralding from the Highlands; multi-award winning indie-folk songstress, Siobhan Miller; and award-winning piper, Brighde Chaimbeul from the Isle of Skye.
The world tour doesn't end there however, with appearances from, The Brother Brothers (USA), SONiA Disappear Fear (USA), Shirley Gnome (CAN), The East Pointers (CAN), Harry Manx (CAN), Catherine MacLellan (CAN), Jeremy Dutcher (CAN), Basia Bulat (CAN), Lucy Farrell (ENG), Blair Dunlop (ENG), Mike Love and the Full Circle (USA) and Emily Barker (ENG).
The festival also hosts many artists who have left their country of origin, but not their culture, with hundreds of presentations focusing on the dance, song and music of: Japan, Indonesia, India, Tibet, Cuba, Brazil, Bosnia, Bolivia, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Romania, Iran, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Senegal and Ghana.
The festival theme, Imagining a Beautiful Future, aims to encourage organisers, artists and patrons alike to explore the ways in which we might counteract some of the negative rhetoric surrounding the future of the world.
"A brighter future relies on the inclusion, participation and celebration of all corners of our earth," said Festival Director, Bill Hauritz. "We don't want to inspire false hope, but if we can unite in our vision for a more promising tomorrow, together we'll make one."
"Our patrons are global citizens. Not only do they come from all over the world, but their interests, curiosities, compassion, and understanding reaches beyond the borders of their own countries. We hope that this year's programme is reflective of their beautiful, worldly appetites," said Hauritz.
The full Woodford Folk Festival 2019/20 programme is available online at woodfordfolkfestival.com
Tickets available online now at
Woodford Folk Festival is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and features on the It's Live! in Queensland events calendar.
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