Festival growth benefits Woodford community

LOCALS are supporting the expansion of the Woodford Folk Festival as demand for tickets increases and community organisations and the festival continue to work together.

Woodford Folk Festival director Bill Hauritz said yesterday that organisers would build three new campsites due to growing demand for tickets.

This year is the 30th anniversary of the festival and with it has come a 12.5 per cent increase in pre-sales.

Mr Hauritz said $250,000 has been spent on bulldozers to expand from the back of the property.

This will make way for 1000 extra campsites, which hold three people per spot on average.

Mr Hauritz said he hoped this year would bring an extra $1 million in profit that could be used to develop infrastructure further in 2016.

The expansion will not affect local residents or the national park, and Lions Club regional manager Mike Christie said most local residents embrace the festival.

“The vast majority of people accept and appreciate the fact that the festival adds another dimension to Woodford,” he said.

“The festival came to town about 20 odd years ago and it’s gradually…changed how Woodford is seen in the broader Australian community.

“It’s the town with the folk festival, not the town that the folk festival is held in.

“Wherever they expand, they improve.

“They’ve planted thousands upon thousands of trees there since they started.”

Both Mr Christie and Mr Hauritz said the Lions Club and the festival have formed a symbiotic relationship over the years.

For the past three years the Woodford Lions Club has been using some of the headline kids’ acts from the folk festival in their end-of-school-year Christmas Carnival.

Mr Hauritz said the festival employed many community groups such as the Lions Club who assist with the protection and lock-up of musicians’ instruments for the six days.

“We don’t ask for money from the Woodford community,” he said.

“We in fact use Woodford communities such as Lions Club and employ them so that there might be benefit for the Woodford community.”

Mr Hauritz said the 30th anniversary was a chance to look at upcoming change and he does not plan on leaving any time soon.

“We have a 500-year plan, so what’s the hurry?” he said.
This year’s festival will host around 1500 events on 24 stages over the six-day period.

The line-up, consisting of 420 acts, will be announced with the release of the programme on October 17.


This story originally appeared on the Suncoast Times: http://www.suncoasttimes.com.au/news/festival-growth-benefits-woodford-community/


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