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The Woodford Folk Festival has been part of my life for over 14 years. See, WFF is my local festival – I literally live 20 minutes down the road from here.

I visited the WFF for the first time in the summer of 1998 with a bunch of friends from school – it was the Golden Summer between high school and University for me.

Back in 1998, I vividly remember in the second row at The Whitlams gig… I believe they were preceded by the Pixies. I didn’t know who the Pixies were, but I hung off every word Tim Freedman sang. I remember the crowds, the heat, the rain, the mud, the smiles, the costumes… and the sense of being somewhere wholly ‘other’. Somewhere not of this world.

Now I’m here again, 14 years later, at the 27th WFF. I’ve visited a few times in the interim, but this is my first full festival – camping in The Luggage and getting the chance to truly immerse myself in all the festival has to offer.

If visiting for the day is fantastic, staying for the whole festival is a whole ‘nother paradigm. It allows you to sink into the alternate universe that is the Land of Woodfordia, and spend a week living in an alternate universe of peace, love, and fun.

I’m going to do a number of posts highlighting different aspects of my time here in Woodfordia, but today, I wanted to give you all a little taste of everything you can experience here – and what is still to come.

WFF is definitely NOT ‘just another music festival’. The music is a central part, for sure… but there is so very much more going on.

For example, in the last few days, I have:

Taken two morning yoga classes with Core Yoga from West End.

Done Tai Chi on the Village Green.

Drunk iced chai tea (it’s hot in the Land of Woodfordia) under the Rainbow Chai tent.

Watched acrobats do their thing. (This is the Pitts Family Circus.)

Learnt how to make a traditional Russian Woven Belt.

Eaten a stack of super-tasty food (this is a Hungarian Flat Bread – yummmmm).

Gotten a hair wrap thanks to Alchemy Hair Art – something I never got around to doing when I was a teenager.

Browsed the many shop stalls.

Watched a lantern parade.

And, of course… listened to some music. And danced. I particularly enjoyed Half Moon Run out of Canada…

…and local girl done good, Kate Miller-Heidke.

Oh, and by the way – once you’re through the gates, all performances, dance/yoga/circus (etc) workshops, and talks are free. The amazing array of craft workshops cost, but only a little.

Only two days down, four still to go – and I’m settling in to this wonderful country of Woodfordia that appears out of the aether each and every year.

Are you coming to play?

If you live in South-East Queensland, the festival is on until Tuesday – culminating in the Fire Event on Tuesday night.

Check out the website to see what’s happening during the rest of the festival. If you’d like to follow my journey through festival time and space, pop on over and follow me on twitter and instagram. Also follow the hastag #WWF.

My time at WFF is thanks to Tourism Queensland and the Queensland Folk Federation. All photography (C) Jess Van Den.