This was my second year spending Christmas and New Years in a hot country. One thing I can say for sure is, I will never get used to warm Christmases! Warm New Years on the other hand are slightly easier to come to terms with. Both of my warm New Years celebrations have been at music festivals. Last year I spent the New Years at the Rhythm and Vines music festival with a bunch of amazing couch surfers. We had all sorts of adventures together, and I even managed to have a photo of me appear on the front page of several New Zealand news papers!
This year we spent our New Years eve at the Woodford Folk festival, which turned out to be a bit more low key than my wild New Years last year.
The Woodford Folk festival is an epic folk festival, running for 6 days near Woodford town (north of Brisbane). It is well known for showcasing great talent, as well as for being rainy and muddy. We were told over and over again to take some gumboots! Luckily, all the rainy predictions fell through and we had a beautiful day!
We went to the festival with zero plans and expectations. This is a stark contrast to how I usually navigate a festival. I am the type of person who will spend the week leading up to a music festival meticulously checking out the band’s myspace pages and compiling myself a detailed schedule of the acts I want to see.
The Festival Tries To Meet Everyone’s Needs
The festival really does have something for everyone. Musical acts range from blues, to folk, to indi, to dub and electronic. There are also a host of comedy acts and side shows to keep everyone entertained. The stages are randomly distributed through out the village of food stalls and shops, which really capitalizes on all available space. The shops ranged from stalls selling your typical “hippy clothes and jewelry” to tents selling fantastic pieces of original art work. There was also no lack in food either, neither in quantity nor variety. There was even proper restaurant on site, with three course meals and real wine glasses and table clothes for those who wanted a touch of luxury.
I loved how accessible the festival was. They really tried to find something to suit everyones needs. There was even an entire separate children’s festival to keep the little ones engaged. But what I found the most incredible was the camping motel. This “motel” consisted of a network of tents and camping supplies that could be rented for the night, so that even patrons without camping gear could get a taste of the festival camping atmosphere.
Of course, the main reason most people go to a festival is for the music. But James and I went to this one without any clue! We had no idea who was playing on the 31st at all! When we arrived I was pleasantly surprised to find a few acts that I had seen previously at the Winnipeg Fringe and the Winnipeg Folk Festival were playing. This, combined with the helpful tips from random people we met, made sure our day plan was sufficiently filled.
One act that you absolutely must go see if they ever come your way is Die Roten Punkte. A.k.a The Red Dots. The red dots are a German duo (actually they are Australian, but being German is part of the act) who are equal parts rock music duo and comedic troupe. I saw them at the Winnipeg Fringe in 2010, and even though some of their jokes were the same, they still had me doubled over with laughter.
We rang in the New Year to the awesome sounds of Oka – an Australian must see. The Oka boys combine electrified digerido, flutes, guitar, and ju ju rhythms to create a unique and irresistible sound.It’s the kind of music that you can’t not dance to, and the beats and rhythms create a resounding positive atmosphere amongst the crowd.
We actually rung in the New Year a few minutes late, and the organizers couldn’t bear to interrupt Oka in the middle of their song to do the countdown. No one seemed to mind this at all.
Moving Into 2012
We didn’t make any specific resolutions for 2012 – but we did make a list of some places we want to visit in 2012. I believe that if there is something in your life you really want to achieve, then you will do it no matter what. For James and I, we really want to achieve greatness with this website in 2012. And I think with enough hard work – we will.