Hey Bike nuts! This week I was at Woodford Folk Festival.
Woodford is Australia’s largest annual outdoor cultural and folk festival.
This year, there were over 2,500 amazing musical gigs, performances, shows, talks, demos, roving performances, gardens and activities.
It is a truely amazing experience to wander around Woodfordia.
Bikes at Woodford Folk Festival
Here is a copy of the full program – EPIC!!
There is also the Speakers Program, which has over 70 talks on a massive array of topics – including many current social, political and environmental issues.
It is difficult to tell you everything you can see and do at Woodford, so I’m just going to hit the bike high points and let you explore the full shebang for yourself another time if you are interested (highly recommended!).
On arrival – bike parking
It was great to see that at the entrance, the ‘Bike Parking’ was already filling up and that cyclists had a direct and preferential access to the front entrance – rockstar parking for bike riders!
I was delighted to see Wozwaste was not wasting anything – and their market stall looked great! I am super impressed at how their product range has increased since I last saw them.
I popped in for a good chat and catch up. they are doing great work with recycling materials. While we were chatting, I asked a few technical questions about issues I was having working with bike inner tubes. They had had the same difficulties I was experiencing and so had decided to switch over to using motorbike inner tubes now as a result.
I really appreciate Wozwaste’s philosophy and commitment. It is inspiring to know people are out there whereby up/recycling is the basis of their business. It was great to see their range first hand and see what they have achieved so far.
The Rain Cloud
The heat and sun was super hot, so the organisers arranged to have the rain cloud bike roving to help cool off punters.
This is four person, pedal-powered bike which ‘rained’ a fine mist over those who stood near the clouds.
It was a great way to cool off, the drizzle was a very welcome reprieve. When the bike stopped, people were encouraged to sit on the float to rest and cool off – the kids loved it!
There were seven operators, all in various costumes who took it in turns to ride and/ore entertain as needed.
A very effective and impressive roving performance!
The Woodford Postal Service
This roving performance also served a legitimate service.
Within Woodfordia, there is the Post House, from which there is a team of Posties on bikes whose job it is to rider around, interacting with festival goers by ‘delivering letters’.
The idea is that you can stop a Postie (or they might ask you) to ‘send’ a message or letter to someone throughout the day/festival. It can be any message you like and you give a description to the postie and their job is to deliver it – which makes for some hilarious interactions as some of the descriptions are quite vague, so there are many posties going up to people asking them if they are so and so in an attempt to deliver a message.
In an age of instant text messaging, this kind of audience participation activity was inventive, creative and so much fun to be part of.
Everyone was getting into it and the posties did a great job!
Out the front of ‘The Post House’
Festival-goers on wheels
Woodfordia has a great path network and the access is well thought out, so it was great to see a higher number of many festival visitors on wheels getting around.
There were a few wheel chairs, but far more hand-driven chairs and recumbents and a few scooters.
Most notably, there was a very popular trolley stall which hired out wagons for families to wheel their tired kids around. This a great idea for storage, sleeping kids, having some shade, reserving some space and being able to find your people at a distance – GOLD!
Image: Rock n Roller Wagons
Bike Refreshments Stall
Throughout the day, I kept seeing Jeremy and his gorgeous pedal-powered refreshments stall rinding around. I had to go up and chat to him. He is a genuinely beautiful man and was so happy to be out and about. His happiness was infectious. Great shoes and what a smile!
Unknown Pink Bikers
These guys had a compound that was open at certain times and they were entertaining people with tricks, magic and activities.
Later on, I saw them riding around interacting with punters and generally adding to the overall cheer and colour.
Great to see more bikes getting around, but some of the older guys in glitter glam hot pink Barbarella-style costuming might have scared a few of the kids.
I’m sure you will be able to get a hold of some footage of the official opening ceremony for the festival. There were massive puppets, fire work, a latern parade, an aboriginal welcoming ceremony and dancing, various singers to name a few.
Of most interest for this post was the use of bicycles during the later parade to help move the larger lantern around as needed – it was only when you looked closely could you see that bikes were instrumental in the latern below in particular.
Overall – a wonderful time!
Whether you are going for bikes or the music or the culture – Woodford has it all.
It was great to see so much wonderful music, vibrancy, creativity, colour, energy, care and community.
What a great was to end the year!
See you in 2018! Happy and safe riding all!