Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Woodford Folk festival 2010 (aka: "Mudfest")

After weeks of preparation, countless lists of "things to pack" and a packed-to-the-roof caravan load, on the 24th December we drove down the range a mere twenty minutes from home to set up camp for the Woodford Folk Festival. After weeks of incessant rain, the site was muddy and boggy and all attempts to reverse into position failed due to loss of traction as the mud turned my tyres into racing slicks. But I managed to find a good spot in the volunteers camping area by driving to the top of the road and literally sliding down to the flat at the bottom. I unhitched the van and set up the full annexe for the first time - complete with tarp and carpet flooring, two camp beds and inner spring mattresses, and our outdoor setting from home, including a coffee table. 

The annexe was the boys zone and our lounge and the inside of the van remained my space (and miraculously managed to stay mud free for the whole week!)
Having had the gas reconnected the week before, we had the three-way fridge and gas cooker going and compared to most punters in leaking tents, we were the envy of many of our neighbours. Mud was kept out of the annexe with a compulsory foot-bath beside the annexe entry and a stricly enforced "boots off" policy before entering. Yeah, I know, I'm a cleanliness nazi, but as much as I love sloshing in the mud with the rest of the hippies, I sure as hell don't want to sleep in it, which is why I have a van in the first place!

The festival was wonderful despite the rain. It was very much a showcase of multi-coloured gumboots and rainbow umbrellas and, although I was not keen to take the good camera out on the really wet days, we were lucky enough to get one day of sunshine which was a cause for great celebration and so I made sure I took the opportunity to get the camera out and capture some of it. 

I was also stoked to see the addition of a new venue/ performance space I am sure they made just for me called "Trailer Trash" - a collection of artist-decorated old caravans assembled in a circle and a stage for live music in amongst it all providing the answer to that question "where do old carvans go when they die?" I now know - they go to Woodford!

Everything about Woodford is art - even the toilet walls covered in posters advertising the various gigs happening around the many stages over the course of the week provide a visual feast.

And every year the intersections on the streets become shrines to a combined artistic effort as addition after addition is made to the spirals and mazes scratched into the gravel.

Yes, I do love Woodford. Despite the mud, the way too many late nights that saw me crawling back into the van in the wee hours of the morning, and the sore throat I've come home with, I know I'll do it all again next year.