Thursday 26th December
Bronwen and I both slept through our alarms, but fortunately a garbage truck awoke me shortly after and I got up in a rush to take the rubbish out.
I woke Bronwen and we did the last of our packing as fast as we could, and managed to leave around half past eight, only half an hour later than planned.
Traffic was busy but not too bad—I managed to sit close to the speed limit most of the way. We got to Woodfordia around half past ten and were relieved to find that our tent was still where we’d left it. A very hot hour later and we’d managed to get all the stuff from the car to the tent and put the tarp up properly. Then, to our surprise, we found a spot to park the car only a short distance from the tent.
The tent up, we hurried down to the Green Room, where I got a lecture on not taking photos (it’s the special place where artists can do whatever they want (which I assume means other patrons), without fear of it turning up in the media), and then got told I could (because there weren’t any artists there at the time), and then Bronwen began her shift.
I popped in at the shop, and then while Bronwen was working I got a veggie burger and bumped into David, the MYOB man. Bronwen and I walked up to the tent for a lunch of corn flakes while the milk was still cold, which nearly killed me in the heat (the walking up the hill, not the corn flakes).
After Bronwen went back to work I helped out at the festival shop and trained cashiers. Unfortunately the girl I’d wanted to swap shifts with said she’d get back to me but that the answer would probably be no.
After both Bronwen and I had finished our work, we bought a lasagne from Spaghetti Junction, wandered around for a bit, and then had an early night, getting to bed on the dot of ten.
Friday 27th December
I managed to sleep in. The tent began to get hot, but considering it was sweltering by six other years, our spot this year seems good. My sleep, though, was a bit broken. I’m not sure why, but sleeping on a hill probably didn’t help, and our airbed is only just pumped up enough, but we’re both too lazy to bother carrying it all the way to the car to pump it up more. If one of us lies on it we hit the ground, but if both of us lie on it, it’s ok.
I had cornflakes for breakfast, and then walked down to the festival. Bronwen went to a “Let’s get so hot we’ll die” workshop (apparently it was a body and performance workshop, which is ironic considering that’s what you wouldn’t be doing after getting that hot). As I’m not insane or suicidal, I wandered off to The Grande, where I watched The Twoks.
After that we went to Fine Earth Foods and had a juice while a giraffe walked by, then went to Blues Town and watched Hat Fitz and Cara, and then Bronwen went to work.
I watched Vidwan at The Bazaar, then bumped into a girl I’d met at Vollywood yesterday at a Thai place getting lunch, so we had lunch together.
After lunch I rushed to The Palace, where I watched “Cartoon Shenanigans” with Kit n Kaboodle. It was quite short, but I got there just as the queue had finished entering, so didn’t have to wait at all.
After the circus I watched some dancing at Folklorica: “Swinging, Tapping and Clogging” with Davydd McDonald, Empire Swing, and Whitetop Mountaineers. I then tried to go to another circus, but it was already full so I watched a bit of “The Dancing Heart of Africa” with the Gaada Band from Oromia instead. While I was there it began to rain, and Bronwen called to tell me there was a hail warning. Fortunately no hail eventuated, and the rain stopped enough for Bronwen and I to go get some lunch. I had a langos and Bronwen had a Ratatouille crepe.
I then had to go to work.
Work was the usual chaos you’d expect from the first day, complete with a failure of the shop lights, which conveniently happened during the Welcome Ceremony, so we all rushed up there—managing to get there not too long after it had started. It was insanely busy and security had closed areas down, but fortunately I’d been here before so knew about the top roads, and managed to find a relatively un-busy place with a good view.
After work I watched a bit of Hey Geronimo at the Bazaar, then met Bronwen, and coincidentally, again the girl from Vollywood, at The Concert Stage where we watched “Indian Stories” with DeepBlue and Siddhi Yadev—probably the best act I’ve seen so far.
After this we watched Kavisha Mazzella at The Duck, Nova Heart and later Kingfisha at The Grande, and some vaudeville at The Palace (Alex Mizzen, Alexander W, Twisted Hitch, David Trappes and Lost In Translation Circus), and the last act of the night, “His Merry Men” at the Bazaar.
I went to bed at 2:30 AM.
Saturday 28th December
I slept in miraculously late by sweltering Woodford standards. It was wonderfully cool. I was told later that it had rained a little in the morning so that was probably why.
Last night we found big pockets of rain had caught in the tarp through the day, so I rejigged things to try and stop that from happening again, Bronwen and I finished off the last of our milk in our breakfast cornflakes just as the ice in the esky finished melting, and I made my way to the shop—via the general store for a chocolate milk—to start my volunteer shift.
I got to the festival shop not long after midday, for my half past twelve shift. Unfortunately the shop is rapidly becoming an unpleasant place to volunteer. The volunteer magic and communal fun we used to have under Jade has been firmly killed. Here is a good example of why.
As in previous years, there’s a large overlap between shifts. This has meant that most people work a little less than their official hours require, and helps greatly when people are a bit late, or something goes wrong and people work overtime—yet still end up doing less hours than they’d expected. Basically, it worked well. Except today the supervisor I was relieving didn’t want to leave, as she felt she should stay her allocated hours. I didn’t mind, so we both hung around, and the shop boss came out and asked us what we were doing. When she found out there was a significant overlap in the shifts she went and ordered the finance boss to change the rest of the festival’s rosters to “fix” this. When she came and told us I explained that the current system had worked well for several years now, and that changing the rosters halfway through—for the third time—wasn’t going to work. She said she’d been ordered to do it so had, and we could sort it out between ourselves, and left.
I’m worried I may have upset the supervisor I was taking over from, because, aside from the roster overlap absurdity, the first thing I did when I got to my shift was arrange for a fan to be moved to the cashiers—who had been melting all morning.
A bit less than five hours later and I was free. I bought some nachos and met Bronwen at the Concert stage to watch “The Great Green Debate”, which was hilarious.
After that we saw Latche Roma at the “Roma Gypsy Fire in the Fiddle” act, Museum Collective and Shellie Morris.
We had a haloumi salad dinner, bought some iced coffee from the general store and walked up to the amphitheatre where we watched Babylon Circus—and some nearby teenagers who decided it was a good idea to take most their clothes off and dance around, and were probably more entertaining than most of the professional dancers.
After the long walk back the festival again we watched Barry Morgan and his World of Organs—which would probably have been really good had the projector worked, but seeing as it didn’t (which he pointed out every time he had to skip large portions of his act sure to it not working) it was only relatively good. You’d think they’d have a backup projector.
Then, on the way to see Dubmarine, we stopped off at the Joy Luck Club to watch Sabrina D’Angelo and get very unusual “body poetry”, then after that the fantastic Brisbane based Rivermouth, who painted us an auditory adventure in their hour long apocalyptic mix of music and fantastic poetry.
Bronwen was feeling tired and somehow managed to fall asleep during Rivermouth, so we walked to Vollywood to get our hats, watched a little of Kingfisha at The Bazaar and Dubmarine at The Grande, then walked to the tent, showered, and went to bed at the respectable time of half past two, listening to Wild Marmalade as our tent is at the top the natural amphitheatre in which The Grande sits.
Sunday 29th December
Bronwen got up to get to her 7:30 shift, and I tried dozing until eight, then some more dozing until a bit past eight, then I got an SMS from another supervisor wanting to swap shifts, then I rushed to the festival shop via the general store for my morning chocolate milk (which was a mistake as I got caught in the slow bag checking queue on the way back in). My shift was uneventful but hot.
After my shift, I went and saw Ben Caplan and The Casual Smokers and The Quarry Mountain Dead Rats, before I met Bronwen at Govinda’s, had my lunch there, then saw a few things (Babylon Circus, Chance Waters) but it was too hot so we headed up to the tent and put the air bed out on the grass and tried sleeping there. I met a friend I hadn’t seen for quite a while on the way there, who now has a baby. Stopped and had a chat.
Bronwen and I walked back down to the festival after it got cooler, and shortly before a huge lightning storm (and a few power failures) hit. We watched The Basics, Zoe K, GANGgajang, The Crooked Fiddle Band, and The Bombay Royale before heading up to the amphitheatre, where the storm dropped lots of water on us while we were watching Clare Bowditch.
Nevertheless, we stayed on as Bronwen wanted to watch Beth Orton, though we left the amphitheatre after that and watched the Hillbilly Hoe Up with Hat Fitz & Cara, and the Illuminescence Party with Michelle Xen & The Neon Wild and Nova Heart, before going to bed late.
Monday 30th December
Bronwen and I had a nice sleep in, wandering down to the festival a little before midday and getting a honey pumpkin and feta salad for lunch, along with some milk for breakfast.
We started off our seeing-things part of the day by seeing Lost Clog, then Claude Hay, Lovecase Suitnut, Mo Kenney, Martin Pearson with a talk on “Harry Potter and that Vague Sense of Plagiarism”, then—Bronwen having gone to work—I went to some strange things at the “Eurovision Music and Dance Spektacle”, as well as Vidwan, Ange Takats, The Barleyshakes, and finally Sam Amidon—at which point I had to go to work.
I worked the late shift tonight, from half past eight through to whenever everyone had finished at the shop. The shop shuts at midnight, so a little after midnight. After work Bronwen and I saw (and later, heard from our tent) Kinfisha and Dubmarine at The Grande, as well as a few “interesting” acts at the Midnight Creatures Cabaret, and then The Jazz Party after that.
We got to bed at half past three.
Tuesday 31st December
Having gone to bed at 3:30 last night, I was a little tired, and the details are a little hard to remember. I watched Kangaroo Moon around midday, followed by Tim Finn, The Sojourners, CR Avery, Andrew Clermont’s Festival Arvo Supper Club, and then work—I had the evening shift today, from around half past four through to nine o’clock.
After work I watched the rather funny and slightly inappropriate Festival of Fortune and then went up to the amphitheatre with Bronwen, where we watched Dubmarine, Breabach, Rachel Semanni, Peatbog Færies and Wild Marmalade, and held the three minutes of silence, standing holding candles in silence surrounded by thousands of other people doing the same. The silence was broken by someone letting off a fire cracker somewhere in the festival—a proper sounding one too, and we all assumed that was the end of the silence, instead of the traditional bell. It wasn’t until later that I found out it wasn’t.
After the amphitheatre Bronwen and I went and saw Babylon Circus, then wandered around the festival, eventually ending up at the hilltop for the dawn ceremony sometime before dawn—which from memory was quite early, around four o’clock.
Wednesday 1st January
Bronwen and I saw in the New Year (or at least, the first sunrise of the New Year) up on the hilltop, with some Buddhist monks chanting, and a lot of hippies—and people pretending to be hippies—doing their hippy things. It is quite a nice way to see in the New Year.
Having not slept at all last night, I went to work the early shift at the Festival Shop. General insanity ensued. I finished work sometime around one o’clock, and went and saw the Festival Director’s Report with Bronwen, then Zoe K, Rose Cousins, Bootleg Rascal, His Merry Men, and Ben Caplan & the Casual Smokers. Both Bronwen and I were quite tired by this stage.
Having still not slept, Bronwen and I made our way to the Fire Event at the amphitheatre. I think this year’s was perhaps one of the best—the story was almost understandable (something to do with hearts and monsters, and the monsters that get in your heart).
After the spectacular fire event, we went and saw Andrew Clermont’s Festival Supper Club, Kingfisha, didJital, The Crooked Fiddle Band, and CC The Cat, before collapsing into bed at 3:30 AM.
Thursday 2nd January
Bronwen headed off early to work, and I eventually followed her. I spent the morning helping pull down the Festival Shop. It was very hot, and I did a lot of walking around the (now mostly closed and semi-dismantled) festival getting things.
After a quick lunch, and well into the afternoon, Bronwen and I had both finished working and went and pulled the tent down and packed all our stuff into the car.
We wandered back down to the festival in time for the after party. I’ve developed a terrible sore throat. We left after midnight, getting back to Brisbane very late. We went straight to bed.