The region’s economy will reap the benefit of the massive crowds expected at Woodfordia this year.
The region’s economy will reap the benefit of the massive crowds expected at Woodfordia this year. APN

Woodford ready to open gates

MONTHS of waiting and planning are about to come to fruition for music fans when the gates open on another Woodford Folk Festival.

Now in its 26th year, the festival is expected to draw more than 100,000 people to Woodfordia during six days and nights.

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In that time, it will play host to an amazing 2000 artists, performers and presenters.

Director Bill Hauritz said the festival was now a major economic contributor to the Coast, bringing in more than $20 million.

Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd chief executive Steve Cooper agrees.

"Festivals play a major role for our community," he said.

"Not only do they symbolise our strengths and ideals, and organically provide an avenue to share these more broadly with our visitors, they also contribute significantly to the local economy."

With names such as Xavier Rudd and Gotye gracing the stages this year, Montville Chamber of Commerce vice-president Sarah Hallam said business would benefit.

"It is fabulous when big-name celebrities visit our region," Ms Hallam said.

"The whole town gets busier when Woodford is on because a lot of people who aren't camping book accommodation in town. They also buy food and do some shopping ... It's great for businesses."

The festival gets under way on December 27, although many fans have already begun making their way to the site.

Headline act Rudd said he could not wait to play at Woodford.

"When you are there you can't help but feel a spiritual buzz you might not normally feel," he said.

"It's where my musical journey began many years ago."

Visit www.woodfordfolkfestival.com for full details on the festival line-up.


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