Woodford, Queensland
Despite dodging the brunt of the extreme weather, attendees at the 34th annual folk festival had the future on their minds

If Woodford folk festival was in mourning this year, you wouldn’t have known it. The death in May of festival elder and decade-long patron Bob Hawke could have loomed large over the week-long festivities in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast hinterland. Instead, you could say, the festival’s 34th year was a celebration of his life.

It wasn’t just the neon caricature of his face decorating the newly renamed Bob’s Bar, or the speeches given by Anthony Albanese and Kevin Rudd during a session to honour Australia’s 23rd prime minister (Blanche d’Alpuget had to cancel her appearance due to illness); Hawke’s legacy lived on in Woodford’s inclusiveness, in its progressive politics, its environmental ethos and its unwavering commitment to hedonism. Certainly Bob would have wanted the party to go on – and on it did.

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