The surprising problem police face at Woodford Folk Festival

STREET SCENE: Woodford Folk Festival 2016.
STREET SCENE: Woodford Folk Festival 2016. Tessa Mapstone

GATHER together tens-of-thousands of people in close quarters for six days of fun, music, art, and heat and you'd expect some trouble.

Woodfordia has temporarily become Australia's 67th largest town, filled with a cross-section of people competing for the best spots a gigs, shady places to cool off and camp-site showers, but police at the festival have found their biggest problem has been patrons not wanting to go home.

Day shift forward commander, Senior Sergeant Richard Downie, said in many cases day-ticket holders or overnight campers were simply confused about when they were supposed to leave.

"Some people will fall asleep here, they might have too much to drink and fall asleep in the long grass and then they wake up and they're still here, and they go and try and find breakfast," he said.

"Or you'll get families that'll camp overnight, pack up their camp gear, and think its like a motel (because they can be up there until 10am), they'll come in and buy breakfast and then they leave. And technically they're not supposed to be here but common sense dictates that they're not Ned Kelly, so you know, we just deal with them."


Cases of people entering the festival without having tickets have been treated more seriously, with fines of $243 being issued to people who sneak into the grounds, or who are found with fake wrist bands.

Snr Sgt Downie said police had also dealt with a small number of patrons found with minor drugs, as he would have expected at any festival.

"It (Woodford Folk Festival) is not the free-love, hippy drug thing that some people might think it is," he said

"When you go out and you look at the crowd there's a lot of families and you know people are here to enjoy themselves.

"It's a really laid back atmosphere here and no-one's here to cause trouble.

"It's not like a straight-forward music festival that you might have say in the city, where you've got a different demographic to what you've got here, we're seeing what you would in normal society here.

"By far people are looking after themselves and they're doing the right thing, and it fits in with what the place is about."

Woodford Folk Festival runs until Sunday, January 1

Topics:  whatson woodford folk festival 2016

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Snitz sizzles to win qualifier with ease

IN FULL FLIGHT: Brisbane jockey Robbie Fradd streaks clear to win the $150,000 NRRA Country Championships qualifier on board Snitz, trained by Matt Dunn, at Clarence River Jockey Club.

SHORT priced favourite sends everybody home happy.

Ballina Players brings popular military drama to the stage

ON STAGE: John Rado as Colonel Nathan Jessep and Dylan Wheeler as Lt Daniel Kaffee in the Ballina Players production of A Few Good Men.

Tickets are on sale for their new production of A Few Good Men

Triumph of dreams ... it all started with one bike

A CLASSIC: Meerschaum Vale's Col McAndrew with his Triumph 1956 Speed Twin which he will show at the Northern Rivers Classic Motorcycle Club's Show and Shine at Alstonville Plaza on March 18.

Col has six classic bikes; 100 expected at show

Local Partners