Woodford Folk Festival Fire Event Closing Ceremony

The Fire Event Closing Ceremony on January 1st is the highlight of Woodford Folk Festival, the world-famous, 6-day Moreton Bay Region bohemian event which annually draws huge crowds from all over Australia and overseas from December 27th to New Year’s Day.

Each year the spectacular festival, renowned for its all ages appeal, peaceful vibes, inclusive atmosphere, creative activities, quirky stalls, and mesmerizing entertainers & musicians, aims to convey a timely message to humanity through the Fire Event. This year is no different…

The Fire Ceremony – a Compassionate & Meaningful Event

The magical Woodford Folk Festival Fire Ceremony focuses on current global environmental & wildlife conservation concerns drawing inspiration from a variety of sources to unify us and remind us of the perils our planet’s ecosystems and habitats contend with in the face of insatiable human greed.

The ceremony shines a light on humanity’s gravest follies – boundless expansion and over consumption with little regard to the environment, follies which are gradually sowing the seeds of our own destruction.

To convey this timely warning, festival organisers have taken inspiration from Aristophanes’s Speech, Plato’s ‘Symposium’ (385 BC). 

A Symbolic Burning

The focal point of the Woodford Folk Festival Fire Ceremony will be a colossal bell tower. Throughout human history bells have played a symbolic role in both celebration and warning – communicating joy, loss and at times fear.

Bells of conquered cities were melted down into cannons, and in peacetime the cannons were cast into bells.

Woodford Folk Festival’s bell tower serves the same purpose. It celebrates compassion but also warns against succumbing to humanity’s baser instincts – if we don’t take a step back to look at our own impact on the world we live in, a world in which we share with Mother Nature and other species, we will go too far, the relentless march in the name of human progress will bring us to the precipice…

Woodford Folk Festival 2018 Fire Event Storyline

2018’s tale tying together the Fire Ceremony turns a mirror to our way of life.

The Rift

When the earth was newly created, it was inhabited by peculiar twin-folk who resembled two humans bound back-to-back in a triumph of teamwork and togetherness. Their hearts beat to the same song, and together they finished making the trees and sculpting the stones.

They knew nothing yet of anger, nor hurt, nor love. But as the mountains grew around them, so too did the cracks in the human condition – until, maddened by selfish desire, they tore themselves in two and cast a fiery rift between themselves.

As the ash settled, their lives found a new normality, but loneliness hung in the air… along with an unfamiliar feeling deep in their souls. They longed to find their lost half and reunite, but to do so would mean bridging the deepest rift of all. Inspired by Aristophanes’s Speech, Plato’s ‘Symposium’ (385 BC). 

The Broken Bridge 

Bridges span rivers and canyons, soaring above divisions and obstacles and connecting two separate places. For millennia, they have played a vital role in the development of human civilisation and symbolically represent overcoming the impossible.

The Broken Bridge is a call to strengthen an mend our connections, to cease fuelling the fires of division and intolerance, and instead repair our damaged relationships, reunite and reconnect with each other in celebration as we dance into the New Year. ‘It takes both sides to build a bridge’ – Fredrik Nael

One of the Biggest Fire Ceremonies in Australia

The Fire Event is no small feat, over 160 volunteers including artists, designers, puppeteers, builders, performers, painters and technicians pour their energy into bringing this magnificent event to life each year.

You Can Take Part in the Fire Event

Make a Promise

Throughout Woodford Folk Festival you will find creation stations where you can make a written promise which will be tied to a bunting hung from the bell tower, to go down in flames during the ceremony.

Join the Fire Choir or the Fire Band

If you plan to enjoy the festival in its entirety you can join the Fire Choir or the Fire Band. Each day of the festival, choir and band sessions will take place to teach you the songs which will be sung/played during the ceremony.

Lantern Making & Fire Ceremony Procession

Kids will love making their own lanterns at the Lantern Making Workshop in the lead-up to the Fire Ceremony. Children and parents will then be invited to proudly take part in the magical Lantern Procession, holding up their creations for all to admire. Don’t worry, your lantern won’t be burned, you can take it home afterwards.

The 7:30pm procession immediately precedes the Fire Event and is widely considered its unofficial opening ceremony.

Please note: Under 12s will need to be accompanied by adults (during workshops and the procession).

Fire Event Need to Know Info

Though the 1 hour Fire Event begins from 8pm, it is best to head over to the natural amphitheatre well before this time as all the best spots on the lawn get nabbed fast.

If you can’t get to the Woodford Folk Festival Fire Event early don’t worry, your view won’t be obstructed as seating for the ceremony runs up the mountainside. Though you’ll be further away from the action, the big screen will give you a good view of what’s happening below.

  • Bring a picnic blanket or ground level picnic chair
  • Mosquito repellent
  • An umbrella just in case – Woodford Folk Festival has seen more than its fair share of bad weather over the years.
  • There is one bar in the amphitheatre – True North Bar – but be warned, it will be very busy! 

ID: 6912986

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1 January 2019


Woodfordia Inc. 87 Woodrow Rd
Woodford 4514

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