CLOSING CEREMONY: The Fire Event is Woodford Folk Festival's biggest ceremony.
CLOSING CEREMONY: The Fire Event is Woodford Folk Festival's biggest ceremony. Contributed

Folk festival success generates $33m for region

FOUR hundred acts made up of more than 2000 performers entertained more than 130,000 visitors at 25 venues during the six days of Woodford Folk Festival.

While the official figures are still out, it's expected this year's bumper festival has contributed a benefit of more than $33 million to the region.

Dry weather has been partly credited with the growth in ticket sales which were 8-12%.

Between 17,500 and 22,000 patrons flocked to the 60ha Woodfordia site each day from December 27 to January 1 - the largest number arriving for New Year's celebrations.

Festival general manager Amanda Jackes said the week-long event generated about $6.75 million in ticket sales, but economic benefit to the region was far greater.

"The economist's reports won't come through until early February, but we think it will deliver an economic impact to region in excess of $33 million," she said.

"Last year's impact was $30 million of direct spending in the region."

The benefits flowing to local businesses could be seen simply by driving through the town of Woodford, Moreton Bay Regional councillor Adrian Raedel said.

"As you drive through Woodford the amount of people you see stopping for a coffee or shopping at Woolworths and the IGA is incredible," he said.

"People staying at the festival are buying supplies from the town, and local businesses."

About 200 stalls selling anything from food, clothes, instruments and craft were on site, reaping the rewards of more customers coming through the festival gates.

The increase in patrons meant an increase in spending on facilities to cater for them such as more toilet blocks and servicing, and pumping extra water to the site.

Ms Jackes said the festival would bank a strong profit from this year's festival to help it through the next rainy day.

"As an organisation we have to build our cash reserves because we're 31-years-old and we know that wet weather is going to come again," she said.

In 2010 wet weather caused more than $1 million in damage tot the festival site and the festival lost a further $1.5 million.

"We had to dip into reserves to make sure every one was paid," Ms Jackes said.

"We know that the wet weather - as good as it is now - will be back at Woodford someday."



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