President Report 2017

2017 Tablelands Folk Festival

15/02/2017
Dear Members,
I wish to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we conduct our festival. The Dulgaburra-Yidingi people have continued to welcome us all to their wonderful piece of paradise. I would also like to acknowledge elders past, present and emerging. We mourn the loss of elder Uncle Doug and extend condolences to the family and friends. Uncle Lawrence performed a welcome to country and Councillor Samantha Banks extended that welcome to include the Tablelands Regional Council.

My thanks to the hard working and committed Committee Members who donated time and energy throughout the year to ensure a successful festival. With 14 programed venues to contend with Bronwyn Hodgkins must be congratulated for an exemplary job in making sure no-one missed out. I’m sure if you picked a spot to stay at one of the major venues all weekend, you would have seen every act at least once. I would acknowledge each and every one who contributed to the successful 2016 festival but it would fill a small phone book.

New venues like the Curtain Fig Motel and Obi’s were well received and well attended without drawing people from established venues. Ticket sales were up and more people took advantage of open venues.

New trials with the Fringe Stage worked well but as with everything there is always something more or better we can do to ensure even greater successes in the future. Food stalls were better positioned and well used. Again the lack of shade was a concern. Likewise, the Health and Wellness Fair was better managed so was able to have more stalls and more involvement with the rest of the festival. Better lighting and a carnival atmosphere also contributed to a better result. Again more can and will be done to make it better still. Shade and lighting are again the major concerns in Maude Keogh Park. Small steps but at least they are forward.

The Tablelands Folk Festival commitment to ensure good relations with local businesses and community organisations has been a driving force behind the continuing success.

Our concert in Herberton on the Thursday Night is unfortunately not supported well. This event was established for the TFF 25th year celebrations and a tribute to the first ever TFF held in Herberton. I feel we have overplayed this event and should only hold it on significant dates. Much as the 25th year was.

We would be lost without the Yungaburra Hotel – Alf and Margaret have again provided the main venues for the ticketed events with the Ballroom, The Beer Garden and extending their licence to the Community Hall. We are currently in negotiations with Alf to open the Community Hall Bar – watch this space.

Small changes such as moving the covered area in the garden stage to provide more shade worked well, and with plans to provide another full marquee to extend the cover even further it will be even better.

From Quincan Cottage to St Mark’s, the TFF has taken over every venue in Yungaburra and programmed non-stop entertainment from Friday night to Sunday night. Street parade, Street Circus, Food Stalls, Children’s Festival, Youth Stage, Health and Wellness activities, Workshops, Song Competitions, Verandah Jam Session, Concerts, Dance and more and more and more.

Financially, the program ran pretty much to budget and with Private Sponsors and the RADF grant we were able to make a small surplus. Pre-sales of tickets was better than the 2015 festival with 80%+ of total tickets sold. Getting closer to 100% each year.

We have continued our monthly sessions and local performers are queuing for a spot which good for the sustainability of the TFF sessions. While we improve the festival experience each year there is still some way to go in 2017.

Michael Hodgkins
President
0409 754 821
President@tablelandsfolkfestival.org