To kick off the 2018 festival season, Woodfordia opens its gates from 4-6 May to celebrate it’s beautiful land with the smaller, more intimate gathering, The Planting. A multi-layered festival with a full programme of talks, forums, workshops, music, food, films, ceremony, and environmental projects, The Planting is a grassroots event focused on cultural and intellectual exchange.
“We want people to come together to celebrate, but also get their hands dirty,” said Amanda Jackes, Woodfordia’s General Manager. “The Planting is all about our love for our land that we secured all those years ago. It’s our promise to future generations and we want to make sure it’s still beautiful, healthy and accessible 500 years from now. And although we do tend to plant a lot of trees during this festival, we still find time to dance and sing and make lovely art.”
The weekend-long programme features plenty of opportunities to learn about soil health, native vegetation, ecosystems and biodiversity from some of the country’s most renowned thinkers in their field. It’s also truly hands-on, as festival-goers can book into a vast array of craft-making, cooking and gardening workshops. Comedy, culture, health and wellness, as well as Woodfordia’s signature opening and closing ceremonies, add even more diversity and wonder to the experience.
For families, there is an immersive Children’s Festival empowering and teaching kids the tools of the trade by giving them drills, screw guns and jigsaws to build a small village. Anyone between the ages of 10-17 can sign up to construct, vote and name the village they collectively create. A village green hosts trebuchets and battle games each day.
Intended to inspire and inform, and in keeping with the growing global environmental and consciousness movement taking root, The Planting focuses on sustainability and responsibility. The festival provides, not only the knowledge to live more in keeping with the natural environment, but also the impetus through it’s message that we truly can change the world one person and one action at a time. Since Woodfordia secured it’s land in 1994, over 106,000 trees have been planted by pure-people power on what was once a barren dairy farm.
As the weather is cooler during May, there are bonfires scattered throughout the festival precinct to bring people together as well as keep everyone warm. Hot showers are also available at amenity blocks.
Woodfordia’s Artisan Camp, a week-long masterclass series, leads up to The Planting. These distinctive classes are facilitated by masters of their craft and run from the 21st – 29th April. Classes include bamboo construction, traditional Maori weaving, boot making, oil painting, gardening, songwriting and improvisational comedy just to name a few.
The Planting’s full programme launches 24 March 2018.