Woodford Folk Festival founder Bill Hauritz passes the baton to Amanda Jackes

Woodford Folk Festival founder Bill Hauritz. Photo © The State of Queensland

Woodford Folk Festival founder Bill Hauritz has been praised for his vision and commitment after passing the baton to the festival’s general manager, Amanda Jackes, following his 35th year as festival director.

The event held from December 27 to January 1 saw more than 120,000 attendees across six days following its successful return from a two-year hiatus.

“Bill is an original thinker whose innovation in festivals broke the mould of what a festival was,” Jackes told the Sunshine Coast News.

“He invented a festival experience which has been copied everywhere and forever changed festivals in Australia and beyond.

“He is a creative powerhouse whose vision is beyond our lifetime. His commitment to leaving a rich and beautiful legacy to our future generations can be clearly seen in his penmanship of the organisation’s 500 Year Plan.”

Hauritz founded the festival (then called Maleny Folk Festival) in 1987 before purchasing a 200ha former dairy farm outside Woodford in 1994 for its permanent home.

Hauritz will stay on at the festival organiser Woodfordia as vice-president.

“We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Amanda’s calibre to take the festival into a new and exciting era,” he said.

“Having worked with Amanda for more than 30 years, 22 of them with her as general manager, I am thrilled that she has accepted the offer of the role from our management committee.

“Amanda is a co-founder of Woodfordia (and) her contribution across the organisation has been immense.

“She is always brimming with excitement and ideas for the festival, which we reckon is only about halfway to achieving our vision for it.”

Jackes said it was “an honour” to accept the role.

“Woodfordia is a special place because of all those who have gifted their ideas and time over many years,” she said.

“The opportunity to work together as a community, and to be uplifted by the artists and presenters reflecting on our times through their art is as powerful catalyst for hope, joy and inspiration.”