Festival contingency plans
May 29, 2021
Our festival contingency plans were designed for this current eventuality
When planning for a future Festival in this new Covid era, the eventuality of what is now happening was central to our thinking. This year’s Covid-cautious festival was planned with potential snap lock downs in mind and how these would impact on us logistically, artistically and of course, financially.
This was the thinking behind reducing the number of events, as you see in our current program, and why we decided to have additional event days over the winter months from May until August.
It is also the rationale behind showcasing smaller ensembles, featuring Victorian artists, using less physical infrastructure, and sadly why we are not using a grand piano or featuring the piano in the concerts this year, nor our popular fireworks. Our one-hour events with no interval have now been adopted at the safe way to program in these times.
As we reminisce over what WWAF was, we see this as an opportunity to reimagine WWAF and improvise around our former jam-packed festival model. Restrictions become opportunity. And more than ever we all value live performance, live discussions, a sense of community and interaction, and visiting the beautiful Macedon Ranges. It is worth waiting for – stay posted to our social media and website for regular updates.
We are still planning to proceed on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend with all our Covid cleaning and spacing in place, assuming events are allowed to return after the one-week lockdown. If the lockdown is extended then we will move our events to the weekends we have already tagged for future events (10-11 July and 7-8 August), and will consider an additional extension to September if needed.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our supporters including Visit Victoria, Macedon Ranges Shire Council and St Ambrose Parish, my volunteer committee for working against the odds since our fateful meeting on the 14 March 2020 when we first had to defer the 2020 festival, and a special thank-you to our Festival Manager Irene O’Duffy who has been working so hard behind the scenes.
Keep well and look to the arts for inspiration!
Artistic Director, WWAF
PS: Remember we have a flexible ticketing policy, so that if you are sick or are required to quarantine, or if any dates are changed and they don’t suit you, you can transfer to another event or request a refund before the event. You can read more about our Covid-safe procedures on our website.
Inaugural Sheila Drummond Memorial Lecture
May 18, 2021
Barry Jones will present the inaugural memorial lecture at this year’s festival.
Sheila and Don Drummond have been the curators of the literary program of WWAF since its inception. More recently they had turned their efforts to a Words and Ideas format.
From its inception, the Words and Ideas part of the Woodend Winter Arts Festival was designed to bring to the wider community the opportunity to hear prominent keynote speakers and discuss issues important to our country and its region. It has proved to be a popular forum, proof of a wide general community interest in matters of general political, social and economic concern.
As a result, some of Australia’s best minds on the subject have come to the Macedon Ranges to speak and now we welcome Australia’s most loved and well known public intellectual Barry Jones.
A world-première performance
April 19, 2021
A very special event for 2021 as John O’Donnell gives the first performance of his edition of the original version of Bach’s Art of Fugue. Published in December 2020 by the new European imprint Lyrebird Music, this is the first-ever publication of the first version of this work, of which Bach made a fair copy in 1742. At this stage it was a complete work in twelve movements, lasting a little under an hour. This will be the world première of the original Die Kunst der Fuga. Prior to the concert (at 10am), a free lecture will give a demonstration of the working methods of a musical sleuth and an insight into Bach’s compositional processes as revealed in the fair copy of this work and its subsequent revisions.
Save these dates for upcoming events …
April 10, 2021
Final touches are being put onto this year’s festival, and we’ve structured it to be a Covid-safe experience.
Our extended dates are:
- Sunday 9 May;
- Festival weekend 11-14 June;
- Sunday 11 July; and
- Sunday 8 August.
Ensure you are subscribed to our newsletter and watch our social media for release of new events.
Mark the dates for ‘Festival reimagined’
April 5, 2021
While we’re finalising the events and the capacity and ticketing details in light of recent changes, mark the event dates in your diary.
Ticket sales will be announced by newsletter, social media and in the press. If you’re on our email mailing list, you’ll be first to find out.
The extra dates this year allow us to spread out events in a Covid-safe way, and ensure we have plenty of time in-between events to clean and prepare the event spaces in line with government requirements.
Your patience is appreciated!
2021 – a festival reimagined
March 3, 2021
Designing an event, let alone a festival with multiple overlapping events, in these ‘Covid-slightly-normal’ times is fraught for organisers. The Woodend Winter Arts Festival committee has been working on the 2021 festival for many months and believe that they have come up with the best solution to balance risk while still providing arts experiences for patrons. “It’s been one of our biggest challenges,” explains Dr Jacky Ogeil, Artistic Director. “We need to combine some flexibility, a cancellation process, potential rescheduling and adding in new events if possible, so we’ve really had to reimagine the festival from the ground up. And we want to honour our promises where possible, to the Victorian artists we booked for the 2020 Festival.”
Festival 2021 will be ‘WWAF Re-imagined’ and will be spread over several winter months from May to August in Salon style to allow for sudden lockdowns and rescheduling, reduced audience numbers that can be expanded if allowed, and even repeated or additional events depending on the prevailing advice from local and state governments. “We have to ensure the safety of patrons and performers and minimise the risk of a complete festival cancellation if a third wave hits Victoria in winter.”
Festival events are planned for 2nd Sunday in May, July and August in addition to the festival weekend of 11, 12, 13 June. Daytime events are planned and will comply with all necessary Covid-safe restrictions. All events will be ticketed and require patrons to list the names and contact details of all ticket holders. Subscribe to the Festival newsletter for updates on events and any changes. The festival program will be available on 29/3/21.
Press release: 20/2/2021