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A Little Bit Mongolian – slightly delayed due to restrictions

This event will be delayed by some weeks until the restrictions allow for singing indoors by the audience. All ticket holders have received information and as soon as the new date is confirmed, information will be sent to all ticket holders. We hope it will only be a matter of a few weeks until we can safely hold this event.

Delighting Daphne – online with Davide Monti & Maria Cleary

We are delighted to bring you a special on-line performance and virtual tour presented exclusively for WWAF by Davide Monti & Maria Cleary. Your ticket allows you to watch the performance until 11 August and be transported to an Italian villa through the beautiful integration of music, architecture, and art. This project is supported by Culture Ireland.

Use Google Chrome for best results with logging in and viewing the on-demand performance.

A ticket is $15 and you can then watch this at home with the account that you used to buy your ticket. A perfect way to spend an evening! Once you have bought your ticket, you can watch the performance immediately. If you wish to log in later, after you’ve bought a ticket, instructions are here.

July & August – we can’t wait!

Get ready for our two festival event weekends on 10-11 July and 7-8 August. Events are organised and tickets are selling. We’ll keep you updated on any Covid-safe necessary requirements and remember, you can buy your ticket with confidence as we have a very flexible refund policy.

Woodend and the Macedon Ranges welcomes you back with a weekend of music, song, arts, film and conversation!

UPDATE – change of date

Due to the new restriction, Melbourne people (both audience & performers!) won’t be able to come to regional areas for the Queen’s Birthday weekend. We will therefore postpone the festival to the two weekends in July and August, as indicated in our contingency plans press release and recent update on Facebook.

These dates are 10-11 July and 7-8 August, and events will be allocated to those dates. We are working with artists and performers to find the dates that suit their availability.

Every ticket-holder will receive emails about the events they have already booked for, and if the new event dates don’t suit you, there are options for you to refund your ticket or have it as a credit for 2022.

As soon as we have more from each individual performer we will update our website program and all our social media.

Thanks for your patience as we get things updated!

Festival contingency plans

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!

Jacky Ogeil
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

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.

Additional Cello concert 9/5

Due to popular demand we’ve managed to get a 2nd performance scheduled for Mother’s Day, 9th May, at 5.30 pm. To book your tickets, go to PROGRAM and choose the repeat performance.

A world-première performance

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.

Details about the concert here.

Save these dates for upcoming events …

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.

2021 – a festival reimagined

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