Planting Festival Programme

Published on April 11th, 2017

The 2017 Planting Festival programme – held over the Queensland Labour Day long weekend at Woodfordia – features over 200 artists and presenters, over 200 shows, across 25 venues, which all combine to make up The Festival Village.

The Planting is an annual three-day cultural event, a festival celebrating innovation in the arts, humanities and earth sciences. It started out as community tree planting weekend some 22 years ago, where volunteers took part in regenerating the festival’s five-hundred-acre home, Woodfordia. By day they planted, by night they partied.

Since then, The Planting has evolved into a multi-layer festival of talks, forums, workshops, entertainment and environmental projects; a weekend of community spirit, cultural and intellectual exchange.

This year at The Planting, you can look forward to participating in over 120 workshops and masterclasses, ranging from environmental projects and building, visual arts, craft, science, music and food; and at night, there’s a programme of music and entertainment that lights up the village streets. And if that all seems too much, take some time out, head back to camp and chill, take in the bush view and enjoy or explore the natural environment. Good luck with that relaxing though, because enthusiasm for the community tree plantings is pretty infectious!

To extend your Planting Festival experience, book in for a masterclass in the week before The Festival as part of the Autumn Artisan Camp Series in the natural bush surrounds of Woodfordia. Final places are still available. For more information and to secure your place:

Workshops and tickets must be booked online prior to the festival.

Book your Workshops and Early bird tickets online now for The Planting Festival at Woodfordia, an hour north of Brisbane over the Qld Labour Day long weekend, 28-30 April. Explore The Programme

Programme Highlights:


Michael Leunig, Helen Razer, Richard Fidler, Michael Ramage (UK), Jessica Bloom, Allyson Williams, Alice Williamson, Arief Rabik (INDO), David Hodgkin (INDO), Lisa Gershwin.


The East Pointers (CAN), Kristina Olsen (USA), Gawurra, Claire Anne Taylor, Rose Eden, Shannon Sol Carroll, The Barleyshakes, Formidable Vegetable Sound System, Miss Eileen & King Lear, New Venusians, Band of Frequencies, Hollow Coves, The Australian Voices, and Jaleos Flamenco.


Greg Sullivan, Jenny Wynter, Catherine Deveny, Liam Power, Mediterraneo, Memetica, The Bonfire, The Village Projects.

Further information on all programmed authors, facilitators and musicians with links to their websites can be found at

Get a taste of what’s to come at The Planting by watching the Promo Video


Michael Leunig an iconic Australian cartoonist, writer, painter, philosopher and poet, His commentary on political, cultural and emotional life spans more than forty years and has often explored the idea of an innocent and sacred personal world. The fragile ecosystem of human nature and its relationship to the wider natural world is a related and recurrent theme.

His newspaper work appears regularly in the The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. He describes his approach as regressive, humorous, messy, mystical, primal and vaudevillian – producing work, which is open to many interpretations and has been widely adapted in education, music, theatre, psychotherapy and spiritual life.

Helen Razer is a writer, was a broadcaster and has always been a bit of a loudmouth. She’s worked at the ABC, The Australian and The Age. Then, when the mainstream media shifted, so did she. Helen now writes for The Saturday Paper on gardening and Crikey on politics and dissent. She has written several non-fiction books, the last of which was about love and the next of which is an introduction to the work of Karl Marx.

Richard Fidler is the author of Ghost Empire, and is well-known as the host of Conversations with Richard Fidler on ABC Radio.

Michael Ramage is the leader of the Centre for Natural Material Innovation at Cambridge University, an architectural engineer and Senior Lecturer. His current research is focused on developing low-energy structural materials and systems in masonry, better housing in the developing world and large-scale high rise buildings in engineered timber and bamboo through natural material innovation.

Jessica Bloom is an astrophysics PhD student at The University of Sydney studying galaxy mergers and their impact on galaxy evolution, and is particularly interested in physics outreach.

Allyson Williams is a professional climatologist. Her areas of research interest include climate change impact and adaptation studies. She currently works with the University of Southern Queensland and holds a position with the United Nations World Meteorological Organization.

Alice Williamson is a research chemist, lecturer and science communicator based at The University of Sydney. She is originally from the North West of England, having completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge, where she worked with colleagues to develop two new chemical reactions.

Arief Rabik is an Indonesian-born and based environmental scientist and the founder and director of Indobamboo. He has been developing a model for community-based bamboo forestry in Indonesia and his expertise is sought by organisations across the world including the United Nations and Woodfordia as part of the bamboo forest partnership and bioChar project.

David Hodgkin is obsessed with the interaction between communities, their housing and the environment. He is the Managing Director of Humanitarian Benchmark Consulting (HBC), specialising in post-disaster housing and disaster coordination. David Hodgin’s Artisan Camp masterclass is now booked out.

Lisa Gershwin is Berkley-educated and now Tasmanian-based and Lisa has classified hundreds of jellyfish, a dolphin and the largest invertebrate to be discovered in the 20th century. She has also written two books, Stung and Jellyfish: A Natural History.

The East Pointers (CAN)

Ontario guitarist Jake Charron and 7th generation PEI musicians Tim (fiddle) and Koady Chaisson (banjo) make traditional music seem super hip – and dancing your face off super-easy. An adrenalized, roof-rattling performance monster, the trio’s JUNO-nominated debut Secret Victory, written mostly during their first Aussie tour, features the beautiful songs and a series of free-wheeling, feisty instrumental jigs, stomps and reels that are the hallmark of these torchbearers of new traditional music.

Kristina Olsen (USA)

A folk singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Kristina is known for her sometimes humorous, heartfelt and often ribald songs. Born in San Francisco and raised in Haight-Ashbury during the 1960s, Kristina’s approach to music and life was formed from within an environment of vital cultural expression, social activism and diverse musical influences. Kristina is holding a Songwriting Masterclass as part of the Artisan Camp Series.


Stanley Gawurra Gaykamangu is a Yolngu performer hailing from Arnhem Land. In 2016 he won the Northern Territory Song of the Year in the Pop category for the demo version of his song ‘Ratja Yaliyali’, the lead single on his debut album of the same name. This year, Gawurra was nominated for five NIMA awards, and won four of those. Gawurra is passionate about keeping his Gupapungu language strong.

Claire Anne Taylor

With vivid storytelling, colossal vocals and a powerfully captivating stage presence, Tasmanian-born Claire Anne Taylor leaves the audience in no doubt that they have just witnessed something extraordinary.

Rose Eden

This Brisbane-based folk singer-songwriter has been performing her original songs both in bands and as a solo performer for the last 15 years at a variety of music festivals and venues across Queensland and Victoria.

Shannon Sol Carroll

Shannon’s solo sound is a chilled summer brew of laid back roots, saltwater folk and acoustic soul. Laying down live loops created with a guitar and an array of foot pedal gadgetry, Shannon presents stripped back renditions of songs from the Band of Frequencies and discography, new original material and selected tracks from his favourite songwriters.

The Barleyshakes 

Originally formed in Ireland and now based on the Sunshine Coast, The Barleyshakes’ music is Irish at its core with contemporary influences. Featuring fine musicianship and great craic, it’s hard to resist without cracking a grin.

Formidable Vegetable Sound System

Western Australia’s most triumphant experiment in ‘ecological electroswing’, Formidable Vegetable bust out energetic, quirky mashups of speakeasy-style antique beats with live ukulele wonk, hyperactive horns and the principles of permaculture.

Miss Eileen & King Lear

Mixing rock, folk, pop, and laden with strong harmonies, this brother/sister duo from Melbourne have created an evolved sound that sets them apart from their main act (the much-loved Perch Creek).

New Venusians

This seven-piece indie soul band, made up of some of Sydney’s finest musicians, blends elements of jazz, electronica and soul with contemporary influences.

Band of Frequencies

These progressive surf roots rockers have toured internationally, supported artists such as Donavon Frankenreiter and John Butler, and won Queensland Music Awards, all while keeping their Sunshine Coast sound well and truly alive. Band of Frequencies toured California as co-producers of the Transparensea Voyage film, screening at The Planting this year.

Hollow Coves

This dynamic indie folk group brims with passion. Ryan Henderson and Matt Carins beautifully blend an earthy folk sound, acoustic melodies and vocal harmonies.

The Australian Voices

The Australian Voices commission and perform the work of Australian composers and they are currently hosted as ensemble-in-residence at Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Jaleos Flamenco

Simone Pope, Clara Domingo, Andrew Veivers and Shenton Gregory bring together the intricate rhythms, dazzling footwork and raw energy of flamenco, encompassing both the ancient richness of the traditional and the virtuosity of contemporary flamenco.

Greg Sullivan

Leader of the Centre for Natural Material Innovation at Cambridge University, Dr Michael is an architectural engineer and Senior Lecturer. His current research is focused on developing low-energy structural materials and systems in masonry, better housing in the developing world and large-scale high rise buildings in engineered timber and bamboo through natural material innovation. Greg is hosting a stand up comedy masterclass as part of the Artisan Camp Series.

Jenny Wynter

As a comedian, cabaret performer, writer and clown doctor, Jenny’s comedy is characterised by her improvisational and musical stylings. Her trademark is comedy songs made up on the spot from audience input, so no show is ever the same – in the most predictably, unpredictable way.

Catherine Deveny

Comedian, writer and professional speaker for 25 years, Catherine is the author of nine books, has published over 1000 columns with The Age newspaper, has appeared on Q&A five times and performed five one-woman shows in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. She is also the creator of the Gunnas Masterclass series. Catherine is holding a Gunnas writing masterclass as part of the Artisan Camp Series.

Liam Power

For the last nine years Liam has been performing his fun, entertaining and unique brand of magic all around Australia and the world. Liam performs contemporary and unique magic – no top hats, no rabbits, no girls in boxes.


Daniele Poidomani specialises in site-specific spectacle and giant-scale puppets. His unique and customised designs create wonder, as he imagines new worlds and their inhabitants. Daniele is holding a giant puppet making masterclass as part of the Artisan Camp Series.


Celebrate our Spanish-Australian roots around pond with stomping feet and a flurry of flamenco. Featuring Jaleos Flamenco and Tania Balil.

The Bonfire

Gather in the dark to share your light, whisper promises and spread the warmth of the bonfire. Featuring The Australian Voices and The East Pointers.

The Village Projects

The young are building a new town in the heart of Woodfordia. They’ll be constructing using drop saws, screw guns, drills, jigsaws and a massive pile of pallets. If you’re between the ages of 10-17 you can sign up as a builder, vote on the name of your new town, raise its flag and proclaim yourselves the citizens of a village called…