10 May 2023

Festival set to take ownership of permanent home

| Sarah Martin
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CAPE York Folk Club is poised to buy a forever home for its flagship event, the popular Wallaby Creek Festival, after a subdivision application was approved at Cook Shire Council’s March meeting.

The club had a lease-to-buy arrangement at their current site on Shipton’s Flat Road, president Jen Midgley said.

“The subdivision went through successfully, thanks to the help of Al Morris and Gary Meredith,” she said.

“That means we’re on track to be able to buy the property next year.”

The festival has been held annually since 2002 and has been at the current site for two years.

Ms Midgley said the club was raising funds with premium patron packages, and would apply for a loan for the remainder of the property cost.

“We are looking for patrons willing to support the festival and gain VIP access to the event, as well as year-round access to the festival site, and a commemorative paver which will become part of a permanent feature on the grounds,” she said.

“We’re also applying for our deductible gift recipient status, which means if people donate they can claim it as a tax deduction.”

After a decade at the helm, Ms Midgley and long-time vice president Sandy Lloyd will both be stepping down from their committee positions at this year’s AGM.

“I won’t be putting myself forward as president again, I reckon 10 years is enough,” she said.

“We’re definitely looking for new people to head the folk club, and I’d love to mentor them.”

Ms Midgley said the diverse volunteers helped create a different and vibrant festival each year.

“We have core things which are the same, like the three stages, children’s festival and workshops, but each year it’s different with new energy and ideas from the people involved helping to create a new festival each time.”

Ms Midgley said the festival was always encouraging volunteers to join the ranks in a range of roles, including in the lead up to and during the festival.

“We’re looking for lots of coordinators as usual, as well as construction and visual team, gate crew, publicity and kitchen and more,” she said.

“We’re looking forward to another wonderful festival in 2023, and the more people who come in and help, the better it will be. A successful festival is also essential to help pay for the block.”

Work is ongoing at the festival site, with working bees open to anyone keen to lend a hand on the first weekend of every month until September.

Volunteers have also been hard at work creating a community garden on the grounds, which is now open to the public on Mondays and Tuesdays.

For more information and contact details, visit the Wallaby Creek Festival website.

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