Woodford Folk Festival is a place for discovery, whether it be new music, new arts, or something you didn't even know you needed yet.
As Head Of Programming for the festival, Chloe Goodyear and her team work year-round to ensure there's more than enough on offer for everyone's tastes over the six days.
“The things that we ask ourselves as a team are 'how will this contribute to our community, and how will these artists be received by the community?'” Chloe says.
“We are never putting together a line-up for the sake of how it looks. We're very conscious about how it's going to be on the ground for the people who are on the stages and for the people who are watching it.”
Beyond the musical offerings, much of Woodford Folk Festival's charm lies in the huge variety of arts experiences on offer that run the gamut from large, arena spectaculars right down to intimate artistic encounters.
“I love that about the festival,” Chloe says.
“Even though it's big, it doesn't always feel big; you can be in a very small space with a couple of people watching something that was made for an audience of 20, or you can be watching something that's made for an audience of 20,000.”
A highlight of this year's arts selection is Neil Gaiman, lauded author of novels such as 'Stardust', 'American Gods', and 'Coraline'.
“I personally am really excited that Neil Gaiman is coming, and to have him coming along with [wife] Amanda Palmer. . . They're such an amazingly creative couple, we're really excited that they're coming this year.”
For Chloe and her team, the focus is on balancing the programme between popular artists that will draw huge crowds with those that have appeal for only a niche audience.
“That's something that the programming team are also really conscious of,” Chloe says.
“They know there are things of great interest to a very small and passionate group of people but if you don't expose those ideas or artists to bigger audiences, more people won't get to experience their genius, their ideas or what they have to say. I definitely think of Woodford as a place for everybody – everybody can have a place here.”
With so much on offer over the course of Woodford Folk Festival there's no way you'll get to see it all, and Chloe suggests you forget about the schedule and let the festival take you to where you need to be in order to optimise your time, whether it's for one day or the full six.
“It's always funny when I see people circling stuff in the programme because I'm 90 per cent sure they're never going to make it to that thing,” Chloe laughs.
“It's a large site and on your way you're going to pass quite a few other venues. There's a lot of interesting stuff. In terms of the days – this is going to sound so incredibly tie-dyed and classic Woodford but – try to stop when you get here and be where you are because there are so many ways to experience the festival.
“You could do nothing but circus workshops all day, you could do nothing but dance workshops all day – there's so many different versions of the festival you can experience.”