Woodford Folk Festival: Artists and Activism

Thanks to the good people at Woodford Folk Festival, Green Music Australia (GMA) hosted an “Artists and Activism” forum backstage at this year’s event to lead and inspire a conversation about what it means to be an activist and a working musician.

Artists William Crighton and Emma Anglesey, and facilitator Sarah Howells, generously gave their time, and a solid 50 artists and arts-workers come along to take part in the session.

It was an incredible morning where William and Emma both shared their stories of how they’ve been involved in Green Music Australia initiatives, and in activism outside of what GMA does.

For William, his passion is water, so this means protecting it from coal seam gas and coal expansion.  GMA recently took William up to the “Frontline” of the Stop Adani campaign where he met with locals, for and against the Adani Carmichael mine, and chatted in depth with the activists who have put their lives on hold to fight against the mine development.

Emma Anglesey has been working with GMA for some time, predominantly around single use plastic as an ambassador for the #BYObottle campaign. She chatted about her experience on the road, negotiating with venues to make sure her food and drinks came unpackaged, and told a story about her recent shot at touring entirely plastic free, where she managed to consume just 3 pieces of disposable plastic for the whole month of July. Emma also raved about Bob Brown’s Tarkine in Motion Field Trip – an immersive long weekend for artists and volunteers, deep in Tasmania’s pristine Tarkine forest.

For the Q&A session, a number of things were clear: artists are passionate, and there are so many things to be passionate about! We heard about artists who fight against the plastics in town water, the survival of bees, the fight to save the Kimberley, venues who are up against artists who don’t want sustainable water (!) and more. Overall, it was a fantastic event that created an opportunity for artists to connect with one another and to share the highs and lows of being an artist activist. We can’t wait to do this sort of event again.

“Just having the space for like-minded musicians to talk about these important issues is the key”
Rueben Legge – Sun Salute

“Thank you. Great, rich hour. Glad we came!”
Chloe & Jason Roweth




For more details, contact Green Music Australia, info@greenmusic.org.au