IF YOU'RE walking around the Woodford Folk Festival and it feels like someone is following you, then they might well be.

A rotating troupe of mask-wearing street performers wanders the festival daily and each type of mask has its own distinct personality.

The Masked Family Outings project sees Woodford organisers reviving a tradition last seen on the festival grounds a decade ago.

"We have these red-faced masks called Little Devils who just are very mischievous, a little like gremlins," Tony Kishawi of Gympie-based Lightwire Theatrical Productions told The Daily.

HAVING A BALL AT FESTIVAL: Masked Family Outings with Peta and Liam Kishawi from Gympie.
HAVING A BALL AT FESTIVAL: Masked Family Outings with Peta and Liam Kishawi from Gympie. Vicki Wood

"We've also got these new masks called the Pewter masks and the performers will just stand still like statues and only move infrequently. We've got them wired with headphones so I can give them instructions like 'follow the lady in the orange scarf' and they all just take off, and if the lady turns around, they'll stop."

Ordinary punters are encouraged to take part in the project, with daily workshops held at 9am at the Palace Tent in preparation for performances at 4.30pm.

Participants will get the chance to wear mask maker Bentley O'Toole's Kookaburra and Magpie masks, which were commissioned for the G20 Summit parade.

"Some people aren't performers at all - it's their first experience going out doing street theatre - and when they come back, they're raving," Mr Kishawi said.

"We like to encourage that. It's not (an activity) just reserved for the performers."

Yesterday, the second day of the annual festival, featured a talk with former Prime Minister and festival veteran, Bob Hawke, as well as performances by Australian blues legend Jeff Lang, Woodford's darling younger sister Kate Miller-Heidke, and the notoriously wild and critically acclaimed Sticky Fingers.

The festival runs until Thursday. Go to www.woodfordfolkfestival.com.



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