Woodfordia’s New Youth Space

On Thursday 26 December, Youth Season Campers are invited to attend the opening of Dja-Mandji – a shaded hangout area for the festival’s ever-growing tribe of teens. It’s a Jinibara phrase that means “place of friends”. Sunny Coast crooners, The Dreggs, will be playing a special unplugged set, warming up the space for the festival ahead.

Seeming to have risen up from the earth, this eye-catching collection of bamboo bubbles will be run by a team of teen vollies, who will be slinging delicious mocktails across the Juice Bar and facilitating games, movie-making and chats in a cool jungly haven.

Designed and built by the clever clogs at Cave Urban, the series of structures was recently exhibited at Sculptures By The Sea in Sydney. It is made up of 18,000 linear meters of bamboo – that’s 400 x 9-metre-long poles, which have been turned into 2,000 strips, all of which was harvested just down the road at Crystal Waters.

“This particularly style of weaving, we actually first learnt here at Woodford, from a Taiwanese artist called Wang Wen-Chih,” says Jed Long, Co-Founder and Project Director of Cave Urban. The largest bamboo bubble is ten metres in diameter and high metres tall.

Artist, Laura Jade has joined forces with Jed and his team to direct the curation of this beautiful new space. “There’s going to be chalk boards with activities and that kind of thing, which the teens themselves will edit and add to,” says Laura. “There’s also a company that will be set up in those booths, and they are going to be making movies with the teenagers with Go-Pros. They’ll get to run around the festival taking footage and then come back here to edit it all together.”

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Due to be decked out with “moss” stools and all manner of things leafy and green, Dja-Mandji is sure to be the envy of all those born before 2001 – we can’t wait to see Woodfordia’s younger generation make this space their own, forging friendships and creating lifelong memories.

Youth tickets (13 – 17 years old) for this year’s festival are still available here. Patrons with a Guardian 25+ ticket may purchase up to 3 youth tickets.