By Isaac Gregor
There’s a world within a world here at the Woodford Folk Festival – it’s called The Game.
A fantastical journey through time and space, where factions compete and anyone and everyone can participate; all you need is a card, and a keen interest in full immersion.
This year The Game is without one of its original factions – The Pilates (pronounced like the exercise). Slate and Chance – two of The Game’s helping hands – in an accent not of this time, explain the factions along with The Pilates demise,
“The factions are The Big Hat Rail Company, The Beasts, The Elizabogans and The Glampires. There are also The Pilates but this year they have been taken over by Achoolu and corrupted,” Slate says.
As it happens, Achoolu is a nose out to collect all of the “time” in the Game world. A giant nose known as the “Big Bad” of the year, Achoolu is an emissary for the Wayfarer who ended all “time” for The Pilates – “time” being the currency players accumulate.
On my travels through the inner workings of The Game, I witnessed my first ever raid on The Elizabogans by faction members belonging to The Beasts.
The raid was unsuccessful however, as The Big Hat Rail Company had already raided for the artefact and it was now under guard in a lone train carriage across the bridge from the Glampire’s Rave Cave.
I collected my card from Chance with the picture of Dragula, a character belonging The Glampires. Biting the bullet, I paid Dragula a visit, diving in to the strange and unpredictable world of The Game.
“Yes darling, I’m Dragula – the most fabulous of all The Glampires,” she said.
A staunch character with a rugged pink mullet towers over me as she explains my challenge.
“So I want you to go in to the festival and find me three fabulously dressed individuals and I want you to MC a fashion show for me – can you do that for me, darling?”
I took to the streets, alleys and ways to find myself three fabulously dressed patrons but it wasn’t long before I was called back in to reality to do what I’d come to do – report on the eclectic world of Woodford Folk Festival.
The Game celebrates its 10th anniversary next year, and the grand world I spent an hour in will surely be more fabulous and more immersive.
My brief excursion through The Game’s realm showed me how deep the imagination and community here at Woodford Folk Festival runs – and how not to do a raid.