After drug overdose played spoilsport in Sydney’s Stereosonic Music Festival, severe thunderstorms came close to dampening the spirit of the Woodford Folk Festival. Although it brought down the soaring temperatures, it also threatened the spirit of the fire-heavy opening ceremony on Sunday night. Although the crowd was soaked to the bone, they still managed to be happy.

Australian jazz blues singer-songwriter and guitarist Lanie Lane took the stage as the crowd sought shelter beneath their umbrellas. Earlier, festival founder and director Bill Hauritz had spoken of the financial troubles his creation went through after the 2010 floods, reports Sydney Morning Herald.

However, as the sun set behind the Woodfordia grounds, thousands of people from all walks of life came together to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Woodford Folk Festival. Popular singer-songwriter Katie Noonan evoked the spirit and history of the iconic festival for the welcoming ceremony with her tribute song, “United in Sound.”

Noonan’s six-piece band was accompanied by composer Andrew Veivers’ 40-person ensemble, the Sunshine Coast Woodford Welcome Orchestra, made up of musicians from the Sunshine Coast.

Even 14 millimeters of rain over a 16-hour period did not deter the crowd as they fought the weather with brollies and gumboots. Uncle Noel Blair delighted the crowd with a “Welcome to Country” performance. It was followed by a spectacular show by professional artists, writes ABC News.

“Maybe the rain popped a few people in bed a bit earlier last night. The site just looks fantastic today. You wouldn't have expected that we had so much rain,” said Amanda Jackes, Woodford Folk Festival general manager.

Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson has also urged Australians to embrace the country’s indigenous history through constitutional recognition in a speech. Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke was also present in the crowd and he joined the crowd in a standing ovation for the Cape York community leader, reports ABC News.

The Woodford Folk Festival opened on Sunday and will run till Jan. 01, 2016. For tickets, please click here.

Contact the writer of this story at or let us know what you think below.