Philadelphia, USA – The Philadelphia Folk
Festival will take place August 27-29 at the Old Pool Farm near Schwenksville,
Pennsylvania. It is a three-day extravaganza of traditional and contemporary
folk, dance, crafts, camping, and children’s activities.
Some of the main attractions this year are: John Prine,
Natalie MacMaster, Taj Mahal, La Botine Souriante, Chris Smither, Tom
Russell, Ollabelle, and Mindy Smith. In all, 45 folk, world and roots artists
will be providing more than 75 hours of music from contemporary to traditional,
with an extra emphasis this year on dance. Returning for his 43nd year as host/emcee is the
Godfather of Philly Folk Music, WXPN radio personality and festival co-founder
Gene Shay, whose four decades of dedication, preservation and promotion of folk
music have become legendary — not only in Philadelphia, but around the
Organizers began making the whole festival more
“user-friendly” last year, overhauling the Sunday closing schedule to end by
9:45 p.m., and allow audiences to get home early enough to get a fresh start
New to the festival in 2004 is a completely redesigned
floor plan featuring the Grand Entrance Foyer, an outdoor lobby that welcomes
festival-goers to the Philadelphia Folk Festival as they pass through the main
entrance with an active area of dance, merchandise, crafts and, in the
Philadelphia Folksong Society tent, space for members to gather and meet. A
highlight of the Grand Entrance Foyer is the new Dance Tent – with a 3,500
square-foot wooden floored “studio,” where top-shelf dance bands and callers
will be performing live. Another attraction is the Beer Garden, featuring a
variety of brews.
There is an abundance of attractions for the kids,
especially in Dulcimer Grove, the shady area between the Crafts Stage and Camp
Stage where puppeteers, jugglers, hands-on crafts, storytellers and kid-oriented
musicians make it a haven for folk fans 12 and under. Musicians playing for the
kids include Grammy Award winners Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer; the “Appalachian
juju” of the Juggernaut String Band, and Echoing Heart.
A special section of the campgrounds is designated for
Family Camping as a “quieter” area of the campgrounds, particularly late at
night, where campers there are asked to avoid after-hours jam sessions.
The lineup by day is as follows:
Friday evening: La Botine Souriante, Andy
M. Stewart & Jerry O’Beirne, Brave Combo, Fink & Marxer, David Olney, Cherish
the Ladies. Piper: Dennis Hangey. MC: Gene Shay
Friday afternoon: Full Frontal Folk, Hickory Project,
Adrienne Young & Little Sadie, Time for Three, John Flynn, Fitzgerald & Beach,
Friday afternoon kids (3 p.m.): Fink & Marxer, Echoing
Saturday evening: Eliza Gilkyson, Wild Asparagus, Mindy
Smith, Uncle Earl, Green Grass Cloggers, Robin & Linda Williams, Cindy
Cashdollar & the Silver Shot Western Swing Revue. Piper: Dennis Hangey. MC: Gene
Saturday afternoon: Taj Mahal, Ollabelle
Saturday showcase: Hank Williams Tribute
Sunday: John Prine, Chris Smither, John Roberts & Tony
Barrand, Natalie MacMaster, DaVinci’s Notebook, Tom Russell, Sones de Mexico
Sunday showcases: 2’s & 3’s Wishing Chair, We’re About
Tickets for the Philadelphia Folk Festival are available
at www.folkfest.org. Tickets also will be
available at the Philadelphia Folksong Society Box Office, 7113 Emlen St.,
Philadelphia. For complete information about the Festival and tickets, call the
Philadelphia Folk Festival at 800-556-FOLK.
[Photos: 1-Natalie MacMaster, 2-La Botine Souriante].
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. He was also the executive producer of the first Latino feature film made in North Carolina titled “Los sueños de Angélica.”.