Philadelphia Folk Festival Presents its 43rd Edition

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,
Bill Kircher.

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
Nine, Girlyman

Tickets for the Philadelphia Folk Festival are available
at 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].