Hello from the Philadelphia Folk Festival!

Posted August 17th, 2013 at 9:11 pm (UTC+0)

By Katherine Cole

Greetings from  the Old Pool Farm in Upper Salford Township, PA (near the town of Schwenksville, if you want to find us on the map), where I am attending the 52nd Philadelphia Folk Festival. This is one of the oldest continuously operating music festivals in the United States and, unlike some years, we’ve got nothing but blue skies, mild temps, and no rain in the forecast. Perfect weather for a weekend of music in the great outdoors.

Welcome to the 52nd Philadelphia Folk Festival! In addition to plenty of local acts, headliners include Richard Thompson’s Electric trio, The Mavericks, and Jake Shimabukuro were among the headliners at the weekend event.

The Stray Birds played on the main stage on the first afternoon of the four day event. The three piece acoustic trio of young classically trained musicians soon had the crowd on their feet and dancing —and while the audience at this small club was closer to the band than everyone in Philly, the music sounded just as sweet out in the great outdoors.

I know it’s hard to believe, but there’s only so much sunshine and music some festivalgoers can handle in one day, so organizers worked hard to make sure the schedule includes plenty of other events to keep everyone happy and entertained. There are crafters to learn from, music documentary films to watch, and even quiet spots to just sit and read.

Hammocks line the woods in the Dulcimer Grove at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. (photo by Katherine Cole)

Runa’s Cheryl Prashker, pictured here seconds before the Celtics Roots band took to the stage for their Friday night main stage show, told me the Philadelphia Folk Festival is one the group has been looking forward to playing all year.

Cheryl Prashker of Runa at the 2013 Philadelphia Folk Festival, the Friday night main stage audience behind her. (photo courtesy of Cheryl Prasker)

But not all the fun at the Philadelphia Folk Festival takes place on the stage— spending time with all the folks who’ve set up their weekend homes in the campground can be pretty entertaining, too. More on that tomorrow!

Yes, that really is a piano in the middle of the campground at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Why? Why not? (photo by Katherine Cole)

Host of VOA's Roots and Branches, and world traveler extraordinaire! When I'm not listening to music, I'm probably talking about it or thinking about the next band I'm going to see. Or my next interview! Join me every week for the best in folk, bluegrass and all other forms of American roots music!

4 responses to “Hello from the Philadelphia Folk Festival!”

  1. J Wilson says:

    Have spent many happy days at the Fest — and memorable nights in the campground! Wonderful lineup and wonderful weather this year.

  2. R Webster says:

    Thanks for posting about the beloved Philly Folk Fest! Especially about the eclectic and unique campground. The music and the weather were the best all around, especially The Stray Birds, The Mavericks, and The Gabe Butterfield Band.

    • The campground was amazing! Everyone was so nice —I loved seeing all the campsites and can’t believe how much time and energy goes into creating the perfect festival home! Money, too—some of those set ups are very lush. But there are plenty of simple camp set ups, too—I don’t want people to think you have to be a zillionaire to camp at a music festival in the US!



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