I consider myself a relative newcomer to the Folk Fest crowd. I didn’t grow up in the Folk Festival culture. My first Folk Festival experience was at the 2005 Edmonton Folk Music Festival. My family never attended any outdoor music festivals even though extra-curricular music studies were valued. I can still hear my mother questioning my sanity for being willing to sit outside all day in the sun just to listen to music and feed the mosquitoes. I was reluctant to purchase my first weekend pass. I thought I would buy the evening ticket to ease my transition to the folkie world. However, lured by the peer pressure of more folkie-oriented friends, I decided to purchase a four-day pass since I was guaranteed that the afternoon workshop sessions are “where the magic happens”. I have not looked back.
During my Edmonton Folk Fest attendance over the years, I began to notice a continuing trend of Winnipeg inspiration. It is a location that has cultivated many Canadian talents and provide inspirations to other Artists. Danny Michel recorded his live album at the Winnipeg West End Cultural Centre and one of the lines from Dala‘s song Anywhere Under the Moon is: “The last power line, my cell phone died/I don’t even know your number/So I drive all the way to Winnipeg.” Even local Winnipeg band, The Weakerthans, communicates the poignant phrase, “I hate Winnipeg,” in their song One Great City. From my perspective, Winnipeg has a mystical music quality to it.
What is it about this prairie community that has captured the hearts of so many singer/songwriters? What is it about the Winnipeg Arts scene where it is able to cultivate such talent? My goal this next week is to investigate the folkie allure of the Winnipeg Folk Fest. I will be traveling with my fellow Edmonton folkie, Twila, to the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Neither of us have been to the Winnipeg Folk Festival before. We will update readers on our roadtrip and festival experiences this week through tweets,posts, and pictures. Follow us in our experiences as we adventure beyond Gallagher Hill towards Birds Hill Provincial Park.
Crowds for the Colour Draw (Sunday Morning 6:45 am)
Circling the corral (Sunday morning 7 am)
Success! Tarps are laid for the main stage events (Friday’s hill above the first aid tent)
A reminder from organizers to be couteous to those surrounding you.
Workshop Sessions -where the magic of folk fest comes alive. Members of: The Paul McKenna Band and Blue Highway (Saturday Morning Stage 1)
Workshop Session. Members of: La Bottine Souriante, The Paul McKenna Band, Emily Smith and Dry Bones (Saturday afternoon Stage 5)
Dry Bones (Saturday Afternoon Stage 5)
Kiran Ahluwalia, Jayme Stone and James Vincent McMorrow (Sunday Morning Stage 5)
Members of David Wax Museum, The Barr Brothers and Dry Bones (Friday Evening Stage 1)
T. Nile and Her Banjo Jolene (Saturday Morning Stage 3)
Martyn Joseph takes a stroll through the crowd (Friday evening Stage 5)
Arlo Guthrie (Friday Evening Main Stage)
Finale (Sunday Night Main Stage)
Seeing is believing. The Edmonton Folk Fest allows audiences to experience their favorite musicians in a venue that although accommodates 10,000+ music fans can be surprisingly intimate. Have a look and see!