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Philadelphia Folk Fest expands lineup to include Helen Leicht’s Philly Local showcase, Dan Blacksberg, Nina de Vitry, Michael Braunfeld, Philly Music co-op and more

The Philadelphia Music Co-Op stage at Philadelphia Folk Festival | photo by Lisa Schaffer | SkylerBug.com

As the 58th annual Philadelphia Folk Festival grows nearer, the lineup continues to expand as side stage showcases, workshops, and other features are rolled out. These artists join previously-announced headliners David Crosby, Margo Price, and more.

On Saturday afternoon, WXPN’s Helen Leicht hosts her annual Philly Local showcase on the festival’s camp stage. Artists hand-picked by Leicht from the Philadelphia region will include singer-songwriter Blair Bodine, Americana outfit Jackson Pines, electronic pop trio Great Time, and rock band The End of America Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Philadelphia Folk Festival’s initial 2019 lineup features David Crosby, Margo Price, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and more

Margo Price | photo by Natalie Piserchio for WXPN // David Crosby | photo by Anna Webber | courtesy of the artist // Preservation Hall Jazz Band | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN

The 58th annual Philadelphia Folk Festival will return this year with an impressive and inclusive lineup. The festival will be headlined by David Crosby & Friends, Margo Price, The Mavericks, and Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Singer-songwriter Joan Osborne brings her songs of Bob Dylan project to the Old Pool Farm stage, with sets by Amanda Shires, Dom Flemons of Carolina Chocolate  Drops, Kaia Kater, and more in the mix.  Continue reading →

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Volunteer Powered: Meet the people behind the scenes that make Philadelphia Folk Fest happen

Philadelphia Folk Festival | photo by Lisa Schaffer | SkylerBug.com

There’s a lot of things that make the Philadelphia Folk Festival one-of-a-kind. It’s not just that it’s the longest continuously-run outdoor festival in North America, having just completed its 57th year. It’s not just the lineup, which manages to be both entertaining but also diverse and interesting. It’s not even that it’s the first outdoor festival in the United States to take the Keychange pledge to achieve performer gender parity.

In fact, the festival has in many ways transcended the music by creating a community, a family really, that gets together for a few days out of the year to camp, catch up, and watch bands play on the stages and in the campsite. It’s within that group of festival diehards and excited newcomers that you find what truly makes Folk Fest unique: the more than 2,000 volunteers that serve as the backbone for this annual undertaking. Continue reading →

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Scenes from the 57th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival

Philadelphia Folk Festival | photo by Lisa Schaffer | SkylerBug.com

The Philadelphia Folk Festival is about more than just the music. Even with a lineup that included everyone from legends like Patty Griffin and David Bromberg to newer names like Valerie June to Philly locals like Kuf Knotz and Matt Santry — and a long list of others — the essence of the festival cannot be summed up by the artists that were there or the songs that were sung, but rather by the sense of community and excitement that has been filling the rural setting of Upper Salford Township, Pennsylvania each August for 57 years. Continue reading →

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Deer Scout, The Naked Sun, Tin Bird Choir and more are among 30+ locals added to Philadelphia Folk Fest

clockwise from left: Tin Bird Choir | photo by Mike Santarelli | courtesy of the artist // Bethlehem & Sad Patrick | photo by John Vettese for WXPN // deer scout | photo by John Vettese for WXPN // The Naked Sun | photo by Charles Wrzesniewski | courtesy of the artist

As the 57th annual Philadelphia Folk Festival finalizes its lineup, over 30 local and regional artists were added to the bill, among them Bethlehem & Sad Patrick, deer scout, Deb Callahan, The Naked Sun and Tin Bird Choir. Continue reading →

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Wynonna Judd and the Big Noise, Patty Griffin, Valerie June, Shovels and Rope top Philadelphia Folk Fest’s 2018 lineup

Wynonna Judd and the Big Noise at NonCOMM 2018 | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

The annual Philadelphia Folk Festival returns for its 57th year this August, and just announced its initial lineup, led by famed country singer-songwriter Wynonna Judd and her current band The Big Noise.

After appearing at the 2015 NonCOMM-vention, Judd and the band released their self-titled debut, Wynonna and the Big Noise, in 2016; the album featured collaborations with Derek Trucks, Sudan Tedeschi, Rapheal Saadiq and more.

Also high up in the festival billing are veteran Austin singer-songwriter Patty Griffin, emerging Memphis artist Valerie June, and the high-energy Charleston duo Shovels and Rope. Festival regulars David Bromberg QuintetChris SmitherJohn GorkaBeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet also perform. Continue reading →

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Meet the music makers of the Philadelphia Folk Festival Campground

Philadelphia Folk Festival | photo by Lisa Schaffer | SkylerBug.com

Hours after Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo wowed thousands on the main stage at the 56th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival last weekend, Andy Walko wowed a couple dozen people over in the Hoagie campsite where a pickup band was running through the standards.

Walko isn’t a professional musician. A retired schoolteacher with a lifelong love of music, he’s been coming to Folk Fest for close to four decades and playing upright bass in the immense campgrounds adjacent to the stages for about half that time. It might not seem like he deserves to be mentioned in the same paragraph as the world-famous bluesman Taj Mahal, but Walko is just as important as any other performer at this volunteer-run festival in beautiful Upper Salford, PA. Continue reading →

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56 scenes from the 56th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival

Philadelphia Folk Festival | photo by Lisa Schaffer | SkylerBug.com

Music, art, creativity and community — this is the stuff that’s in the air at the annual Philadelphia Folk Festival, from the mainstage headliners to the sidestage workshops to the famed Dulcimer Grove and the bustling campground scene. This year, the festival was packed with sounds and songs from big names Graham NashOld Crow Medicine Show, and Taj Mahal; local favorites Black Horse MotelLadybird, No Good Sister, and The End of America; and Helen Leicht’s annual XPN Local Showcase featuring Jesse Hale Moore, Greg Sover Band, and Vita and the Woolf.

And then, of course, there are the pick-up players at colorfully constructed campsites, the folks strumming acoustic guitars while lounging in hammocks, the budding artists making sketchbook illustrations and watercolors of the action. Philly photographer Lisa Schaffer has been a Folk Fest fixture for as long as we’ve known her, and this year she presents us with the sights she saw; 56 images for the 56th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival.  Continue reading →