Meet the music makers of the Philadelphia Folk Festival Campground

Philadelphia Folk Festival | photo by Lisa Schaffer |

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 →


56 scenes from the 56th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival

Philadelphia Folk Festival | photo by Lisa Schaffer |

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 →


Get ready to plan your weekend: the Philly Folk Fest schedule is in!

Old Crowd Medicine Show |

Stop your waiting and start your planning, because the Philadelphia Folk Festival schedule has arrived.

Taking place in a week and a half in Upper Salford, the festival boasts an incredibly jam-packed weekend. With headliners Old Crow Medicine Show, Graham Nash, and Taj Mahal — as well as local Philly faves such as Vita and the Woolf, Greg Sover, and Jesse Hale Moore — it’s going to be a grand weekend of folky tunes. Continue reading →


Graham Nash, Old Crow Medicine Show, Taj Mahal, Keb Mo and more will play Philadelphia Folk Festival 2017

Graham Nash | Photo by Kate McCann for WXPN |

Veteran singer-songwriter Graham Nash and well-traveled bluegrass ensemble Old Crow Medicine Show lead off the lineup of artists performing at the 56th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival this summer.

Set for August 17th through the 20th at Old Pool Farm in Upper Salford Township, the initial lineup also includes Taj Mo: a new collaboration between blues favorites Taj Mahal and Keb Mo’, and their respective bands. Also bringing the blues is Kansas City guitarist and songwriter Samantha Fish, while bluegrass mandolinist Sierra Hull makes her festival debut. Continue reading →