Philadelphia Folk Festival

Philadelphia Folk Festival
The Philadelphia Folk Festival is an annual folk music festival that takes place at the Old Pool Farm in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1962, it is one of the longest-running and most famous folk festivals in North America.

The Philadelphia Folk Festival is run by the Philadelphia Folksong Society. Founded in 1957 by a small group of folk musicians and fans, PFS is a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to preserving the past, promoting the present and securing the future of folk music and related arts through education, presentation and participation. One of the main organizers and the emcee of the Philadelphia Folk Festival is its co-founder Gene Shay.

Over the years, the Philadelphia Folk Festival has grown to become one of the largest folk music festivals in North America. It has an attendance of over 35,000, including nearly 7,000 campers who stay at the Old Pool Farm. The festival is set up and produced by a dedicated group of more than 2,500 volunteers.

The festival brings together folk music enthusiasts of different ages and backgrounds, offering them over 75 hours of music on several stages. The event features local, regional and national acts and embraces different folk music styles such as country, folk rock, Celtic, world, fusion, klezmer, and others.

Along with live performances, the program of the festival includes various workshops, children’s events and activities, improvised campground jam sessions, craft vendors, and more. The Philadelphia Folk Festival is a perfect family event with kid-oriented musicians, hands-on crafts, storytellers, jugglers, puppeteers, and other entertainment.

One of the festival’s main highlights is a special Camp Stage show hosted by WXPN radio for its nationally syndicated music radio program World Cafe. Since the program’s launch, it has been hosted by David Dye. Although he retired as host of World Cafe in 2016, he will continue to host the annual concert at the Folk Fest.

The Philadelphia Folk Festival is the flagship project of the Philadelphia Folksong Society, but PFS also organizes a series of concerts and other events throughout the year. The society’s programs include a series of retreats, the Odyssey of American Music, the Philadelphia Music Co-op, and benefit fundraisers.

In 2020, the event was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Philadelphia Folk Festival





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