A melodic stream of whistling carried content festival-goers through the exit gates as day one at Jericho Beach Park came to its end.
As a first time Vancouver Folk Fest visitor, Friday’s events surprised me with insight into what contemporary folk music sounds like not only in North America, but across the world. In six hours I witnessed music from as many countries–the culture, style, and instruments increasingly diverse as I travelled from stage to stage.
Equally as remarkable as the performances were the crowds. Folk lovers of all ages and ethnicities came together to celebrate their shared love for live music, and a sea of happy faces covered the green-grass fields.
For most of the night the crowds were split between the two open stages, Main and Sundown, but just as the sun set everyone gathered in close to watch headliners Andrew Bird and the Hands of Glory. The set started soft, got very lively, and then ended with the singular tones of satisfying whistles.