Every year, mid-July the city gathers in Jericho Beach to celebrate world folk music. With acts that span the globe, the festival hand picks unique acts with talented musicians to play for us in one of the most magical spots in the city. Not only is the music amazing and the location exceptional but the day-time collaborations that bring together diverse groups of musicians into workshops that are often improvised, are a real treat for those seeking to hear something that can often times be rare in today’s well rehearsed musical world.
Year after year, Vancouver Folk Festival brings a few big acts to headline the main stage and this one is no exception. M. Ward of She and Him, Monsters of Folk and of course his own solo projects, is sure to bring his dreamy vocals and masterful guitar to the Friday night evening concert. He won’t be one to miss.
The workshops begin on Friday afternoon, and continue on throughout the weekend. On Saturday morning bring your coffee and blanket to Stage 5, at 10:00 am, where you will find the workshop titled, Highways, Heartaches and Time Well Wasted, which will consist of Terra Lightfoot, Lisa Leblanc and Dominique Fricot. Each artist in this workshop will bring their own unique attributes to their time together on stage. With Terra Lightfoot, we will have blues, finger picking and hook heavy melodies; Dominique Fricot, a B.C. native hailing from Salmon Arm, will bring sounds inspired by Snow Patrol, Tory Amos and Radiohead; whereas Lisa Leblanc, the artist whose album gave the title to this workshop will imbue her Acadian history into this sure to be amazing morning experience.
One of the best parts of Folk Festival, is the food! This year is no exception with an amazing selection of culinary delights. With offerings from Earnest Ice Cream, Salt Spring Coffee (a 20 year sponsor of the festival), Dim Sum, Italian, Venezuelan Arepas, you name it, they have it. Stop by, have a bite, or a few, you won’t regret it.
Finally, to wrap up the weekend, you can find a workshop called World Dance Party on Stage 6 at 4:50 pm, while certainly not the last act of the weekend, it’s sure to be a fantastic dance party wrap up with sounds from Nahko and Medicine for the People, a world music group that plays what they call ““thump-hop,” a percussion heavy, rainbow-envisioned mix of styles and approaches”; Yemen Blues which is a “musical concept that resides at the crossroads of traditional Yemenite melodies and the world of funk, blues, and jazz” and Ajinai, will transport us all to the grasslands of Mongolia. Surely this is one workshop that shouldn’t be missed.
Wrapping up the festival on Stage 3, one of the last acts of the night will be the Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, a local duo consisting of Shawn Hall on the Harp and Matthew Rogers on the Axe. This duo brings their “raw and funky blues that make you sweat and satisfy your soul”, so let’s bring our enthusiasm to this sweaty foot stomping party and go out with a bang.