The Richmond Folk Festival: An Outsourced & Wayward Preview
The annual Richmond Folk Festival is upon us, and good lord… where do we even start? This three day music festival in its 14th year is a seasoned sanctuary for music lovers, offering up anything and everything that might be attached to the word “folk,” all in front of a welcoming crowd.
We won’t offer up any recommendations here — there are far too many great acts performing that it’d be heartbreaking to snub someone, but more importantly, the magic of this weekend is the free-flowing discovery. Mark down stuff you want to see, sure, but also set aside plenty of time to just bounce around and take in whatever catches your ear in the moment. You might just come away singing the praises of polka and zydeco music to anyone who will listen. Don’t laugh either — if you’ve been to the Folk Festival before, you know the feeling.
You can view the whole schedule by clicking here, and get some information on the performers by clicking here. For those wanting to do a deeper dive before making the trek this weekend, here are some local articles that are worth reading on the folk festival, with a few of them highlighted specifically for their intriguing quality.
♦ “Best musical slapstick: Zhou Family Band” – Style Weekly
That title alone shows you just what’s in store for you this weekend.
♦ “Breaking Taboos: A pioneering female bluegrass singer talks about the challenges and thrills” – Style Weekly
Karen Newton has an insightful look into the career and confidence of Claire Lynch.
♦ “A Conversation with Uilleann Piper Jarlath Henderson” – River City Magazine
Leave it to the amazing writer Davy Jones to make people not only care about uilleann pipe music, but seek it out.
♦ “Most likely to draw a huge crowd: Mavis Staples” – Style Weekly
It’s Mavis Staples, y’all. You can’t miss it.
♦ “Music for Folks: The great-nephew of Django Reinhardt takes his guitar duo in new directions” – Style Weekly
Beyond the bloodline, this article is fantastic for Peter McElhinney capturing the most casual and profound answer to what folk music really is.
♦ “What to watch at this year’s Richmond Folk Festival: Mavis Staples, bounce music & Carnival costumes” – Richmond Times-Dispatch
Colleen Curran offers a detailed, yet concise look at some definite stand-outs of the jam-packed line-up this weekend.
♦ “Volunteer Profile: Diane Muska” – Style Weekly
A great read if only to celebrate the enthusiasm and dedication of someone who’s been with the Folk Festival since its inception.
And if all of that is not enough to make you want to check out the festival, maybe this short video from a few years ago will.