“It’s a meeting of old friends and new friends, the peaceful ambiance of the place … A community of like-minded people who enjoy having fun and being nice to each other.”
“It introduces me to new music every year, which is why I keep coming back. What the Folk Fest means to me is world-class music, wonderful music!”
It’s the moment you walk down the forested path and see Snowberry Stage. It’s dancing with your toes in the soft grass. It’s kicking back on your tarp with your hat tipped over your eyes, listening to the music while the sun warms your cheeks. It’s running into old friends and making new ones. It’s discussing the music, in-depth and openly. It’s taking the time to enjoy each other’s company and appreciate the things that are truly important in life.
“It’s in my heart; it’s in my soul; it’s part of my life. I don’t know what I’d do without my dose of folkiness in the summertime.” ~ Jane Graham, Volunteer
Here’s the lineup of folk and fan favorites for this summer’s festival at Birds Hill Provincial Park: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Wilco, José González and Jenny Lewis will lead the new folk revival, while classic favourites including Arlo Guthrie and famed folk-rock band Steeleye Span will take their place as Folk Fest legends.
“With this lineup, we are honoring folk music by embracing the evolution of folk while staying true to the traditions of Folk Fest,” said Artistic Director Chris Frayer. “Modern folk artists are playing with the genre and pushing it in new directions and this lineup will be an exciting representation of that.”
2015 Main Stage highlights include:
Psychedelic indie-folk ensemble Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (Los Angeles, CA) – led by Golden Globe-winner Alex Ebert – draws on a wide breadth of genres including roots and gospel.
Soulful singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis (Los Angeles, CA) will share her timeless vocals, which fans first heard during her stint in popular indie bands, Rilo Kiley and The Postal Service.
Grammy Award-winning experimental folk group Wilco (Chicago, IL), led by festival favourite Jeff Tweedy, will bring their gritty sound to the Main Stage for the first time as a full band.
Guitar virtuoso José González (Sweden), will showcase music from his first solo album in seven years, which was released in February to great fanfare.
Hot on the heels of his sold out Winnipeg show, Bahamas will be returning to the festival with his new album.
Multi award-winner Jason Isbell will play his achingly beautiful Americana music, including songs from his much-lauded album, Southeastern.
Renowned for its one-of-a-kind workshops and concerts, Folk Fest kicks it up a notch for 2015. The great Arlo Guthrie will be doing a special performance of the iconic 18-minute and 34-second monologue “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” for its 50th anniversary. Another not-to-be-missed performance will see legendary English troubadour Robyn Hitchcock join Canada’s premier roots-rock band The Sadies and other special guests to perform The Band’s Stage Fright album, in honor of the anniversary of its 1970 release.
World music will be as diverse as ever at this summer’s festival. World-music collective and activists Nahko and Medicine For The People (OR/HI), Tuareg blues masters Tamikrest (Mali), the incandescent voices of Dehli’s Barmer Boys (India), and the musical brilliance of Söndörgo (Hungary) will have audiences on their feet throughout the weekend. One of the world’s only double violinists Gingger Shankar (Los Angeles, CA), who scored the feature film Passion of the Christ and toured with the Smashing Pumpkins on their 20th anniversary tour, will bring her unique Indian electronica music to the festival stages.
The landscape of Manitoban music will also be richly represented on the nine Folk Fest stages; featuring the genre-bending Royal Canoe, the Mexican stylings of The Mariachi Ghost, one-man band The Reverend Rambler, Anishinaabe ‘rez poet’ Leonard Sumner and singer-songwriter Slow Leaves.