Mudcat Café message #1813568 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #93889   Message #1813568
Posted By: JohnInKansas
19-Aug-06 - 12:40 AM
Thread Name: Philadelphia Folk Festival
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Folk Festival
I managed to make a very brief stop at the Philly Festival on the closing day in 1985, about 2 weeks before the Winfield Festival. My very brief impression of Philly was that it was quite a lot like the Winfield, except they do actually call it a Folk Festival, while Winfield tries to maintain that theirs is a more generic "Acoustic Music" Festival - and everyone calls it a Bluegrass Festival despite the official policy.

Since I only had a "day pass" they wouldn't let me into the camping area at Philly. The weather was a bit less than really nice, and I wasn't equipped, so I only saw about 4 acts. One of them was Mike Cross, who on the spot composed a special song titled "I Survived the Philly Flood of '85" to celebrate the rather difficult weather they'd had. Two weeks later, at Winfield, on the spot, Mike Cross composed a special song titled "I Survived the Winfield Flood of '85." (Versatile, that guy, ain't he.) At least nobody can argue that the weather wasn't similar. And in both instance, he did work in quite a few references to incidents and conditions peculiar to each of the Festivals.

The program indicated that Philly was a lot more organized with respect to activities for the kids, and gave the impression that the youngsters were not really expected to enjoy the main program(?). Winfield has only a few sporadic "kid things" but there's always enough going in with the camping crowd that the younger ones seem to maintain good spirits without organized activities. Someone probably could write a good thesis on that contrast, maybe, if it's as it appeared to me.

My Festival experience is pretty much limited to the western half of the US, and there Winfield is almost unique in that it's one of very few that doesn't declare being "Bluegrass." I really need to get "back east" and find some of the "Old Time" fests, but many of the ones whose names are recognizable seem to be very highly commercialized...