Vancouver Folk Festival Thoughts/Advice To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
11 messages

Vancouver Folk Festival Thoughts/Advice

02 Apr 01 - 12:22 PM (#431255)
Subject: Vancouver Folk Festival Thoughts/Advice
From: black walnut

This summer will include our first visit to the Vancouver Folk Festival. Every festival has its own characteristics and quirks. For those who have attended this one, do you have any thoughts or advice for our family (me, spouse and teenage daughter who can only tolerate so much actual folk music,and will appreciate nearby diversions)?

I'm looking mostly for very practical tips. For example, people going to the Hillside Festival in Guelph should take a bathing suit...people going to the Goderich Celtic Festival should take a comfortable lawn chair....people going to the Winnipeg Festival should get there really early every day and run to the main stage with a tarp and tall marker. That kind of stuff....


~black walnut

02 Apr 01 - 05:21 PM (#431498)
Subject: RE: Vancouver Folk Festival Thoughts/Advice
From: Frank Maher

If You can't Tolerate so Much Actual Folk Music,May I suggest taking along Earplugs????

02 Apr 01 - 05:32 PM (#431506)
Subject: RE: Vancouver Folk Festival Thoughts/Advice
From: Liam's Brother

Dear black walnut,

If you fly into Vancouver, make sure no one in the family shoplifts any candy bars at a newsstand in the airport terminal. I was there 7 or 8 years ago and I saw 6 Mounties in 4 squad cars handcuff and lead away a woman who had inappropriately appropriated a candy bar.

Remember, hands in pockets at all times!

02 Apr 01 - 08:11 PM (#431595)
Subject: RE: Vancouver Folk Festival Thoughts/Advice

It has been a while, but I recall that the Winnipeg style "run and get a good place at Main Stage" occurs. Sit on the ground, they sell special chairs that are back rests only. A foamy and a blanket are adequate. Weather could be a problem, but I have only seen the VFMF in the heat. Your teenage daughter ought to be able to find something to listen to, the range is pretty broad. If not, the site is right on a beach, which can be accessed.

Have fun.

02 Apr 01 - 08:17 PM (#431598)
Subject: RE: Vancouver Folk Festival Thoughts/Advice
From: GUEST,#1

Spread that blanket out in front of the evening concert stage as soon as the gates are open, or you'll be out of range of the sound system for the evening concert. The time I was there Martin Carthy, the Waterson's and Kathryn Tickell were all that were close to folk.

02 Apr 01 - 08:51 PM (#431632)
Subject: RE: Vancouver Folk Festival Thoughts/Advice
From: black walnut

Thanks, I thought that the mainstage seating would be a factor, but some festivals don't allow you to save spaces. I'll definitely keep it in mind.

I wasn't very clear, husband and I LOVE folk music!!! I was only talking about my daughter who was raised going to several folk festivals every summer, but is now just at that age to think that she might want to have her own kind of music...

The Vancouver Festival seems to have a lot of variety to offer. I'm sure we'll ALL enjoy it!

And I'll try not to shoplift. I'll really really try.

~black walnut

03 Apr 01 - 12:50 AM (#431751)
Subject: RE: Vancouver Folk Festival Thoughts/Advice
From: reggie miles

I've only had one opportunity to visit the VFMF. It was years ago. I took a bus up from Seattle and was one of the few passengers that was hauled off the bus at the border and grilled by the authorities as to my reason for traveling to Canada that day. They asked about how much money I was carrying. Then they asked to see the money and wanted me to count it out for them. That didn't make me feel very welcome but I stayed my course and got to the festival. Do you think they were suspicious of me because I brought along my 1929 Maytag Eldorado Rhythm Board (washboard precussion and sound effects gizmo)? I just thought I might have a chance to jam with some folks while I was there. The washboard was a hit with the kids there. After playing for a small group of about 15 or 20 I tried to bid them good day and they chased after me. I ran clear across the grounds with my washboard held over my head being pursued by these crazed, out of control children. It was silly, fun and a little scary. I guess they couldn't get enough. Late in the evening while playing and dancing along with the hundreds of others on the outskirts of one of the large stage performances I did as many others did. I set my shoulder bag on the ground. When I turned to pick it up, I found it missing. It had been taken by someone. There wasn't much inside, a book I was reading and some harmonicas. I found what was left, after inquiring with lost and found the next day, just the book and the bag. One of the few times I've ever had anything stolen. I had a great time just the same. I'd like to go back again. I figure them kids are probably too old by now to care about chasing a guy with a wacky washboard across the grounds and this time I think I'll hang on to my shoulder bag. Maybe I'll saw ya there this year.

03 Apr 01 - 09:22 AM (#431964)
Subject: RE: Vancouver Folk Festival Thoughts/Advice
From: GUEST,Rana

I used to live next to Jericho Park were the festival was (is) held. They would give us free passes for the Friday night to appease us. Jericho Beach was one of my favourite areas. If you walk up to West 9 (Broadway and Alma), you'll find the equivalent of the Danforth. Athenes on the corner is good (used to go there a lot). Walking up the hill to West 10 and Blanca brings you to shopping district just before the UBC gates (endowment lands are really good to walk through, also the University golf course). The Candia Taverna is there - bit of a surprise on my last vist to find it unchanged after 20 years. It was the only place I frequented which was owned by a Bulgarian, served greco-roman cuisine (all the Greek restaurants serve pizza) and had a belly dancer on Friday nights who was ethnically of a Chinese background.

Going along Marine Drive towards the campus is good - great views. Eventually you come to the Anthropology museum which is well worth a visit. One thing I found interesting was finding a world war 2 gun turret site (overgrown obviously) just behind the museum.

I'll give you more info when I see you next at the Cloud.

Cheers Rana

03 Apr 01 - 03:09 PM (#432300)
Subject: RE: Vancouver Folk Festival Thoughts/Advice
From: GUEST,petr

one of those small folding chairs is a great idea but there are times when Ive ended up behind some inconsiderate sod with a lawnchair. the best part of the folk festival is the little workshops that occur in the small stages. There are some great jams happening. One word about the former organizer Gary Cristal, when one of my friends (great fiddle player and guitarist) wanted to get in to the festival and play trad Irish, Cristal said "If I want to get Irish musicians Ill bring in someone from Ireland" so much for supporting the local talent. Overall Ive gone to the festival at least for a day the last few years, it isnt cheap but what gets me is that once you get in and want to find anything you still have to buy the guide for 2 bucks (which is full of advertising anyway) it should really be included with the ticket. Again, I could skip the mainstage and see the small acts in the surrounding stages (because Unless you get there really early the mainstage is a postage stamp and you might as well be listening to the radio.

03 Apr 01 - 04:04 PM (#432363)
Subject: RE: Vancouver Folk Festival Thoughts/Advice
From: GUEST,Rana

Actually if you want to be cheap ( and I did this a couple of years) - I paid for one day, but just caught the evening concert from the beach (other side of fence. Musically it was fine (I'm assuming same set up). I found a whole weekend at a festivel just to be a bit too much for me. I don't know the prices now but in the early '80s I recall the weekend pass was well over $50. I was amazed at how cheap the festivals were over here when I moved to Ontario


04 Apr 01 - 01:56 PM (#433136)
Subject: RE: Vancouver Folk Festival Thoughts/Advice
From: black walnut

Well, I ordered early bird passes for the three of us today....they're quite a bit of money but there you go. It's a holiday. It's far away. When will we ever do it again....At any rate, I think this festival will be worth the money just to be able to hear folk music and look at real live mountains at the same time. I almost always prefer small stages to the main stage, though. Partially because the quieter acoustic acts shine better on the smaller stages. They can get lost (if they indeed appear) on the big stage. Is there any problem with Dreaded Sound Bleed at the Vancouver Festival? There are several Ontario festivals which are starting to drive me mad due to D.S.B. (Should I mention their names? Hillside? Sudbury?) Fortunately there are festivals with next to no S.B. ....Millrace is a superb example.'re going to be a great resource of essential knowledge! Just write it all down for me and I'll read it on the plane... Thanks all! ~black walnut