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Favorite Music Festivals

23 Mar 99 - 08:50 AM (#65264)
Subject: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Vixen

Somebody mentioned WinterHawk on the favorite music shops thread, and I was wondering what everyone's favorite music festivals are. I'm a festival newbie, having only attended one, but I had a wonderful time at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in NY.

I am hoping to be equally delighted at Mudstock 99!

I've heard WinterHawk is terrific, and there is sposed to be a good festival in Kerrville TX.

What favorites can you all recommend?


23 Mar 99 - 09:07 AM (#65271)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: katlaughing


I've only been to one, too, and it was when I lived in your neck of the woods, in Mystic. In 1988, my daughters and I attended the whole week of the Northeast women's Musical Retreat and it was fan-effing-tastic!

Everyone camped out, we had druming camps, quiet camps, all-night party camps, and music going all of the time. Best of all, (NOI guys) for a whole week, it was only women, no men allowed except under five and so....we all ran around like nymphs and driads, bare as the day we were born or not, depending how comfortable a person was.

It was the first time in my life as a mother that I didn't feel like a mother and truly fully understood the "sisterhood" thing. I instantly had friends who were like moms to my girls and I had a real taste of what tribal life, with support and caring, could be like. I wrote my mother a letter, afterwards, and told her i thought what was wrong with our society was we'd gotten away from the extended family-close-by-tribal-type communities...to our detriment!

Don't know if they ever had another. I attended a couple of planning meetings in Hartford, but there was a lot of dissension in the ranks...some wanted to be totally separatists, others wanted to alow any wimmin, and they were having a hard time deciding on where to buy land with an endowment left to the org.

This was held up at the Boy Scout land, where there is a lake with cabins, up above where Foxwoods Casino was built. I'd heard the B.S. sold it to the Mashantuckets and they were going to build an amusement park up there. The whole thing they've done to the area up there makes me really sad. It used to be such a beautiful, lovely stroll of a drive.

I say the Pequots either became too much like the white man or they are laughing all the way to the bank while they take him for all he's worth!

This is a great idea for a thread! Thanks for starting it.


23 Mar 99 - 09:07 AM (#65272)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Sam Pirt

I am from the UK so some of the festivals I can tell you about are all in England. I can strongly recomend Whiby festival. Whitby is a town near Scarbrough. It lasts for a week and caters for dancers, musicians, storey tellers, singers and for people who like a good session. By the way it lasts for a full week!! I can also suggest Holmfirth Folk festival (Last of the summer wine country), Cleethorps and Warick folk music festival.

One international festival I can advice is the Falun folk music festival, its BRILL!!

In the year 2000 I'm planning on going to the Kaustein folk music festival as well as MUDCAT 2000!!!

Bye, Sam

23 Mar 99 - 09:14 AM (#65274)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

Old Songs, Altamont NY Last weekend in June! It's small, it's friendly, it's almost 24 hours of the music I love best!

23 Mar 99 - 09:14 AM (#65275)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

24 hoursa day, that is!

23 Mar 99 - 10:23 AM (#65289)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Big Mick

The Wheatland Music Festival in Michigan is a great festival. I got to sit and listen to Odetta do "Pastures of Plenty" and accompanied by a single guitar. Thought to meself "Now I can die". It is becoming a little too institutionalized these days for my taste, but I still wouldn't miss it. Not near enough pickup sessions but still a lot of great instrument workshops, dancing workshops and activities for the kids. And a super lineup of trad acts. You must get tix early though as they sell out quickly. It is always held the weekend after Labor Day (which is a US holiday which marks the end of summer vacation)

Big Mick

23 Mar 99 - 10:56 AM (#65299)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: skw@worldmusic.de

If ever you get to the Continent on the last full weekend in August, try Tonder Festival in Denmark. It's virtually a British festival, and very relaxed yet very well organised. Some of the artists call it their second Christmas of the year. - Susanne

23 Mar 99 - 09:34 PM (#65480)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Barbara Shaw

Every year we try to go to:

Winterhawk, New York, mid-July, which has a web site:

Thomas Point Beach, Maine, Labor Day weekend: http://www.thomaspointbeach.com/bluegrass.html

Pemi Valley, New Hampshire, early August (web site out of commission)

Strawberry Park, Connecticut, early June

Noppet Hill, Massachusetts, July

and whatever other bluegrass festivals we can squeeze in. The jams are always phenomenal, the people are wonderful, the shows are great, the lifestyle is just amazing. I've never been to a folk festival, but friends tell me they are also great. By any means, get to a few acoustic music festivals. Most of them have web sites.

24 Mar 99 - 02:58 AM (#65558)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: The Shambles

A complete list of all the 1999 festival events in UK and Europe can now be found here FROOTS

24 Mar 99 - 03:49 AM (#65570)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Dr. Pump

I've been to Strawberry park BGF on 2 occasions and enjoyed it. The people are fantastic,great for a family. I have 6 children who have plenty of fun there. Not very rustic, but the music is good. Where and when is Mudcat Fest.

24 Mar 99 - 03:56 AM (#65574)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: The_one_and_only_Dai


Entering unabashed plugging zone.

Stony Live, where you can see me, and some other people too.

24 Mar 99 - 05:28 AM (#65579)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Pete (inactive)


Well, I supose my favourite Folk Festival has to be The Fylde Folk Festival, held near my home town. The festival is held every year (now in 27th year) at Fleetwood in Lancashire, England. Being so near to Blackpool there's a lot to do as well as the festival, so many people make a week of it (to the extent now that the Festival proper runs from Thurs-Sun, and the local council run folk evenings from the Sun prior to the Festival to the Festival)and also visit the local Folk Clubs.

The list of artists over the years reads like a who's who in Folk Music - and most of them have an entry on the Festival Site:


My second favourite is the Sidmouth Festival, held in July/August on the South Coast of England, the small sleepy village of Sidmouth comes alive for the week of the festival, with the music spilling out of the festival sites, to the street, promenade, pubs and nearly every corner - this year we're booked for 2 weeks - and will be down there for the full eclipse of the sun! I not sure which I'm looking forward to the most - the eclipse or the Festival!!

Take care and enjoy all the Festivals you get to - and if you get to the Fylde Folk Festival - say "Hello"

Pete (Clansfolk)



24 Mar 99 - 06:21 PM (#65685)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Mike Billo

The Musical Saw Players and Friends Old-Time music festival and picnic held on the 3rd weekend of July every year at Roaring Camp CA(near Santa Cruz). Lots of jamming with all style and levels of players in a beautiful redwood forest. Kids activities, a steam powered locomotive,mostly old time string band style, musical saw players from all over the world(China, Ghana, Czech Republic) and last year a contingent of teenaged girls from Japan who had an encyclopedic knowledge of American Music. This event is consistently the most fun of the festival season for my family and I.

24 Mar 99 - 07:35 PM (#65705)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Susan of DT

Mystic Sea Music Festival, Mystic CT June 9ish

Champlain Valley Festival, Burlington VT, Aug 10ish

24 Mar 99 - 07:44 PM (#65707)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Paul G.

As a regionalist, I have to plug the Florida Folk Festival in White Springs Florida -- on the banks of the Suwanee River...last weekend of May.

24 Mar 99 - 08:54 PM (#65728)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Barbara Shaw

Almost forgot: CT River Valley Bluegrass Festival at Sunrise Resort in Moodus, CT run by Carie Staples and the local association. The resort also has a lot to do for the non-musicians such as canoeing, tennis, etc. Mid-August.

28 Mar 99 - 02:07 AM (#66446)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: o'hanrahan

One thing I really like is having the ability to camp on site of a festival. The campfire entertainment is extremely enjoyable as is the fun jamming around from campsite to campsite with your temporary neighbors and newfound friends. I wish more festivals had this set up.

I enjoy Winterhawk, Falcon Ridge, The Boston Irish Fest at Stonehill College in early June, sadly I believe it to be the same weekend as Mystic. There was for numerous years a music fest called the Eisteffod(sp) held in September at UMass Dartmouth (near New Bedford) but it was not held last fall and I fear it has run its' course. The Big Easy Bash in Rhode Island is pretty cool,held around Labor Day I think.

I have attended many of the Newport Folk Fests and have been quite disappointed at how it is now a Popfolk venue saturating the lineup with singer/songwriters who although may be talented, aren't what i'm looking for in a Folk Fest. I'm particularlty weary of their Indigo Girls hype which annually turns sunday into an all out rock type concert complete with screaming fans...it all comes off as too commercial for my taste.

My dream list includes attending Kerrville in Texas, Cropready in England, the Edinburgh tradional fest in August and maybe spending a summer month in Eire attending all the local Feis, and perhaps visit a pub or two.

I am looking forward to reading more responses, particularly about folk/camping festivals.

bye,bye O'Hanrahan

28 Mar 99 - 02:49 AM (#66448)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Charlie Baum


Some festivals with folk/camping that I love: Old Songs, Altamont, NY, last weekend in June; Common Ground on the Hill, Westminster, MD, weekend after July 4th (very wonderful, but VERY underattended this past year!)

Also consider "Festivals" that are ALL camping/musicmaking: consider the retreat weekends sponsored by your local folk-music club. The FSSGB in Boston, Pinewoods in New York, FSGW in Washington, DC. You won't find much in the way of commercialism, just people who like to get together and make their own music. Isn't that what folk music is all about?

--Charlie Baum

28 Mar 99 - 10:00 AM (#66465)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

Charlie, the only trouble with Pinewoods is the COST! And it's hard for those of us with kids to do the working scholarship. Someday when I'm rich I'll go to Pinewoods! Until then, it's Old Songs for me!

28 Mar 99 - 10:59 AM (#66471)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: jeffs

Around Chicago where I live there's an outfit that will tow almost... (oops). I'll recommend these (in chronological order).

Warrenville Folk Festival (July weekend after the fourth) Lake County Folk Festival (first Sunday in August) Fox Valley Folk Festival (Labor Day weekend Sunday and Monday) The midwest festival list has been updated. Stringalong (first full weekend in March and November)


28 Mar 99 - 12:35 PM (#66487)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Charlie Baum

Animaterra (& others):

There are the week-long events like the Pinewoods camp in Plymouth, Massachusetts, but there are also weekends sponsored by the Pinewoods Folk Music Club of New York City (a diffeerent but related organization), often held in Falls Village, Conn. or similar places. The fees of about $100-$150/per person include food and lodging for the weekend.

Also, if you get involved with your local folk-music club, you'll discover other opportunities through their newsletters--singing weekends that, like house concerts, aren't publicized widely to the whole world.

-Charlie Baum

28 Mar 99 - 01:23 PM (#66489)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Pete

Any one in Ireland during July should check out the 'Willie Clancy summer school' in Milltown Malby. It 24hrs of fun and music


28 Mar 99 - 01:25 PM (#66490)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: laurel

Hi!! MY favorite festival was last summer in Bemidji, MN. It was the Arts Across Minnesota one. I belive we're having it again this year. A close second is the annual Winnepeg Folk Festival. Silant' Laurel

28 Mar 99 - 01:27 PM (#66491)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals

Jane Valencia wrote: > The blurb I have here doesn't *exactly* say where the festival takes > place, but I believe it's in Tarzana or thereabouts, in southern California.


> -------------------------------------------------------------------- > CALIFORNIA TRADITIONAL MUSIC SOCIETY Summer Solstice Festival > June 1999 > > Harp Staff: Sylvia Woods and Alfredo Ortiz. > > Sylvia will be teaching workshops on such topics as "How to play the > harp for people who have never seen a harp", "Beginning harp for those > who have a harp", and Celtic & O' Carolan tunes. Alfredo will teach > "Improve your playing thru relaxation techniques for harp and other > instruments", "Beginning Latin Styles for all harps", and special > effects for all harps. > > For more info: > > Elaine Weissman, CTMS > 4401 Trancas Pl > Tarzana, CA 91356 > 818-342-7664

Just to give an idea of the scope of this thing, the full name is the "15th Annual Summer Solstice Folk Music, Dance & Storytelling Festival 1995"... (The storytellers are very proud to be part of the title now... )

Anyway, I'm on staff for this thing. It's being held on the grounds of Soka University in Calabasas. It's north west of Los Angeles (30 miles? whatever). Soka is a Japanese owned school on a beautiful campus. There is even a small lake with genuine (bad-tempered) swans in it. Lots of big oak trees, etc. There is a limited amout of camping space on site and a state recreation area nearby.

There are a bunch of workshop tracks:

Accordion & Concertina Guitar Arts & Crafts Hammer Dulcimer 1 Banjo Hammer Dulcimer 2 Bowed psaltry and Bodhran Harp (!) Children's Area Jam Sessions Dance 1 Mandolin Dance 2 - Celtic Dances Small Instruments Dance 3 - International Songs 1 Scottish Fiddle Festival Beginning Songs2 Scottish Fiddle Festival Advanced Storytelling Workshops Fiddle 1 Storytelling Concerts Fiddle 2 Fretted Dulcimer 1 Fretted Dulcimer 2 Wind Instruments 1 - Flutes, Whistles & Panpipes Wind Instruments 2 - Recorders, Shawm, and Piano

There is also a continuous concert stage, and there are special concerts Friday and Saturday night.

I think it's a lot of fun. Oh, and Sylvia is one of the three honorees this year.

-- Tim

28 Mar 99 - 01:45 PM (#66493)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: judy

The return of the Summer Solstice Festival. Newer info than above message from very useful festival list at


June 25 - 27 ~~ 17th Annual Summer Solstice Folk Music, Dance and Storytelling Festival/Soka University of America/Calabasas, CA [California Traditional Music Society/ 4401 Trancas Place/ Tarzana, CA 91356-5399, phone 818/342-7664, fax 818/609-0106, email: ctms@lafn.org] Billy McComiskey, Bruce Molsky, Mick Moloney, Normand Legault, Tom Sauber/Brad Leftwich/Alice Gerrard, Pierre Schryer, Mike Casey, Zan McLeod, Sylvia Woods, No Strings Attached, Mesmera, The Big Hoedown, Hirio, Dogwood Moon, Atlantic Crossing, Blackthorne, Cliff Moses, Bonnie Phipps, Behind the Beat, Gregg E. Schneeman, Green Man, Jan Tappan & Scottish Fiddlers of Los Angeles, more

28 Mar 99 - 09:31 PM (#66566)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Susan A-R

The New World Festival in Randolph Vermont is just one day, but it's a terriffic mix of celtic, french canadian (never sure what the right term is, and I should know, being here in Vermont) cajun, english and more. They get good performers, many local or regional, good dancing, Not much by way of real participatory stuff outside of the dancing. (I'm a native daughter, and may see if I can put in a plug for some better venue for this.) It takes place on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, oh, and the kids activities, food and beer are not bad either.

29 Mar 99 - 10:30 AM (#66671)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

Susan A-R- do they have a web page or phone #? That's about an hour away for me! Are you in Randolph???

29 Mar 99 - 03:14 PM (#66732)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Simmy

The Alaska Folk Festival, in Juneau Alaska, is a wonderfully unspoiled, free (supported by memberships) 7-day music happening. One Guest Artist group (this year it's bluegrass: Bill Evans, Suzanne Thomas, Missy Raines, Jim Hurst and Don Rigsby) each year and dozens of 15 minute sets from all over Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Jamming everywhere, dancing, all nighters... you name it. This year it's April 5-11 and we're celebrating the 25th fest.

29 Mar 99 - 03:21 PM (#66735)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: AlistairUK

My most favouritest festival was (and in my memory still is) Towersey Festival in Oxfordshire. I went about 7 years in a row and it was totally brill.

29 Mar 99 - 10:45 PM (#66802)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Susan A-R

Animaterra, An hour which way?? I'm in Montpelier. I'll find out the phone number.


30 Mar 99 - 12:04 AM (#66812)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Lonesome EJ

Anybody aware of any festivals coming up in the Colorado/Rocky Mountain region? Other than Mudstock, that is.

30 Mar 99 - 12:36 PM (#66896)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Anne

Barbara Shaw:

If you like bluegrass,try the newest festival in all places, East Hartford, CT. Unfortunately, it runs the same weekend as Falcon Ridge FF, Also, the Hartland Folk Festival in Hartland CT is a one day GREAT festival!! Low stress and all music. It has been going on for approx 12 - 15 years and it benefits the Vvolunteer Fire Dept. Unbelievable how much talent that they pull into that small town for one day! The best pies too!


30 Mar 99 - 07:36 PM (#66951)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Barbara Shaw


Do you mean the Podunk Festival run by Kevin Lynch? I've been interested in going to it (Kevin has great taste in music), but it's the same weekend as Noppet Hill Bluegrass Festival in Lanesboro, Mass. If given the choice between camping in the mountains for a weekend or a parking lot in East Hartford, I'm afraid there's little choice.

Thanks for the thought!

31 Mar 99 - 07:16 AM (#67038)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Alan B

Interesting thread. I agree with the comments about the Fylde festival - good one. We have the Chester Folk Weekend in our village every Whitsun, and its hard to beat. The focus is one of the local pubs, with a few acres of land where marquees are set up for the more formal sessions, and camping is readily available. All the pubs are full of music, and you can have a great time in the most informal surroundings. We've had the beast of the British folk scene there for many years, and long may it continue.

31 Mar 99 - 07:18 AM (#67039)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Alan B

I mean best of the Britsih folk scene, what else! Helps to proof read before pushing the button!!!!!!!!!!

31 Mar 99 - 09:24 AM (#67054)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Lonesome EJ

Alan, I'm disappointed. Was hoping to find out who exactly IS the "Beast of the British Folk Scene."

07 Sep 08 - 01:07 AM (#2433093)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: katlaughing

This old chestnut deserves a lift and maybe more input?

07 Sep 08 - 08:09 AM (#2433174)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: Barbara Shaw

Better get to some of these before they're gone!

Winterhawk (NY) - is now Grey Fox, still in NY but at a different location without the spectacular mountain views.

Thomas Point Beach (ME) Labor Day weekend - this year was their last, she's selling the property.

Noppet Hill (MA) - went under.

Others we've been to since this old thread:
Philly Folk Fest (PA)
Old Songs (NY)
NOMAD (CT) - Northeast Music Art and Dance - went under (so far)
Podunk (CT)
Jenny Brook Festival - Weston, VT, but I hear it's moving
Blistered Fingers (ME)
Amelia (VA)
Rhythm & Roots (RI)
Mass Bluegrass Jamboree (MA)
Delaware River Gap (NJ)
Merlefest (NC)

07 Sep 08 - 09:08 AM (#2433201)
Subject: RE: Favorite Music Festivals
From: John J

Bromyard - next weekend, a lovely intimate festival with loads of music and singing. And dancing. Very good beer too.


PS: Bromyard is in a beautiful part of England.