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Vancouver Folk Music Festival Celebrates It’s 40th anniversary With Lots Of Great Performers
by Staff Writer

Clear skies, sunny weather and large crowds showed up for the annual  Vancouver Folk Music Festival, which celebrated it’s 40th anniversary this year. Thousands of people attended the 4-day festival (July 13,14,15, 16) which featured singers and bands from more than 65 countries from around the world. The crowd was a mix of people of all ages, and some people brought their young children and families. People also came from all over the world, and license plates showed visitors coming as far away as Tennesse, Washington State, Arizona, Idaho and Nebraska. While some people brought their own food, others munched on Chinese food, Whales Tales (fried dough served with toppings, including fruit, honey or whipped cream), corn on the cob, European dishes, falafel sandwiches, to name a few. Around the various stages, people danced, sang along, couples danced close, and a mother danced with her young child. This year, the festival was blessed with perfect weather. There was a slight drizzle of rain on Sunday morning, which took the dust out of the air and cleared the sky for a red-sky sunset. In fact, all the evenings boasted colourful sunsets.

Thursday Night Concert And Celebration

The fun kicked off Thursday, when the gates opened for free ticket holders wanting to see a special concert that celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday and the festival’s birthday. However, getting in was a slower, orderly process. In the late afternoon sun, the line stretched as far as the eye could see. When the crowd eventually got in, the grassy area around the main stage  quickly filled up with old and new folk fans. A group of young men and women sat cross-legged in a circle, politely talking and taking in the music.  A lot of the other attendees were clearly pros at this, and people sat on plastic tarps, blankets and knee-high chairs.

The Thursday night concert was a celebration of Canadian music and various performers, from C.R. Avery, Katie Moore, The Sojourners, and Cris Derksen, sang a medley of cover songs composed by legends like Bruce Cockburn, The Tragically Hip, Joni Mitchell, Kd Lang and Ben Mink.

Below: Thursday night, people lined up to get in.  Left: C.R. Avery performs, “Song for a Winter’s Night.”




Friday Festival

Over at the drop off bike zone, a grey-haired festival volunteer strummed a few folk songs on a guitar as a few new arrivals dropped off their bikes. Everywhere the mood was upbeat, and the crowds were high on music.
Festival fans came dressed for the heat; and while shorts, summer dresses and T-shirts were the norm, a few brave fans camped it up with makeup and colourful costumes. While the music of the Australian band, Ganga Giri blared on, one young man danced wildly, and a few feet away, one tall, grey-haired man danced with a book on his head.

Saturday festival

The atmosphere was festive and the mood was upbeat. In fact, while the group from Spain known as Korrontzi IMG_7218performed  on  Stage 6, one woman started a chain reaction of festival attendees who linked arms and did spontaneous circle dancing.


She's got the move --a performer from the group, Alpha Yaya Diallo & Bafing

She’s got the move –a performer from the group, Alpha Yaya Diallo &

Below photos: Ganga Giri, The Funk Hunters, and Billy Braggs And Joe Henry





Later on past 6 pm, over on stage 3, fans clapped their approval of Alpha Yaya Diallo and Bafing.




There was still plenty of fan approval by the time the Bare Naked Ladies took to the main stage late Saturday night.





Sunday Festival

Another hot day greeted festival attendees. The energy was infectious and even festival volunteers dressed up to sell raffle tickets. Over at the Tom Lee music booth, a man patiently paid for a ukulele for his young daughter. Nearby, a few people sat around pounding a few drums, tutored by a Tom Lee employee.

In the early afternoon, on Stage 6, a procession of performers from Africa and Mexico brought fans clapping and stomping to the beat. Who needs to travel when the world comes to the Vancouver Folk Music Festival!

More African beats came courtesy of Wesl and  Chook Bwa Liberte.




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