Philadelphia Folk Festival returns for 51st year

Didn’t make it to Bonnaroo this year? Not to worry, there’s another summer music festival right in Philly’s backyard.

The Philadelphia Folksong Society will present its 51st annual Philadelphia Folk Festival – affectionately known as “Folk Fest” – from August 17 to 19 at the Old Pool Farm in Upper Salford Township, near Schwenksville, Pa.

Guests will experience continuous musical performances from 11 a.m. until midnight on Saturday, Aug. 18 and all three days will feature a variety of food and retail vendors. A Craft Stage will be setup for children under 12 years old.

Folk Fest – the longest continuously running outdoor musical festival of its kind in North America – has hosted some of the biggest names in folk music during its 50 year history.

After its landmark half-century birthday celebration last year, they “didn’t want to even try to top it,” said Lisa Schwartz, Marketing Chair and President of the Philadelphia Folksong Society.

“We’ve been calling this the First Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival, presenting 50 years of folk,” Schwartz said.

Returning for his 51st consecutive year as host is WXPN-FM DJ and “Godfather of Philadelphia Folk Music,” Gene Shay. This year he will introduce headliners including Steve Earle and The Dukes, Little Feat and John Hiatt and the Combo as well as local acts including Chris Kasper and Griz.

A thinner lineup was organized this year to encourage more collaboration among artists, which is the heart of Folk Fest. The atmosphere is one reminiscent of the iconic festivals of the 1960s. Philadelphia musician Ryan Tennis said “campfire jams ‘til the break of dawn,” are a part of the experience he looks forward to.

An all-inclusive pass to the festival costs $175.50, which includes all events and access to camping. For those not “roughing it,” a nearby hotel with shuttle services are available to travel to and from the festival grounds.

Victoria Marchiony can be reached at

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.