Guide To The Philadelphia Folk Festival
Whether you rough it in the campgrounds or make a quick day trip, the 51st Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival has a lineup that will keep your feet—I mean, clogs—stomping. –Chelsea Karnash
What: The Philly Folk Fest is a four day music festival held out in Schwenksville that dates back to 1962. The line-up features both contemporary and traditional artists in genres like world/fusion, Celtic, folk rock, Klezmer and dance, and the event regularly attracts crowds of more than 10,000 (including 5,000 campers!). Folk Fest is organized by the non-profit Philadelphia Folksong Society.
Where: Originally held in Paoli at Wilson Farm, the festival now takes place at Old Pool Farm in Schwenksville, located at 1323 Salford Station Road.
When: Thursday, Aug. 16 through Sunday, Aug. 19; hours vary by day
Music: Multiple stages = tons of options for you! The acts begin on Thursday night with genre-spanning John Fullbright at 7:30 p.m., and continue throughout Friday, Saturday and Sunday all day long. Other performers range from bagpiper Dennis Hangey (Friday, 7 p.m.) to blues ensemble Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (Thursday, 8:30 p.m.)
For the full music schedule, visit the website.
Crafts & Workshops: The Craft Show at the Philly Folk Fest offers tons of artisan goods like baskets, apparel, food, glass, ceramics and jewelry. For a full list of participating vendors, click here.
And guests won’t be short of options for learning new skills, either. From clogging to songwriting, there are more than a few workshops on the festival roster.
Food & Drinks: Food vendors will be open from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily in the festival grounds and 24 hours in the campgrounds. The options are pretty much endless, and include crepes, funnel cake, tempura veggies, falafel, nuts, crab cakes, hoagies, vegetarian Mexican food, barbecue and more.
Yards Brewing is sponsoring the festival and will be serving up cold brews all three days, including an exclusive festival brew called Yards Folk Fest Kolsch. Just FYI: There is NO alcohol allowed inside the campgrounds!
Non-alcoholic bevs will also be available at all food vendors, and free water stations are located near the Tank Stage.
For more on food and drinks, click here.
For Families: The Dulcimer Grove (check out the festival map for location) is Family Central during Folk Fest. Kids and their parents can enjoy juggling, crafts and more there.
For musically-inclined kids, there is also The Great Groove Band. If your child is a singer or can play an instrument such as drums, guitar, fiddle or flute, let them perform with the group! For more info, click here.
For more on family-friendly festival fun, click here.
Where to Stay: More than 5,000 people choose to camp in designated areas during Folk Fest. There are separate areas for tent camping and vehicle camping, and there’s also a special section for families that would prefer to enjoy peace and quiet—and avoid the partying—within tent camp grounds. For more information and a map of the campground, visit the site.
If you’d rather enjoy some creature comforts and stay in a hotel, the Philadelphia Folk Festival website has a great booking section that will help you make your pick.
Parking & Directions: If you need directions to the festival, visit the Folk Fest website’s section—it includes them from Central Philly, North Philly and places to the south (like Baltimore).
Ride shares with other festival-goers are also available.
Tickets: Festival-goers have numerous ticket options for Folk Fest. If you’re looking to attend all three days of the event but don’t want to camp, the All Festival Pass is $145. For all three days of music and fun plus camping (tent or vehicle), you’ll pay $195. RV’s require an additional $30 fee.
Daily tickets are available, but the days vary in price:
Friday – $65
Saturday – $89
Sunday – $79
Child and Youth passes are also up for grabs.
For more on tickets to the festival, visit: www.pfs.org/folk-festival/tickets
Yards Philly FUN BUS: Now this is really awesome: Yards Brewing Company is offering festival-goers a built-in DD via their “Fun Bus,” which will take ticket-holders from the brewery at 501 N. Delaware Ave in Philly to the festival grounds on Sunday, Aug. 19th. The bus leaves from Philly at 10 a.m. and departs from the festival after the last act finishes, at around 10:30 p.m. Tickets are just $29 per person!