Whether you rough it in the campgrounds or make a quick day trip, the 53rd 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 three 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 more than 6,000 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 Salford near Schwenksville, located at 1323 Salford Station Road.
When: Friday, Aug. 15 through Sunday, Aug. 17; hours vary by day. There’s also a concert just for campers on Thursday night.
Multiple stages = tons of options for you! The 100-plus acts begin performing on Friday at 10:30 a.m. with a rehearsal set from the Great Groove Band and continue throughout Saturday and Sunday all day long. Other performers range from Scottish troubadour Archie Fisher (Aug. 16, 9 p.m.) to local country-rock group Katie Frank and the Pheromones (Aug. 15, 4 p.m.).
For the full music schedule, visit the website.
CRAFTS AND 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 songwriting to ukulele playing, there are more than a few workshops on the festival roster.
FOOD AND DRINKS
Food vendors will be open from 10:30 a.m. to the end of the last concert on Friday, Saturday and Sunday within 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. Several food carts, including the Tot Cart and Vernalicious, will also be on-site.
Yards Brewing is sponsoring the festival and will be serving up cold brews in the Beer Garden (near the main stage) all three days, including an exclusive festival brew called Pretty Sweet Wheat. 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.
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 6,500 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 website.
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 AND 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.
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 $156. For all three days of music and fun plus camping (tent or vehicle), you’ll pay $206. RVs require an additional $40 fee.
Daily tickets are available, but the days vary in price:
Friday – $58
Saturday – $75
Sunday – $68
Child and Youth passes are also up for grabs.