|The Philadelphia Folk Festival celebrates its 40th year Aug. 24-26 with a diverse mix of new and traditional music.|
Shortly after sunrise on the last full weekend of August, the first of thousands of visitors gather at an old farm near Schwenksville, Pa., for an annual tradition.
“Here’s a little folksong society that only had $150 in our whole treasury,” Mr. Shay says. “We were going to put on a two-day festival, and we had to pay all the performers. We had to get food out there, rent toilets. It was a very nervous situation.
Touring the folk festival circuit this year, Groovelily played the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival in June, closing the Friday night show after Peter, Paul & Mary. The band must have done something right, because festival promoters booked them for an encore performance next year.
WHILE GROOVELILY WALKS THE LINE between modern rock and folk, one of the festival’s other shining stars this year has remained traditional throughout his 40-year career. Since 1964, singer-songwriter Tom Paxton has been a regular at the Philadelphia Folk Festival.
He’s the real deal, one of the most gifted artists from the ’60s folk revival. Joan Baez, Peter, Paul & Mary, John Denver, even Neil Diamond and Placido Domingo, have all recorded Mr. Paxton’s songs. He’ll perform on the first day of the show and will be part of several songwriting workshops throughout the weekend.
The Philadelphia Folk Festival takes place at Old Pool Farm, Route 29, near Schwenksville, Pa., Aug. 24-26. Three-day festival tickets cost $76 in advance, $83 at the gate; with camping $113 in advance, $120 at the gate. Day and evening ticket combos also available, $28-$43 in advance, $32-$50 at the gate. Gate prices go into effect Aug. 23. For information, call (800) 556-3655. On the Web: www.folkfest.org
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