Ah, the Winnipeg Folk Festival: a gathering around music, art, and community that pops up in a prairie field for five days every year. Exactly two weeks from today the 2016 festival begins with the Crooked Brothers kicking things off on the main stage. Spending time with good friends (both old and new), discovering new music, and happening by chance upon unexpected joys…I’m looking forward to another year barefoot in these fields as an official festival photographer.
Last year, when the festival ended with a bang (everyone remember the huge thunderstorm that hit the stage at the same time as Wilco?), I had to quickly process my photographic work for the higher ups as I was soon leaving on a bike tour out west. That also meant that I didn’t have time to post a recap of the festival through my eyes here like I’ve done previously for 2013 and 2014. I’ve received several messages via email and social media asking about the 2015 photoessay, and so I thought to myself: it’s never too late! Why not put together a retrospective of last year to get us all excited for this year?
The Winnipeg Folk Festival is large and multifaceted; a choose-your-own-adventure meandering through fields and friends. People who attend can have vastly different experiences from one another and the same is the case for myself: year by year, the focus of my photographs changes. As I age, the festival is more about the little moments rather than the big ones…and so I spend less time at the main stage than I used to. The workshops are the heart of the festival for me – throwing musicians together on stage to collectively make music that is fleeting and will likely never be again. It is here that I love watching these artists in their element. The subtle gestures between each other, the crowd, and their instruments…it is truly beautiful to watch them share their passion.
Enjoy this view of last year’s festival through my eyes and my lens. I hope to see you out in the same fields in a mere two weeks!