Winnipeg Folk Festival 2014
The 41st Winnipeg Folk Festival has come and gone. Once again, an empty field in Bird’s Hill Park was turned into a vibrant community. We came and we went, but forever we will have the memories. Every year is different but I always leave feeling the same: my head full of music and my heart full of love.
The long lineup to get in to the campground is a part of the festival. Best to relax and enjoy it.
Rest of some sort is usually in order once camp is finally set up. Rest, and planning.
“Long live fun…” is a good way to sum up the general attitude towards all aspects of the festival. Games, art, music, dance, community…long live fun indeed!
Children gather, making new friends as the sun dips below the prairie horizon.
Wanderers of the festival campground at dusk. This year, new shelters were built as places for gatherings (pictured in the distance here). Each of these took on a life of their own: be it anything from a web of slacklines for everyone to use to a place for impromptu music jams.
The festival begins early Wednesday morning, but music is limited to Wednesday and Thursday evenings before the daytime stages get going on Friday. As such, festival campers have plenty of time to creatively fill and give the festival a flavour of their own. Be it in a quiet circle around the fire…
…or staying up late playing games. Join in on a game of glow bowling and perhaps even a wandering fiddler will provide a soundtrack.
At night, Pope’s Hill lights up. Here: fire dancers put on a show that is seen both near and far.
Late nights fuel the morning coffee demand. Thom Bargen‘s pop-up coffee shop was a well received new addition to the campground!
Games don’t always need to be big.
A group of friends throw a Mexican themed party at their campsite. A homemade turtle piñata for the kids, margaritas for the adults, and a wading pool for everyone!
Once the music begins however, it draws people out of the campground to gather around the stages.
All systems go.
Celia Woodsmith warms up main stage with her band, Della Mae.
Main stage lights up as the sun sets behind the crowd. Often the artists are treated to a beautiful prairie sunset that the crowd, fixated on the entertainment, usually does not notice.
Charlie Musselwhite watches Ben Harper closely as they take turns leading the jam.
The full moon rises over main stage at night.
Come Friday morning, big performances are replaced with intimate moments as daytime workshops begin.
Each stage has its own tightly knit crew of volunteers. These folks work hard to switch over their system for every unique workshop that hits their stage.
Bonnie Paine of Elephant Revival making her washboard dance. As one of my personal favourite music finds this year, I would highly recommend you check out this band.
Grab someone you love and dance.
The Sheepdogs lay down some blues-tinted rhythms to get the evening crowd moving.
Everyone on their feet at Big Blue at night.
After a long but exciting day, weary feet shuffle along the exit path…
…but the rhythm begins early again the next morning.
Marc Simard is one of the many talented creators that make up the Hand-Made Village. Using recycled, off-cut, and scrap materials (leather, wood, fabric…) he creates unique accessories and art, or as I see it: accessories that are art.
Water: essential for hot day survival.
Water: also what mother nature had in store for Saturday.
When the initial blast of storm winds hit, seven of us jumped up to brace the backdrop (pictured here behind the drummer) as the band finished what would be their last song. Music was put on hold until the storm warning passed 30 minutes later. This drummer from The Wooden Sky was eager to drum up a storm just after the storm.
Despite the rain, people remained in high spirits.
Blankets morphed from seats into cloaks.
Little Miss Higgins spotted local blues legend Big Dave McLean in the crowd enjoying her workshop. When her turn came around she invited him on stage to sing along to one of his songs.
Musicians feeding off one another during a workshop jam.
Patrick Alexandre on the harmonica.
Though it was Jake Shimabukuro‘s first Winnipeg Folk Festival, he and his ukulele were a welcome and much appreciated part of this special workshop that gathered old Festival friends.
Faces we will likely see again (and again) as the festival continues year by year. From left to right: Ani DiFranco, Joan Baez, Sarah Lee Guthrie, and Johnny Irion.