What to Expect at Folk Music Festivals in 2009

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


If you’re a fan of folk music, you’ll want to know what to expect at festivals this year. Here’s a rundown of some of the biggest and best folk music festivals in 2009.


Folk music festivals are a great way to celebrate the musical heritage of a region or culture. These festivals usually take place over a weekend, and they feature a wide variety of folk music bands and artists. If you’re planning on attending a folk music festival this year, here’s what you can expect:

There will be a variety of different folk music bands and artists performing at the festival. You can expect to hear everything from traditional folk songs to more modern interpretations of the genre. There will also be a variety of different styles of folk music represented, from Celtic to Appalachian.

Most folk music festivals will also feature some type of workshop or seminar. These can be great opportunities to learn more about the history and culture behind the music. You might also be able to pick up some tips on playing Folk Music yourself.

Of course, no Folk Music Festival would be complete without plenty of food and drink. Expect to find a wide variety of traditional dishes being served up, as well as plenty of beer and wine. Most festivals will also have a few vendors selling handmade arts and crafts.

So if you’re planning on attending a Folk Music Festival this year, expect to have a great time listening to some great music, eating some delicious food, and maybe even learning a thing or two about the genre.

What to Expect at Folk Music Festivals in 2009

Festivalgoers can expect to enjoy a wide variety of music at folk music festivals this year. With so many festivals taking place across the country, there is sure to be something for everyone. In addition to music, many festivals also offer food, vendors, and activities for children.

More eclectic lineups

As recession worries mount, promoters are working harder than ever toone-up each other with more eclectic lineups, lower ticket prices and a greater array of on-site amenities. Here’s a roundup of some of the year’s most talked-about festivals.

Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival (June 4-7)

With a lineup that includes Bob Dylan, the Beastie Boys, Wilco, Nine Inch Nails and more, the 12th annual Wakarusa festival is one of the most buzzed-about events of the summer. The four-day event takes place in Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains, and features more than 100 musical acts on eight stages. In addition to the music, Wakarusa also offers yoga classes, film screenings, art installations and a kids’ village.

Newport Folk Festival (July 31 – August 2)

Held annually since 1959, the Newport Folk Festival is an American institution. past performers have included everyone from Bob Dylan to Janis Joplin to Bruce Springsteen. This year’s lineup includes Conor Oberst, Mavis Staples, Neko Case and Leonard Cohen. The festival takes place at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island.

Lollapalooza (August 7-9)

Lollapalooza started out as a touring alternative rock festival in 1991, but was resurrected as a three-day event in Chicago’s Grant Park in 2005. This year’s headliners include Depeche Mode, Tool, Jane’s Addiction and Kings of Leon. In addition to the music, Lollapalooza features a farmers market, an eco-lounge and dozens of activities for kids.

A focus on regional and local talent

In 2009, folk music festivals will have a focus on regional and local talent. With the economy still in a slump, organizers are cutting costs by booking acts that are closer to home. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any big-name headliners – but they’ll be sharing the stage with up-and-comers, giving festivalgoers a chance to discover new music.

Another trend in 2009 is an increase in family-friendly activities and attractions at folk festivals. Many festivals are adding Kids’ Zones with face painting, puppet shows, and other activities to keep children entertained while their parents enjoy the music. And with more people camping at festivals this year, there will be more opportunities for early morning yoga classes, birdwatching walks, and other activities that help festivalgoers relax and connect with nature.

A return to tradition

As the country slowly emerges from a Recession, many people are looking for a return to simpler times. Folk music, with its emphasis on acoustic instruments and traditional melodies, seems to fit the bill perfectly.

Folk music festivals have seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, as music lovers of all ages flocked to these events to enjoy a taste of the past. This year promises to be no different, with a wide variety of folk festivals taking place across the country.

What can you expect if you attend one of these festivals? First and foremost, you can expect to hear some great music. Traditional folk music is surprisingly varied, and you’re likely to hear everything from ballads and folk songs to lively jigs and reels.

You’ll also have the opportunity to see some of the best folk musicians in the country (and sometimes even the world) in action. These musicians are passionate about their craft, and it shows in their playing.

In addition to the music, most folk festivals also offer a wide range of other activities. These can include everything from dance performances and workshops to history exhibits and children’s activities. There’s usually something for everyone at these events.

So if you’re looking for a fun-filled day (or even weekend) of great music and good times, be sure to check out a folk music festival near you. You won’t be disappointed!


With more than 700 folk festivals taking place in the United States each year, there’s bound to be one near you. Whether you’re a first-time festivalgoer or a seasoned veteran, you can expect to have a great time at any of these events. Just remember to bring your sunscreen, pack a picnic lunch, and leave your pets at home.

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