50 years after Woodstock, David Crosby takes the Philly Folk Festival by storm

Two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee David Crosby closes out the Philadelphia Folk Festival with a Sunday night performance. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)

Two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee David Crosby closes out the Philadelphia Folk Festival with a Sunday night performance. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)

In the early hours of Monday morning, August 18, 1969, David Crosby and his band mates, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, stepped to the stage at Woodstock. Crosby, Stills, and Nash were nervous trio, singing to an audience of 400,000, having only performed together one time before.

Fifty years later, to the day, a weathered David Crosby stepped to the main stage of the Philadelphia Folk Festival. This time the audience was a smaller, but reverential crowd, there to see the musical icon.

David Crosby closes the 2019 Philadelphia Folk Festival with his Sunday night performance.(Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)

At times the audience was silent, remarked veteran Folk Festival volunteer Rebecca Barger.

“When he performed ‘Guinnevere,’ you could hear a pin drop,” she said.

Complimenting the rock legend were international artists from across multiple genres, in keeping with the festival’s long tradition. Performers with roots in Korea, Scotland, Israel, South Africa, and New Zealand were among the nationalities represented, along with a wide range of American country, blues, and folk traditions.

Margo Price performs with her band during the Sunday evening concert at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
The Tel Aviv based band OSOG performs Sunday afternoon at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. From left are Avital Tamir, Kate Danielson, Ofir Ventura, and David Benjamini. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
Judy Sweet leads a line of dancers during the Klezmer Dance Party held at the Lobby Stage. The band Dan Blackberg’s Frielachs Music performs in the background. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
Attending her fourth festival, 4-year-old Nora Swartley dances with a scarf as the band Stella Ruze plays. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
Kayla Ruth dances with her sister Kasey Belliston while the Canadian East Pointers band play. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
Most of the members of the audience opted for shade as temperatures rose into the 90s. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
In April of 2019, Rich Katz suffered a broken back when the motorcycle he was riding collided with a deer. Here in front of the Camp Stage he dances along to the sounds of Sacred Steel in 90 degree heat. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
Laura Richlin (left) and Claire King brave the 90 degree temperatures as they listen to Sacred Steel performing on the Camp Stage. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
Casey Haberle performs on the trapeze in Dulcimer Grove. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
Amanda Shires performs during the Key Change workshop on the Craft Stage. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
Courtney Malley applauds the band OSOG during their performance on the Lobby Stage. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
In front of one of the Philadelphia Folk Festival’s many murals, Melanie Malta cheers a performance at the Lobby Stage. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
Members of the audience applaud from underneath their ponchos as rain showers punctuated the Sunday evening performances. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)
Margo Price performs with her band on the Martin Stage Sunday evening. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)

Festival attendees also faced a broad spectrum of temperatures. Ranging from the low 90s during the day, they moderated after a brief rain shower, in time for the last performances of the festival’s 58th year.

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