‘Alice’s Restaurant’ serves up tradition, new generations replenish the crowds at Philly Folk Festival

    From Aug. 12 through 16,  the Old Pool Farm in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, became home to thousands of people from all walks of life, from groups of friends to generations of families.  The Philly Folk Festival is the longest continuously running music festival in North America, and it’s easy to see why.

    As soon as you walk onto the Philadelphia Folk Festival grounds, you walk into a different world. Music plays from every direction, people are happy, and everyone greets you and welcomes you back home.

    From Aug. 12 through 16,  the Old Pool Farm in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, became home to thousands of people from all walks of life, from groups of friends to generations of families.  The Philly Folk Festival is the longest continuously running music festival in North America, and it’s easy to see why.

    From the massive sprawling campgrounds to the tree-canopied Dulcimer Grove into the main festival area, there is no chance of being bored. Six stages provide venues for artists from near and far to perform at the festival.

    Finding families and camps comprising multiple generations isn’t hard. Kids who come to fest with their parents often come back year after year, eventually bringing their own kids. One such fest kid came back this year to camp with his family and perform on Tank Stage. Johnny Gallagher Jr.’s parents brought him to Philly Folk Fest when he was 8.

    “I think the first time I really felt the power of live music and the impulse that it was something I wanted to be involved with started here,” he said.

    The event’s top-billed performers brought in large day crowds and wowed everyone around. People filled up the large hill in front of the main stage with chairs and tarps as Arlo Guthrie sang all 18 minutes of his musical monologue, “Alice’s Restaurant,” in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

    He talked and interacted with the crowd, telling stories of his father, Woody Guthrie, and of his time at Woodstock. It was the perfect way to cap off the first full day of music at the fest.

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