Philadelphia Folk Festival going back to its roots

The 53rd annual Philadelphia Folk Festival returns to the Old Pool Farm in Schwenksville this weekend.


For decades the festival has stayed close to its roots, featuring folk, country and blues, but always shifted with the winds of popular music. Sometimes the folk gets a little funky, sometime a little rock and roll.

Co-director Lisa Schwartz says the programming largely reflects the mood of the time, and this time there is a lot of acoustic strings, a lot of bluegrass, and a lot of foot-stomping with the likes of headliners Old Crow Medicine Show, longtime singer-songwriter Janis Ian, blues singer Shemekia Copeland, rising country voice Sturgill Simpson, from New Orleans the Rebirth Brass Band, and indefatigable Loudon Wainwright III.

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“We’ve always been known as the Ed Sullivan of music festivals,” said Schwartz. “You get to see so much, such a broad spectrum of talent, and it was incredible. That’s what the Folk Festival is known for. People trust us. They know we are going to put on an incredibly good show. It’s organic, it’s rootsy, we’re a big family out here.”

The weather seems to be part of that family. Weekend forecasts are mild and sunny.

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