From bluegrass to the blues, from silky smooth to rough and raucous: the musicians are gearing up for the Islands Folk Festival, which reappears every year at Providence Farm.
For the past 32 years, many folks have been working hard to produce this super celebration of heartfelt music of many kinds.
It runs from July 22-24 this year, offering five stages for five different musical experiences.
You can join the big crowd in front of the big Islands stage where there’s always room for dancing as well as plenty of lawn chairs. There you’ll see everyone from Cousin Harley and Ezra Kwizera to Michael Kaeshammer and Norman Foote.
However, if you fancy getting a little closer to talent like John Reischmann and the Jaybirds or Duck Creek, then the Spirit Stage is for you.
The Tzouhalem Stage is located at the back and is the home of the festival’s youth performers, but that’s not all. This year you can enjoy such names as Suzie Vinnick and Tim Williams up close and personal under the arbours of this quieter location.
The Chapel Stage is famous. Located inside Providence House itself, this acoustic jewel box is just the place to really hear the exquisite performances by a variety of fine folks.
And in the Heritage Workshop on Saturday, Lauren Pelon offers Living Roots of Music stage, and later Si Kahn, Valdy and Duane Steele hold forth on the subject of Words & Music there.
The festival is family-friendly with lots of room for kids to dance to the music and run around freely.
Adult weekend passes are $125 and youth weekend passes are $62.50 while children under 13 get in free. Day passes and camping passes are also available. Check out islandsfolkfestival.ca for booking details.
Parking is available for $5 per day onsite but there is also a free, continuous shuttle service available from Duncan with pickup points by the Train Station at Charles Hoey Park and also at the Greyhound bus station near Panago Pizza.
Folkfest is a “green” festival that has been working hard for many years to reduce garbage generated at the site, and encourages bike riding, carpooling, and water bottle refilling.