The longest-running music festival of its kind in the entire country, the Philadelphia Folk Festivalhas become a regional legend and remains an epically good time.
Now in its 53rd year of brining the best of folk music to the Philadelphia countryside, the Philadelphia Folk Festival brings the sweet sounds of folk music back to Schwenksville, Pennsylvania this weekend, August 14-17.
The Philadelphia Folksong Society, the same organization that curated tunes for the blockbuster 2nd Street Festival in Northern Liberties just a few weeks ago, is the premiere folk organization in the greater Philadelphia region and is known internationally for this incredible annual destination festival.
The fest features a super star-studded lineup of music on seven stages, plus workshops and a craft fair, family-friendly activities and events, tons of food and drinks and more. Those who don’t want to miss a single beat can even camp out all weekend.
Read on for our guide to the Philadelphia Folk Festival, below.
With more than 100 scheduled performers on seven stages, the opportunities to groove to live music are nearly endless and this year’s fest promises something for everyone to enjoy.
Music is everywhere — from late-night singalongs, to bonfires in the festival campgrounds, to parking lot pickers having their own impromptu jam sessions.
This year’s headlining performers include Old Crow Medicine Show, Jason Isbell, Sarah Jarosz, Steep Canyon Rangers, Janis Ian, Tempest, Tommy Emmanuel, Loudon Wainwright III, The Lone Bellow, Natalie MacMaster, A Fistful of Sugar, Shemekia Copeland and many more.
Beyond the main acts, don’t forget the harmonica jams and master classes in the Cultural Tent or the family-friendly concerts on the Dulcimer Grove stage.
Plus, for those who are camping all weekend, check out the special concert in the campground Thursday night, which is only open to Festival Camping ticket holders.
For the complete lineup and stage schedule online.
Food & Drink
A vast selection of eats ensures no one will go hungry at the Folk Fest. Food vendors will be on hand from 10:30 a.m. to the end of the night’s shows in the concert area, and 24 hours a day in the campgrounds.
Look for the volunteers from the Upper Salford Volunteer Fire Company to dish up all kinds of cuisine, from barbecue to crepes to vegetarian Mexican food.
Additional vendors include Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Nader’s Bistro Mexican fare, Nyota’s Ting non-dairy vegetarian dishes, Pigs & Gigs pulled pork, Ruby’s Smoothie & Fruit Cup and more.
Plus, this year Philadelphia fave Little Baby’s Ice Cream joins the selection at the festival, and food trucks including The Tot Cart and Vernalicious will dish near the campground all day long.
Crafts & Workshops
Aside from rockin’ concerts, there are also workshops galore, ranging from storytelling to songwriting to ukelele playing. You’ll be able to immerse yourself in these honored traditions with other folk fans.
Crafts are a huge component of the folk scene. The Crafts Village is located at the top of the concert hill where you can purchase one-of-a-kind handmade pieces. Walk through and admire the vendors at work from glassblowers to metalsmiths to candlemakers.
The Folk Festival has plenty of different activities for the whole family, too. Report directly toDulcimer Grove, the shady area between the Crafts Stage and the Camp Stage, to find everything from puppeteers, jugglers and storytellers to hands-on crafts and kid-oriented musicians.
Tickets & Staying Over
Different types of tickets are available, and range in price from $29 for youth (12-17 years old) single day Friday shows, all the way up to $156 for an all-festival adult ticket, and $206 for an all-festival ticket plus camping.
Many additional ticket options are available for single-day and weekend-long tickets, with options for tent and RV camping. Reserved seating and children’s tickets are also available.
Complete ticket information and purchases are available online.
More than 6,000 people camp for the weekend at the festival, too. Camping is by weekend pass only and you must have a camping ticket to enter the campgrounds (get them at the camping gate entrance). The grounds have designated areas for both light camping (tents) and heavy camping (RVs). There are also quiet camping options for light camping.
For those who prefer to make a city weekend out of festival-going, stay overnight in Philadelphia. Check out our beautiful luxury homes here on www.urhomeinphilly.com.
Get ready for a weekend of outdoor folksy fun!
The Philadelphia Folk Festival
When: August 14-17
Where: Old Pool Farm, 1323 Salford Station Road, Schwenksville
More info: www.pfs.org
Enjoy food, beer, music and (of course) coffee while simultaneously supporting the arts this Saturday, August 16 at the annual Greenstreet Coffee Summer Block Party.
Now an annual tradition in its third year, the good people at Greenstreet Coffee invite the public to their Point Breeze outpost, just off of 19th Street between Washington Avenue and Ellsworth Street, for an afternoon of music, games, beers, barbecue and — yup — coffee.
The $10 ticket goes towards all of the eats, drinks and entertainment, and all of the proceeds from the bash go directly to a great cause: Fresh Artists and the Palates to Palettes program, which allows students from disadvantaged neighborhoods to experience the wonder of both the visual arts and culinary arts.
Want to visit Greenstreet any day? Check out the coffees at the local roasters jewel-box shop in Washington Square West on Spruce Street, too.
Greenstreet Coffee Annual Block Party
When: Saturday, August 16, 1-7 p.m.
Where: 1919 Alter Street
More info: www.greenstreetcoffee.com
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’ alumni roster reads like a who’s who of the American fine art world: Alexander Stirling Calder, Mary Cassatt, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Benjamin West and many, many more studied within the walls of the historic arts institution on North Broad Street.
But not only great painters are developed at PAFA: renowned filmmaker David Lynch attended PAFA from January 1966 until the summer of 1967, and now the creative mind behind such on-screen classics as Eraserhead, Blue Velvet and Twin Peakswill return to Philadelphia.
In what will be the first major American survey of his work, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Artspresents a comprehensive exhibition of the wide range of artworks produced by David Lynchfrom 1965 to the present day.
Opening Saturday, September 13 in the Historic Landmark Building, David Lynch: The Unified Fieldexhibits more than 90 works by one of PAFA’s most illustrious contemporary alumnus, and features a wide complement of public programming — including multiple film screenings, of course!
A retrospective of work from all periods of Lynch’s career, The Unified Field will include rarely seen paintings and drawings revealing his early and ongoing studio art practice, as well as early short films made while Lynch was living in Philadelphia, including a previously unscreened film made for a gallery opening in 1967.
To complement the exhibition, PAFA also presents Something Clicked in Philly: David Lynch and His Contemporaries in the Richard C. von Hess Foundation Works on Paper Gallery, a showcase of more than a dozen of Lynch’s peers exploring the artist’s world in Philadelphia.
Beyond the exhibitions at PAFA, The Unified Field will include a wide range of public programming and celebrations within Philadelphia-area film community at the Philadelphia Film Society, International House Philadelphia, Bryn Mawr Film Institute, and the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art.
Stay tuned for more on what promises to be a blockbuster Philadelphia exhibition, and mark those calendars now for the public exhibition preview party on Friday, September 12.
Coming Attraction: David Lynch: The Unified Field
When: September 13-January 11, 2015
Where: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Historic Landmark Building, 118 N. Broad Street
Cost: Adults: $15 adults, $12 seniors/students (with ID), $8 youth (13-18), free for children 12 and under and military personnel
More info: www.pafa.org
The Brandywine River Museum of Art invites music-lovers out to its courtyard for an evening concert featuring one of Philadelphia’s own, Steve Cal, a blues rock guitarist and singer, and his band.
Tomorrow, August 15, the museum jump starts the weekend with an alfresco concert from 6 to 9 p.m. The music officially starts at 7 p.m., but guests are encouraged to hang out in the picturesque courtyard before the show.
While grooving to live tunes, enjoy food and drinks from a cash bar.
Tickets are $25 for general admission, $20 for members and $10 for students. Tickets are availableonline.
The concert is presented with World Cafe Live Wilmington.
Brandywine Brings The Blues
When: Friday, August 15, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Brandywine River Museum of Art, 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford
Cost: $25 for adults, $20 for members, $10 for students
More info: www.brandywinemuseum.org
Historic Philadelphia’s family-friendly favorite Franklin Square makes an ideal spot for families, history buffs and lovers of milkshakes all summer long.
This August, Franklin Square’s evening event series Things on Thursdays has kicked up the entertainment for the young and over-21 crowds alike with movie nights, quizzo, yoga and more.
On Thursday, August 28, the series comes to a close — but not before a food-and-beer filled bash.
From 6 to 9 p.m., celebrate the end of summer at Franklin Square with Food Truck Festivus.
More than half a dozen of Philly’s top trucks will pull up along 6th Street adjacent to the historic square to dish out street food, and a pop-up beer garden in cooperation with Starr Restaurants’ Fette Sau will keep the craft brews flowing.
Participating food trucks include: The Cow and the Curd, Little Baby’s Ice Cream, Farm Truck Philly, The Grill Cheese, LeMoNaDe, Seoulful Philly, and Oink and Moo BBQ.
Plus, Starr Restaurants’ SquareBurger at Franklin Square will remain open throughout the festivities to satisfy Cake Shake cravings.
As for the beer garden, the pop-up hangout — dubbed Ben’s Beer Garden — will include Adirondack chair seating, twinkly lights and brews from Starr Restaurants’ Fette Sau.
Plenty of free games will keep the fun lively, too. Take part in volleyball, horseshoes and mini golf, or take a ride aboard the Liberty Carousel.
Sounds like a great way to kickstart the holiday weekend, right?
Food Truck Festivus & Ben’s Beer Garden
When: Thursday, August 28, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Franklin Square, 6th and Race streets
Cost: Pay as you go
More info: www.historicphiladelphia.org