Winnipeg Folk Festival: My First Folkie Experience

First time experience at the Winnipeg Folk FestivalEvery year, I hear many people buzzing about Winnipeg Folk Festival, a large music festival just outside of Winnipeg. Plans are made all throughout the year by “folkies” far and wide to attend, then they disappear for five days in July. So a few years ago I decided to see what all the excitement was about. I attended the Winnipeg Folk Festival for my first time, and oh what a night!

Planning My First Folk Fest Adventure

The line-up for the whole festival was great, which made choosing which day to attend quite difficult. In the end, my choice was actually quite simple;  Toots and the Maytals were playing that Friday evening and I decided that would be the date of my first folkie adventure.

Entering the Folk Fest Community  

Food Kiosks

Photo courtesy of the Winnipeg Folk Festival.

As soon as I walked through the gate I was simply amazed at the energetic atmosphere. The excitement of the crowd, the aromas of mouth-watering food and the sound of music playing in the distance were welcoming and fun. I was feeling what it was like to experience the Winnipeg Folk Festival.

Once through the gates I followed a wooded path, not really sure where it would lead. Along the way bumped into many friends, which was hard to believe considering the number of people there.Lisa and Lauren

As I worked my way past the market filled with cool vendors and shops, I saw the main stage, food vendors and a music tent. The shows were about to begin, but I had to make one more stop – to buy my first-ever whale’s tail. With my treat in hand and a warm beverage I joined my fellow folkies on their tarp.

Highlights of the Evening

Toots and the Maytals, originally called The Maytals, are considered legends of ska and reggae music. Their sound is a unique combination of gospel, ska, soul, reggae and rock. Other artists playing that night were KD Lang (who sang Hallelujah, which was simply amazing!) and Lucinda Williams. Toots and the gang capped the night off with an amazing performance.

Enjoying Mainstage

Photo courtesy of the Winnipeg Folk Festival.

Simply put, the Winnipeg Folk Festival was an amazing time. Whether or not you enjoy the folk music, I highly recommend attending this event. You’ll be hooked once you attend and will also understand why everyone gets so excited about it. It is a wonderful adventure and a must-do for any music-loving Manitoban.

For those of you who have never been to Folk Fest, I highly recommend it. Check out my tips and hints for first-time folkies.



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