Just in time for its 60th edition, the Philadelphia Folk Festival is back — live and in person — at Old Pool Farm in Schwenksville, Aug. 19–21. Peter Crimmins tuned up his journalistic skills to cover it for WHYY.
The event is rooted in the Phila. Folksong Society, a city-headquartered nonprofit dedicated to promoting the American tunes musicians have passed down generation to generation. The society’s first concert was held at a Paoli farm in 1962, but the event — with its rotation of performers, throngs of fans, and overnight campers — quickly transitioned to roomier Montgomery County.
There it remained until 2020, the start of a two-year virtual run brought on by COVID-19.
This year’s edition returns the onsite crowds but will also stream content, seeking to retain its online audience gained from the past two festivals. The global audience for 2022 hails from 63 different countries, including three music fans from Japan.
The playlists this year may also sound a bit different. Festival executive director Justin Nordell explained: “We’re inviting storytellers of all different shapes, sizes, races, gender identities and people from all over the world. Those are incredibly wonderful, unique sounds that we haven’t been able to share before.”
Full information on the event overtaking Old Pool Farm this weekend — including performance schedules and admission fees — is at WHYY.