Peace, love, and music paint shades of Woodstock at 35th Annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival
Peace, love and music in the air.
Hippies swaying from side to side, the smell of pot in the air, people dancing as though no one was watching and blankets full of music lovers eager to hear the next band play. The 35th Annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival was like a scene from Woodstock, as people congregated celebrating love, peace and music.
With returning artists like Roy Forbes who performed in 1980 at the Vancouver Folk Fest and Dan Mangan who performed in 2009, combined with artists new to the festival like Wake Owl, the festival showcased artists from all stages of their careers.
Roy who is still playing after recently celebrating his 40th anniversary in the industry, also mentors aspiring artists and songwriters but claims that he's been performing less these days.
"I've got to make room for the Dan Mangan's to come along you know. I hope he's around for his 40th anniversary too."
This wide range of artist experience at the festival, not to mention the discrepancy in age between them, was a large contributor to the demographic of attendees this past weekend which ranged from tots to grannys. Young and old were there to support the art of folk and the musicians that keep the genre thriving.
Juno award winner Serena Ryder belted out "simple love songs" with action words."Get out of bed you silly sleepy head, your black and white needs a little bit of red." As beautiful as she is talented Serena put on a fantastic show and had the audience up for a standing ovation at the end.
Ani DiFranco, the "Little Folksinger", approached the stage asking the audience if they wake up every day feeling happy to be here and left the stage with the audience having no doubt in their mind that they are. How could one not be exhilarated after a performance that not only had the audience moving but also encouraged one to re-evaluate how society works and focus on contemporary social issues? She's notorious for being a feminist and activist through her lyrics covering controversial subjects but doesn't want to be defined as such as she is a musician first and foremost.
"When I go outside of North America to Europe or wherever it's so refreshing to me because all the stereotype of me as the militant, the girl singing for other girls, never existed. So it's really cool for me to go play music in Japan or in Brazil where people just take as you are, in the moment, without the cultural story they've heard."