Peace, love, and music paint shades of Woodstock at 35th Annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival

Peace, love and music in the air. 

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When asking fellow Folk Fest attendees what their favorite aspect of the Folk Fest was, I wasn't surprised to hear that the collective jam sessions and workshops were a hit. Dan Mangan, Wake Owl, e.s.l. and The Head and the Heart had the audience star-struck as they collaborated in a surreal way that included rapping about being baked, a shirt coming off and a cover of Rocky Raccoon. 

e.s.l. Vancouver Folk Music Festival

Blitz the Ambassador was also a favorite and had festival-goers dancing within three minutes of playing and kept them dancing throughout their performance.

Blitz the Ambassador


Although headliners such as K'Naan, Hey Rosetta and Lucinda Williams drew a large crowd and were "must-sees" of the festival, it seemed to be The Johnny Clegg Band who stole the show with his endless energy and his crazy dance moves. There are musicians, and there are performers; Johnny Clegg is without a doubt an amazing performer. 


The festival proved to be both multicultural and multilingual as the quirky duo Bette and Wallet sang in French, the sassy Alejandra Robles sang in Spanish and The Johnny Clegg Band sang in Zulu.  

Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Alejandra Robles

Like any music festival there was a wide selection of food available, from Earnest Ice Cream's delicious scoops, to the tasty salmon sandwich at Street Meet, the smokey crusted pizza at Urban Wood Fired Pizza and the sweet smoothies at Jamaican Mi Juicy. After a long day of swinging and shaking to the sometimes upbeat and light-hearted and the sometimes thought-provoking tunes, the "food pit" was a nice place to satiate one's hunger. And to satiate one's thirst? The beer garden which was in close proximity to the action and kept the thirsty music-lovers happy with Tinhorn Creek's wines and Big Rock's brews.

And the fun didn't stop at the music, there were also frisbees being thrown, hula hoops being spun and face paint being applied, all of which were a refreshing sight to see from the norm of rapidly moving fingers texting and the hustle and bustle of business suits on weekday mornings. The weekend was a mini vacation as guests spent three days lounging in the sun with the beach beside them as they tuned out from thoughts of work and tuned in to thoughts of rhythm, beats, and lyrics. 

Vancouver Folk Music Festival frisbee

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