Reason #46 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

Edmonton Folk Music Festival

By Emil Tiedemann

The first time I ever made it down to Gallagher Park for the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, it rained! We sat near the very top of the hill and had to leave sooner than planned, because of our sore and wet asses. It kinda sucked, actually. 

But, come rain or shine, there are thousands of Edmontonians who will sit through anything during the four-day event, one of the leading folk festivals on the planet. I had a bad run, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t at least enjoy the live music on stage, which is really what this festival is all about, and has been since Don Whalen (the inaugural artistic director) and Mitch Podolak first kicked it off in 1980. 
 
Our seats at the Edmonton Folk Festival, shortly before it began to rain. :(


And although it nearly all fell apart five or six seasons into the festival over financial woes, these days tickets sell out in a matter of hours. Some of the world’s greatest singers, songwriters, and musicians have graced the stage at Folk Fest since those early days, as well as many unknown locals looking for that right of passage that the Folk Fest has become to Edmonton performers. 

Actually, Folk Fest has become a sort of right of passage for all Edmontonians, whether you’re strumming a guitar on stage or sitting on the hill overlooking the pristine river valley and downtown cityscape. It’s just something that you’ve gotta do at least once in your lifetime. #efmf
 

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