Everything you need to know about the 58th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival

Everything you need to know about the 58th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival
lisa schaffer photography

This weekend, get ready to listen to an incredible lineup of live music for both kids and adults, indulge in enticing food, participate in hands-on crafts, watch talented stunt performers and partake in a once-in-a-lifetime camping experience at the 58th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival.

The historic festival got its start in 1961 and is the longest continuously running outdoor music festival of its kind in North America. According to the website, the PFF is also the primary fundraising event for the Philadelphia Folksong Society (established 1957), which offers programs of presentation, participation and education throughout Greater Philadelphia and the nation. These programs present a cultural history of society and provide enjoyment to thousands of people of all ages while also preserving a vast variety of musical styles and historical perspectives. What also makes the Society unique is the fact that it’s solely operated by 2,400 dedicated volunteers.

Both the Philadelphia Folksong Society and the Philadelphia Folk Festival have become well-known around the country — so much so that most people camp out for three or four days just to soak up every last minute of this colorful extravaganza.  

One of the biggest draws of the PFF is the fact that this event is ideal for the whole family. There are live performers perfect for little tykes including puppeteers, jugglers, aerialists and storytellers, plus kid-oriented musicians performing in Dulcimer Grove, the “shady haven” at the Festival for children under the age of 12. As a bonus, children up to the age of 5 have free entry to the campgrounds and kids under the age of 11 will also be admitted into the concert area for free.  Older kids (12 to 17) are eligible for the special “youth ticket,” allowing them into the festival for half the regular gate price when accompanied by an adult.

Philadelphia Folk Festival 2019Lisa Schaffer Photography

For adults, there is just as much fun happening at the Philadelphia Folk Festival as there is for the kiddos. The 40-acre campground acts as a meeting place to mingle with new like-minded music friends, bond with your family and overall just experience the magic of the Festival under the blue and starry skies.

The 2019 Philadelphia Folk Festival lineup includes David Crosby & Friends, Margo Price, The Mavericks, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Joan Osborne (singing the songs of Bob Dylan), Langhorne Slim and the Lost At Last Band, Amanda Shires, Kathy Mattea, Cha Wa, The Kruger Brothers and many, many more. The full lineup and the four-day schedule are available on the official website.

This annual event also features an impressive lineup of unique craft vendors including Dancing Hands Jewelry by Dean Wolfson, Finneran Jewelry by Kathrynn McDonald, Kaiya Naturals by Susan Stein, Ragtrader Vintage by Elisabeth Voltz, Spiral Dyes by Ken Ramsay, Southwest Expressions by Jose Farinango, Sunflower Trading Company by Frank Durantaye, Wayward Leather Design by Melanie Zellner and more. The PFF’s goal with their unique assortment of craft vendors is to highlight the craftsmanship of traditional folk art while also highlighting the best artisans from other countries.

With all of these activities working up an appetite, the PFF has got you covered. The Festival features an enticing selection of vendors with cuisines ranging from Asian, Mexican, Greek, American, veggie, BBQ, fusion, local produce and more. If you’re camping out, there will also be food available all day and night at select vendors and at Skippack Lion’s Club located across from the campground headquarters.

The Philadelphia Folk Festival will take place from Aug. 15-18 at Old Pool Farm (1212 Barnbridge Dr., Collegeville). For more campground information, ticket prices and an overview of the sitemap, visit pfs.org.