Venture Richmond today announced 12 additional artists who will perform at the 15th Annual Richmond Folk Festival on the weekend of October 11-13, 2019.
The Richmond Folk Festival was first introduced to the region as a successor festival to the National Folk Festival, which had an incredibly successful tenure in Richmond from 2005-07. The free, three-day event has grown into the largest of its kind in the country, drawing upwards of 220,000 music fans to Richmond’s historic downtown riverfront every year to enjoy a varied and virtuosic program of music and dance performed by artists from around the nation as well as the world.
“To celebrate such a special anniversary, we wanted to create a truly memorable October weekend, inviting back some artists who were here in the early years but also introducing cultural traditions that may be new to our attendees,” Venture Richmond CEO Lisa Sims said. “And I simply cannot talk about this milestone anniversary without noting the passionate support of our sponsors, individual donors, volunteers, and attendees. We simply could not have grown this event, or sustained it for over a decade, if any one of those groups had not been with us, without fail. It is an accomplishment we are excited to share with them.”
The program at this year’s festival features a mix of long-standing crowd favorites — from blues, Cajun, and Irish to Tuvan throat-singing and gospel brass “shout bands”– as well as seven cultural traditions never before presented at the festival. The latter include several that festival organizers have long hoped to present, such as traditional music and dance from Syria and a steel pan orchestra.
Anyone who has been to the Richmond Folk Festival knows it to be a feast of sights, sounds, flavors, and new experiences — there is, without question, something for everyone. In addition to performances on seven stages, the festival also includes the Richmond Times-Dispatch Virginia Folklife Area, which showcases regional traditions and demonstrations, an interactive Family Area produced by the Children’s Museum, a crafts marketplace, an array of regional and ethnic foods, festival merchandise, and more.
Themes for the Richmond Times-Dispatch Virginia Folklife Area and Stage and CarMax Family Area and Stage will be announced in September.
The 12 newly-announced Richmond Folk Festival artists include:
- Aleppo Ensemble (Aleppian wasla music and whirling dervish dance from Syria), New York, New York
- Balla Kouyaté & Mamadou Diabaté (balafon masters), Boston, Massachusetts, and Vienna, Austria
- CASYM Steel Orchestra (steel pan orchestra), New York, New York
- Conjunto Guantanamo (Afro-Cuban), New York, New York
- Julie Fowlis (traditional Scottish song, pipes, and whistles), North Uist, Scotland
- Mangum & Company (gospel brass “shout band”), Charlotte, North Carolina
- Native Pride Dancers (powwow dance traditions), St. Paul, Minnesota
- Petroloukas Halkias & Vasilis Kostas (traditional music from Epirus), Boston, Massachusetts, and Epirus, Greece
- Plunky & the Oneness of Juju (funk and go-go orchestra), Richmond, Virginia
- Riley Baugus (Appalachian songs and ballads), Walkertown, North Carolina
- Saraswathi Ranganathan (Carnatic veena), Chicago, Illinois
- Stax Music Academy Alumni Band (Memphis soul), Memphis, Tennessee