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Richmond Folk Festival announces additional details about this year’s virtual festivities

The Richmond Folk Festival is excited to announce additional details about the virtual event that will take place the weekend of October 9-11, bringing together the community through a special television program, radio broadcasts and online streaming.

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From the folks at Venture Richmond:

The Richmond Folk Festival is excited to announce additional details about the virtual event that will take place the weekend of October 9-11, bringing together the community through a special television program, radio broadcasts and online streaming.

Venture Richmond Events, in partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA), the Virginia Humanities’ Virginia Folklife Program and the Children’s Museum will present new musical performances that are exclusive to this festival, highlights of favorite artists from past festivals, cooking demonstrations, a crafts marketplace and an official festival poster! The show will go on—a virtual event celebrating the roots, richness, and variety of American culture.

Additional artists to be featured in new musical performances include:

  • Eileen Ivers (Irish fiddle) Bronx, New York
  • Jason Samuels Smith & the Winard Harper Trio (tap dance) New York, New York
  • Martha & Emily Spencer (old-time) Whitetop, Virginia
  • Mythili Prakash Dance Ensemble (Bharata Natyam) Los Angeles, California
  • Pedrito Martinez (Afro-Cuban) New York, New York

Click here for extended artist bios, plus audio and video samples on our website.

Cooking Demonstrations

Each year at the Richmond Folk Festival the Virginia Folklife Stage showcases some of Virginia’s finest performers, artisans and chefs. Join us as we take a look back at a few of our favorite cooking demonstrations and learn from some of the best!

Join Frances Davis as she teaches how to make delicious fried dried apple pies. Like seafood? Learn from one of the best as Mary Stewart shares her Tangier Island crab bisque recipe. We also will revisit one of our favorite festival memories ever when sisters Clementine Macon and Deborah Pratt of Middlesex County, Virginia, renew their rivalry in the fourth year of the Oyster Shucking Smackdown series!

And in case that isn’t enough food for your plate, learn how to make traditional baklava with Sondus Moussa, and make Ghana’s most popular street food snack, a kelewele medley by RVA’s own Chef Ida MaMusu. All of your foodie favorites will be featured over the course of the virtual Folk Festival weekend.

Official Festival Poster

Fredericksburg native and VCU graduate Shannon Wright joins a talented collection of artists commissioned to design posters for the Richmond Folk Festival. Wright has been awarded prizes for illustration and editorial cartooning by the Virginia Press Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Shannon says that her inspiration for the Folk Festival poster was the happiness and togetherness that music brings us even when we’re miles and miles apart. To watch a live unveiling of the official poster art, tune in to the Richmond Folk Festival’s Facebook page on Wednesday, September 23 from 5:00-6:00pm.

Craft Marketplace

The festival’s Craft Marketplace features artisans selling handcrafted and traditional items ranging from jewelry, specialty goods and original artwork. This year, although we won’t be live on the Riverfront, at Tredegar, you can still enjoy shopping from over 25 of your favorite festival merchants.

Click here to shop online.

Ways to watch and listen to this year’s virtual festival

This year’s virtual festival is a great opportunity for families to plan gatherings and watch parties at home in a safe, fun and responsible way. (Hours listed below comprise planned blocks of time encompassing television, live streaming and radio. Specific schedules for each platform will be released later in September.)

Friday, October 9 from 6:00-10:00pm Saturday, October 10 from 12:00-8:00pm Sunday, October 11 from 12:00-8:00pm

More artist announcements and additional details about the Richmond Folk Festival virtual celebration will be released later in September. Folk Fest Insider enewsletter subscribers will be among the first to receive updates and breaking news about the festival.

For more information about the Richmond Folk Festival, visit www.richmondfolkfestival.org. #RVAFolkFest – Text to Give! Text FOLK to 44321

Many thanks to our sponsors:

Altria, City of Richmond, Dominion Energy, WestRock, Capital One, Community Foundation, CarMax, NBC12 & CW Richmond, Richmond Times Dispatch, VPM, SummitMedia, National Park Service, Plan 9 Music, House of Hayes, Tonal Park Studios, Spacebomb Studios

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Photos: Folk Fest Saturday

The rain kept crowds down but that didn’t stop the performers from blowing it out of the park, again. You’ve got one more day to enjoy the festival.

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Photos and Tips: Friday Night at Richmond Folk Festival

The weather was perfect last night as Richmond welcomed back the Folk Festival with open arms and dancing feet.

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A few suggestions to making your day at the festival a little bit better

Tips

  1. Go see Plena Es. Most of my pictures came from their set last night because there was so much joy in the air. “Founded by Pierre Ramos in 2004, the band—featuring percussion, trombones, piano, bass, and two dancers—stirs up a high-energy dance music that is a touchstone for Puerto Rican identity.”
  2. Beer lines were long prepare accordingly. Also your selection of beer is much reduced at the craft beer area but still plenty of good ones to choose.
  3. Don’t let rain scare you off. All but one stage have tents. Rain tends to scare off folks which means less lines for you including the beer line.
  4. There are a low percentage of mask wearers so if you’re nervous take that into consideration.
  5. If you see a big guy with a red mohawk taking photos say hello, it’s me.

The Brotherhood Singers


The Western Flyers

Plena Es

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Essential Info for Your Folk Festival Weekend

The 17th Folk Festival kicks off on Friday here is what you need to know to make the most of the weekend.

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The 17th Richmond Folk Festival begins tomorrow, Friday, October 8, and runs for three days full of more music, food and fun than you can imagine. 

With five stages and nearly 70 performances over three days many people plan to spend more than one day at the festival. Add in more than 30 food vendors, a crafts marketplace, a Virginia Folklife demonstration area, and one of the most beautiful festival sites in Richmond, and we think you’ll want to go for multiple days to experience as much as possible

Here are a few essentials to enhance your visit:

Festival Hours

  • Friday, October 8, 6:30-10 pm
  • Saturday, October 9, 1-9:30 pm
  • Sunday, October 10, 1-6 pm

Performers
Read up on all of the fantastic artists who will perform. With styles ranging from jazz to gospel, Irish, rockabilly, salsa and more, there’s something for everyone to love or learn about.

Performance Schedule: Take a peek now so you can plan ahead!

Easy ways to get to the festival

  • Use a rideshare service like Lyft or Uber and get dropped off at 690 Byrd Street
  • Ride your bike and park at 2nd and Byrd Streets or 5th and Tredegar Streets
  • Walk across the T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge (or the T Pot, if you’re a local!)
  • Paid parking is available in nearby surface parking lots and street parking in the area 
  • GRTC offers FREE and easy public bus transportation options for Downtown’s riverfront. Plan your trip here.

Maps and directions
The Richmond Folk Festival takes place on downtown Richmond’s historic riverfront, from 2nd to 7th streets and from Byrd Street to the river – including Brown’s Island, the American Civil War Center at Tredegar, portions of Federal Reserve parking lots, and Tredegar Street.

Admission
FREE! Enjoy all of the performances on all 5 stages at no cost. Food, drink and merchandise are available for sale.

Donations
This is a LARGE festival with a hefty budget that is supported largely by generous sponsors. However, the festival needs your help to remain FREE and sustainable! There is a suggested donation of $10 per person per day that can be made online HERE, or by finding a volunteer in a bright orange shirt carrying a bright orange bucket at the festival and making a “Drop in the Bucket!” Or, you can text FOLK to 44321 to give from your mobile phone. Thanks for your help in keeping the festival FREE!

Purchasing beer and festival merchandise
There are NO CASH SALES on site for beverages or festival merchandise. Debit and Credit cards are accepted.

Beverages are also available for online ordering – either before you leave home or once you’re on the festival grounds. Pre-ordering through the Noble App allows for drinks to be ready when you get there! Please be sure to download the Noble App and create an account/password in preparation for beverage purchasing – and be sure to remember your password! But you can also simply purchase in person with a debit or credit card.

Please do NOT bring 
Dogs (except for service animals), coolers/large backpacks, alcohol, bottles or glass of any kind, drugs, weapons, laser pointers, bikes on site (they may be parked outside the festival grounds), skateboards, inline skates, or flying objects (drones, kites, frisbees, footballs).

CarMax Family Area reminder
Due to the highly interactive nature of the activities planned for the CarMax Family Area, we will not host a family area this year. Because of the lack of an approved Covid 19 vaccine for children under 12, we believe canceling the Family Area activities is best for the safety of our littlest patrons. The Children’s Museum will be back to host the much-loved CarMax Family Area in 2022!

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