Sign up now! To honor the memory of original JAMinc board member, Scott Street, who we lost to cancer, we’re excited to announce the 2nd annual edition of our banjo competition for banjo young players. After a preliminary round of YouTube video entries, three finalists will be selected in each division by an expert panel. Finalists will compete live on the CarMax Family Stage at the Richmond Folk Festival on Saturday, October 8th, 2016. Entries are due by 5:00pm Sunday October 2.
The popular expression “you are what you eat” is often meant to be interpreted literally, but this saying holds true in the greater cultural sense as well. Much like our other cultural traditions, the foods we prepare and eat connect us with our own sense of communal belonging and identity, be it ethnic, regional, occupational, or familial. Foodways also play a critical role in how we experience ways of life different from our own. Virginia, like much of America, is a remarkably diverse place, and it often is through the sharing of foods that we, in the most tactile sense, get a taste of each other’s culture.
Throughout the weekend, we will be hosting cooking demonstrations that speak to the remarkable diversity of the Commonwealth, showcasing foodways both old and new to Virginia—from fried apple pies of the Blue Ridge to crab soup of the Eastern Shore, from Mexican molé to Filipino Lechon. Audiences will get to learn family-held recipes, share in closely-guarded kitchen secrets, and yes, taste the results.
From beatbox to blues to cajun and Sri Lankan dance, there's something for everyone at the Richmond Folk Festival. Make time to check out each of our 6 stages and all this fantastic festival has to offer
From the Norfolk sound, to Cuban son to rockabily to zydeco to beatbox, you'll find a broad diversity of sounds to get your feet tapping. Each performer represents the living folk traditions of their communities, whether hailing from across the globe, the US, or from regions within our own Commonwealth. The most popular festival of its kind in the nation, the Richmond Folk Festival brought more than 200,000 lovers of music and traditional arts to Richmond’s historic riverfront in 2015, an increase of 50,000 from 2014.
Festival director Lisa Sims said, “I wish everyone who loves the festival could spend a few minutes with our local Programming Committee. The wealth of knowledge in our community is staggering, their passion is thrilling, and they are steadfastly committed to our goal of providing full access to some of the greatest traditional arts in the world.”
Save room for seconds at the Richmond Folk Festival this year, the Virginia Folklife Area’s theme “Tasty Licks: Virginia’s Food Traditions” is shaping up to be a smorgasbord of culinary and musical delicacies.
“The popular expression ‘you are what you eat’ is often meant to be interpreted literally, but the saying also holds true in the greater cultural sense,” State Folklorist Jon Lohman said. “It is often through our food that we consciously and unconsciously express to ourselves and others our most deeply felt sense of who we are.”
It’s not easy to pin Blaine Waide down. As Programming Manager for the National Council for the Traditional Arts, he has a full calendar of folk festivals across the nation. We caught up with him to talk about what it’s like to have a career in folklore and to learn more about the folk festival scene—and how Richmond measures up!
All in a day’s work
Blaine found his fascination with folk traditions when he first started searching for someplace he could put down roots. His family moved around the South a lot, and he never quite had a place he called home. “At some point, Southern culture became interesting to me,” he remembers. And listening to musicians like Bob Dylan who were interested in social justice and civil rights issues led down another path to blues music—Mississippi John Hurt, Muddy Waters, and Robert Johnson.
Read more about Blaine behind the scenes at the Richmond Folk Festival.
1. You get rock star parking. While your buds are hunting for a space downtown or waiting for a shuttle bus, you flash your volunteer pass and drive right up and park in a designated lot.
2. It’s a solid strategy for making sure you get the full experience. One of the biggest challenges of the festival is that there is so much happening, it’s hard to see it all. If you are working the festival, rest-assured, you will be ALL. OVER. IT. Read More
There's nowhere else you can find both Sri Lankan dancers and rockabilly! For the first time we'll also feature the sounds of Afganistan and after many years of trying, Gary U.S. Bonds with Gene "Daddy G" Barge will bring the Norfolk Sound, a unique brand of rock 'n' roll. Read bios and listen to samples from the first of many great artists that will grace our stages this October.
Pictured at left, Homayoun Sakhi & Salar Nader
Coming in to town for the 2016 Richmond Folk Festival? Take the train! Railroads came first, long before the interstate and the airplane, making Amtrak the perfect official travel sponsor for the Festival. Amtrak is a convenient way for families and leisure travelers to visit Richmond, its cultural amenities and this top-rated destination city without worrying about traffic or hassles. Plan your trip to the Folk Festival at Amtrak's website.