Folk Fest Insider

Lucky 13: Celebrating the Best of Us

October 18, 2017

We aren’t a superstitious bunch. But, considering the tropical storm that drenched the Fest last year, kicking off the 13th annual Richmond Folk Festival on Friday the 13th did seem a little like tempting fate.

But, the sun came out just as Richmond did: bright, cheerful, and ready to have a good time. More than 200,000 of you came down to the festival this weekend, many long-time Folk Fest-goers as well as many more discovering the diverse talent and the event’s famous community spirit for the first time.


Dale Ann Bradley

Thanks to all of you who donated your time and money to keep the festival free for all to enjoy. The bucket brigade alone raised a record-breaking $120,000+ ensuring the tradition will continue for years to come.

We couldn’t host the festival without the generous support of our major sponsors: Altria • WestRock • Dominion Energy • The Community Foundation • CarMax • CoStar • Union Bank & Trust • Richmond Times-Dispatch • NewMarket Corporation • City of Richmond • VCU Health • Genworth • Food Lion • Virginia is for Music Lovers • Children’s Museum of Richmond • NBC12 • SUMMIT Media • WCVE Radio • American Civil War Museum • Hilton – Richmond Downtown • Loveland

We’re grateful for the beautiful weather, but it’s become pretty clear that it’s not the blue skies and comfortable temps that make a successful Folk Fest. Rain or shine, you show up Richmond. And this year, you gave us your best.

So what is it that keeps bringing Richmond back, year after year? We asked around, and here’s what you said:


Taherra, Hanover

“This is our 5th year. We saw the step show and Irish band. We love coming because there are so many different types of people here. From hipsters to hippies to college kids. It's very positive. You can forget for a while what's going on the the rest of the world.”

Diane and Darl, Richmond & Henrico

“We've been coming since the first one. We map it out to see as many as we can. There's so much to do. You can't see it all! It's amazing to see artists from all over the world perform in one place. It gives us a chance for peace and happiness. It’s all around wonderful.”

Deena, Richmond

“We've never missed one. When the first one came, we thought, Richmond had better show up for this. And Richmond did. We felt a sense of pride in this city. It's something we can be proud of.”

Beau and Joshua, Chesterfield

Beau: “The Folk Fest is really fun!”

Joshua: “My favorite part of the Folk Fest? It's Free!!!”

(Editor’s note: Beau opted out of a Boy Scouts camping trip in favor of volunteering for the bucket brigade. The Folk Fest would not be possible without volunteers like Beau and Joshua—this year more than 1,000 people donated their time and energy to help make the event great).

Jessica, West End

“We’ve come every year since my son was born in 2012. He was just 8 weeks old!
We love coming to the festival. It brings people together. There's always something new to see.”

Heather, Richmond

“We went to the first one. It's grown so much since then. The Family Area is great! Kids love it and we can still enjoy the music--and a beer!”