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SPONSORS: Altria | Dominion | MWV | The Community Foundation | Union First Market Bank | University of Richmond | Richmond Times-Dispatch | Genworth Financial | NewMarket | | Loveland Distributing Co | CarMax | City of Richmond | Children's Museum of Richmond | Virginia Commonwealth University | VCU Medical Center | Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU | National Council for the Traditional Arts | Virginia Folklife Program | Wells Fargo | WCVE | Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) | J H I | JAMinc. | House of Hayes | SIR | Hot 100.9 | NBC 12 | K95 | 96.5 KLR | 103.7 the River | Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield | Spring Rock Green | Bond Companies | Hilton Garden Inn | Plan 9 Music | Martin's | GRTC Transit System | Virginia Waste Services | R.M.C. Events Staff | City Ice | VHDA | CW Richmond | National Park Service | Winn Transportation | Usry, Inc. | Precision Recycling Industries of Virginia | Virginia War Memorial | Smartbox | The American Civil War Center | RMA


In Support of Tredegar Green

Show your support

To send an email in support of a “Yes” vote, click here. Tell them what the festival means to you, and whether you support or oppose the project.

If you would like to see additional facts and key points to help you write your email, click here.


You know the Richmond Folk Festival (RFF) is Richmond’s most popular annual outdoor festival, drawing over 200,000 fans to our beautiful downtown riverfront. You also know the festival is a unifying force, bringing people together from every corner of our great city and region. We come for the music, and to celebrate our shared passion for the arts, our cultural diversity, and our love of community.

But what you may not know is that the Richmond Folk Festival faces a big challenge that will determine whether it can continue beyond 2013. The site is being squeezed at a time when the crowds are growing. Venture Richmond cannot continue to invite crowds to a site that may no longer be able to handle them.

You may have seen recent news about Venture Richmond’s proposed changes to the festival site. Without these changes, beginning in 2014, the shrinking site will no longer be sufficient to accommodate the crowds that flock to the RFF. The future of the Richmond Folk Festival depends on this project.

A crucial vote regarding the project will happen at the City Planning Commission public meeting this Monday, September 16 at 1:00 pm. on the 5th Floor of City Hall.  A “Yes” vote will allow the City, State and Federal review process to continue. A “No” vote will stop the Richmond Folk Festival in its tracks. If you agree with Venture Richmond’s position after reading this summary you can join the effort to save the Richmond Folk Festival.

As the Venture Richmond site plan has been unveiled and reviewed, some well-intentioned citizens have expressed opposition and are calling for a “No” vote.  Their concerns focus on two important issues: 1) historic preservation and 2) impact on the Oregon Hill neighborhood. Venture Richmond takes these concerns seriously, and designed the site plan after carefully considering these specific issues.

Here’s a summary of the proposed site changes, the reasons for the changes, and how Venture Richmond has addressed the concerns of preservationists and neighborhood advocacy groups.

Why the Festival Site Must Change:

RFF’s largest stage is on a site that is owned by NewMarket Corporation. NewMarket graciously agreed to loan out this land for the first three years of the National Folk Festival. Since then NewMarket has kindly extended this arrangement each year for the past five years. But now the time has come to vacate NewMarket’s property so that they are free to pursue their own business plans.

As a gift to the community NewMarket has generously donated a nearly-3-acre adjacent site to accommodate a new main stage venue and to ensure the future of the Richmond Folk Festival.

Historical Significance and Preservation:

This grassy slope (which has been used as an RFF stage site since 2005) is bisected by the remains of the historic James River & Kanawha Canal. This ancient waterway dates from 1785 and was an important transportation artery until its decline in the 1850s.  The area was decimated by the flood of 1877, and further modified by the railroad industry soon after that. Potential alteration of this historic site is the greatest worry of some historic preservationists.

Preservation and Restoration:

Venture Richmond agrees that the remains of the canal be preserved. In fact, their proposal goes even further… it includes the first steps towards full restoration. Here’s how:

Further Benefits of the Restoration:

Tredegar Green – Impact on Neighborhood:

What Can You Do To Help?

Be Informed: Venture Richmond invites scrutiny!

Be Heard: Tell the Richmond Planning Commission what you think.

Be There: Come to the Planning Commission meeting and support the RFF in person!

Thank you all for your support of the Richmond Folk Festival… past, present and future. Don’t let this amazing and unifying event slip through our fingers, based on unfounded fears.

Let your voice be heard!

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