Virginia’s largest festival costs approximately $1.5 million to produce, and considering it’s completely free to the public, it simply wouldn’t be possible without the generous financial support of corporate sponsors, individual donors and volunteer manpower.
Bluegrass legend Dale Ann Bradley never consciously made it her goal to stick to her roots. Her musical heritage is simply something so strongly rooted within her that her tastes, she feels, will forever be the fruit of her family tree.
When Sarah Scarbrough looks back over the last few years at the Richmond City Justice Center, she fondly remembers three specific moments when inmates were lifted up, inspired, and encouraged by visiting performers from the Richmond Folk Festival.
Chris Milk Hulburt, a celebrated Richmond-based artist, has been wrestling with a new challenge as of late. Instead of his usual approach to art—going with his heart and seeing where it leads—Hulburt saw the 2017 Richmond Folk Fest poster as an enormous responsibility, and one he wanted to handle a little differently.
Speaking with Sherman Holmes is like speaking to an old friend. He’s warm, he’s funny, he breaks into laughter—at both his own jokes and yours—and he's quick to invite you to be a part of his world, even if it’s just to stop by and say hello after his next appearance at the Folk Fest.
Each year, approximately 1,300 volunteers form the central nervous system of the Richmond Folk Festival. From setup, takedown, logistics, fundraising, merch selling, transportation, and so much more, the volunteers keep the festival running smoothly.
“We are very, very good at getting people into the right spot,” says lead Volunteer Coordinator Jamie Thomas. He encourages interested parties to sign up for the 2017 festival and join the family.
Hailing from an isolated village in rural Venezuela, Betsayda Machado is on the cusp of international stardom. A few minutes online – watching videos on YouTube, reading articles that detail her fascinating story – and a long Skype conversation with Betsayda make this assertion abundantly clear.
At last year’s post-festival debriefing, Laura Napky and Grant Osborne, two volunteers for the Richmond Folk Festival, announced that they had just gotten engaged.
People jokingly asked if they planned to have the wedding at the festival, “And we asked, ‘Can we?’” said Laura.
There are few experiences in this world more authentic than sharing a culture’s folk traditions—but one of those experiences might be sitting down for a beer with a new friend, an old friend, or even a complete stranger.
Richmond Folk Fest fans know that the past two years’ addition of Wild Wolf’s Folktoberfest ale to the festival lineup transformed an already exciting weekend into a truly perfect experience. So this year, we decided to take the beverage aspect of the Folk Fest to a whole new level.
Katie McBride isn’t new to the poster game. After she graduated from art school at VCU, she found posters to be a great way to build up a portfolio.
"It’s Richmond, everyone has a band, so I’d ask if their band wanted a poster!” Katie remembers. "And it would be real work in my portfolio that I could show a client."