There’s only a few months until The Philadelphia Folk Festival kicks off again. So to tide you over until the line-up is announced, here’s the ten best reasons you should get off your duff and take advantage of the 20 percent early bird discount for the festival, sight unseen.
folk fest 2011
Young festival goers play music while waiting to enter the Philly Folk Fest last August.
1. Cleaner and Greener. The addition of the solar-powered stage and composting program means more music and less waste.
2. One-up your hipster friends. More than 60 hours of music by performers your friends will hear about … next year.
3. Tent City. Thousands of campers play music around the clock throughout the camp ground. And you’ll likely see professional musicians making cameo appearances at the bonfire jam.
4. Saturday Afternoon Concert. This has become the showcase spot in the last few years, featuring a rare solo performance by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco and Steve Earle.
5. The Beer Tent. Local breweries bring their best local beer–nuff said!
6. Dulcimer Grove. For many, this isn’t just another path between concert stages, it’s an oasis filled with cool water and shade, where the Give and Take Jugglers and kid-friendly acts perform.
7. Showers. The festival recognized that thousands of people camping in the hot summer sun … well, everyone might want to wash up. The result: less grunge, thanks to a quick plunge.
8.  Volunteers. These are the people who cook, clean, set up fences, park cars, sell merchandise, and essentially make the festival the warm, fun, surreal place it is. They deserve a ton of credit.
9.  Gene Shay. He’s one of the longstanding traditions and with good reason. His easy-going MCing fills the time between sets with video, banter, and groan-inducing jokes, that have become his calling card.
10.  Fest Time. In a world that has become dominated with the relentless pace of Facebook, Twitter, and 24-hour streams of news, memes, and opinion, the Festival is a welcome break. There, most people opt to go “off the grid” for a weekend and embrace the experience with open-armed zest.

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