The Winnipeg Folk Festival is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a lineup that pays tribute to past successes while looking for the next breakout artist.
Sylvia Tyson (WFF)
Bob King, Ken Whiteley, Leon Redbone, Sylvia Tyson and Stringband all played the very first festival in 1974, and will be back this July.
Also returning are more recent favourites, Cat Empire, Martin Sexton and Xavier Rudd.
Some first timers at the festival include City and Colour and a solo set from Colin Meloy (The Decemberists).
Artistic director Chris Frayer says the lineup this year is all about connecting generations with music from a range of genres.
"You can take punk rock, all forms of music really, if you strip it down, it's
just a song. Like something by Joe Strummer or Billy Bragg, when you strip it down, you get a great song on acoustic
guitar. Any great song should be able to stand on its bareness," he says.
Xavier Rudd (WFF)
Over the nine years Frayer has been programming the festival, he's seen the number of submissions from artists triple.
He says the festival has become more international, and that as bands have to rely on touring to make money, they're increasingly on the radar of managers, booking agents and musicians.
"Dallas [Green] expressed interest," Frayer says. "It's a compliment to the festival to have a broader appeal because as you enlarge the tent of folk music you create more work for yourself, but then there's more opportunity, more inclusion."
Also important to Frayer is to ensure Winnipeg's own talent pool is represented. This year, Del Barber, Oh My Darling, JD Edwards Band, The Magnificent 7s and Nathan Rogers are a few of the locals in the lineup.
"It's essential to developing talent that's homegrown," Frayer says. "The local artists are the people that most understand the culture of the festival. I'll use a sports analogy, it's no different than what happens with the Jets in town and having a farm team. You have an environment that cultivates that talent because you have something to strive towards."2013 Mainstage Schedule (subject to change)Wednesday, July 10
Oh My Darling
The Avett Brothers
City And ColourThursday, July 11
Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band
Colin Meloy (of The Decemberists)Friday, July 12
Nathan Rogers - Nathan Sings Stan: The Rogers Legacy Continues
Danny Michel & The Garifuna Collective
The Cat EmpireSaturday, July 13
Dr. John & The Nite Trippers
GalacticSunday July 14
The Blind Boys Of Alabama
The Flatlanders (feat. Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely and Butch Hancock)
FinaleTickets to the Winnipeg Folk Festival are on sale. Early bird prices are in effect until April 30.
Related:Oh My Darling celebrates French EP with their own beer.