What started out as a celebration of Winnipeg's 100th anniversary in 1974 has grown to see 80,000 audience members, run largely by 3,000 volunteers each summer.
The Winnipeg Folk Festival has just announced the performers who will be gracing the stages at Birds Hill Park this summer on July 9-13.
SCENE asked festival artistic director Chris Frayer four fast questions about this year's festival:
Which big names are you most excited about this year?
The most obvious ones are Bonnie Raitt, Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite. Also Joan Baez. Less obvious are Hurray for the Riff Raff, Elephant Revival, Langhorne Slim & The Law, Mexican Institute Of Sound and Namgar.
Any Manitoba acts you've been wanting to get on the WFF stages for some time and it's now happening?
Nothing that is a coup but I am happy to see Sweet Alibi get to a point where they are ready to play. I'm really happy about the Bros. Landreth as well. And overall I'm really excited about all our Manitoba talent (which includes Aaron Burnett, Cara Luft, Chic Gamine, JP Hoe, Little Miss Higgins and the Winnipeg Five, Marie-Claude McDonald, Mr. Mark and Ruth Moody.) They are all deserving of playing our fest and I hope that other festival producers tune into them as well.
That’s a tough call...Namgar are from Siberia, Frank Yamma is from Australia and Geomungo Factory are from Seoul, South Korea.
Any changes to the festival that people will be interested in?
This year, children 12 and under get in free. The RV part of the campground has been expanded. And the campgrounds have some new group use area structures and fire pits.
Hear Chris Frayer on the Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod at 8:10 a.m. on Saturday, March 15.