The 75th anniversary of the National Folk Festival, scheduled Friday, Sept. 11 to Sunday, Sept. 13, will feature 300 artists on seven stages in downtown Greensboro and is a rare opportunity for North Carolinians to experience traditional music and art forms from across America.
The free, three-day event is being held for the first time in North Carolina and is co-produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts(NCTA) and ArtsGreensboro. The North Carolina Arts Council is sponsoring Legacies of Song and Fire: The North Carolina Traditions Stage and Pottery Demonstration Area.
"The festival is such an embarrassment of riches," said Julia Olin, Executive Director of the National Council for the Traditional Arts. "It really does offer something for everyone. If what you see on one stage is not to your taste, you can just move to another and experience something entirely different."
The first National Folk Festival (NFF) was presented in St. Louis in 1934 and was modeled after Asheville's Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, the oldest continuously running folk festival in the U.S., started in 1929 by folk historian Bascom Lamar Lunsford.
The NFF was the first festival in the nation to celebrate the roots, richness and variety of American culture. It will be held in Greensboro each year through 2017.
"The National Folk Festival will shine a bright light on the cultural richness of our state and give audiences a sense of North Carolina's strong cultural heritage," said Tom Philion, President and CEO of ArtsGreensboro. "The National Folk Festival is a statewide celebration of North Carolina and American heritage."
In addition to the seven stages there will be a dance pavilion dedicated to non-stop participatory dancing, a family stage with performances appealing to both the young and the young-at-heart, a Family Activities Area, the North Carolina Arts Marketplace, and the Festival Food Courts, in addition to the North Carolina Traditions Stage and the Folklife Area, presented by the N.C. Arts Council. (See story below).
Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, although some of the stages will have folding seats available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The site for the National Folk Festival is in downtown Greensboro. A mix of open air and tented sites will provide a variety of performance venues ranging from intimate stages to amphitheater size.
Festival hours are:
Friday, Sept. 11 from 5:45 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 12 from noon to 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 13 noon to 6:30 p.m.
For more information on the festival visit http://nationalfolkfestival.com.
For information on places to stay in Greensboro and other visitors information go to: http://www.visitgreensboronc.com.