I had never been to a folk festival before, so I didn’t know what to expect. I had never set up a tent before at a music event.
I’ve been to Burning Man, which is amazing, and one-day music festivals, but this would be my first time at a real music festival.
I was interested to hear that the Winnipeg Folk Fest was one of the best folk events in all of North America. This event is a reason to party. We are going to camp, yes. It has to do with music. Let me join you.
Birds Hill Provincial Park is a beautiful place for the event, which stands out among the open fields and tall trees. We camped in the area set aside for the festival so that we could be close to the main events and the after-party.
The only thing I didn’t like about the event was the long walk we had to take with all of our gear before we got to our final destination, a great spot in the middle of a patch of woods.
Most of the campers had already arrived the day before we did, which was a good thing.
Maybe they were looking for the blazing heat of a sunny day in a big field. I wanted to get out of the sun and was thinking about flopping down on an air mattress.
You can find another sound stage wherever you go in the park. Some are out in the open, like the huge main stage, while others are tucked away in the forest, where twangy folk music can be heard in a peaceful setting.
This was my first music festival ever, and I didn’t know anything about any of the bands playing. It was a good thing that I didn’t know the names of any of the artists because it made me more creative.
My wife and I would just look at everything as we walked around until something caught our attention. We’d put our blanket on the ground when we were ready to relax.
I was surprised by how many little lawn chairs were in front of the stage at the folk festival. People weren’t dancing and gyrating in crazy ways. The crowd was made up of only older people who were there to relax and listen to music.
At first, I didn’t like it, but after a while, I came to like it. When the beats were too hard to resist, like the Scottish rhythms of RURA, we could step to the side and dance.
MY WIFE DID HER FIRST CROWD-SURF AT THE FOLK FEST
It’s hard to believe, you’re right. This year, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, which is often held at the Big Blue @ night, is trying out a mix of folk and new age music, probably to attract a younger crowd.
People who were much younger gave up their grass chairs and stood closer together so they could dance to the music of bands like Royal Canoe and DJs from Mexico City. Children of both sexes would be lifted up by a sea of hands while music blasted from the speakers.
After I did this on an Alexis on Fire show, I got my wife to do it too. I asked a few men who were nearby to help me, and then she took off, flying over the heads of the people watching and into a brand-new and exciting adventure.
I LOVE MUSIC BUT…
Folk music was something I had never heard of before. But the truth is that not all performers are folk singers. It’s a mix of two things now, which is why I liked it so much. First of all, it helped me find new songs.
I heard a lot of different kinds of music, like the smooth vocals of Marlon Williams, the new-age Mexican-influenced rock of The Mariachi Ghost, the electronic music of India-born Barmer Boys & DJ Spincycle, and the groovy rhythms of Uganda-born Kinobe and Wamu Spirit.
The driving rhythms of the four-person Scottish band RURA made us fall in love with them. The bagpipes are everyone’s favorite instrument. And the flute? A violin, viola, or other string instrument. When an acoustic guitar is added, magic happens.
That’s not the point, for sure. Imagine if the soothing sounds of Kinobe and Wamu Spirit were mixed with the fiery energy of the Mexican rock band The Mariachi Ghost. Why don’t we add some soul or Indian rhythms to the mix?
One of my favorite parts of the Winnipeg Folk Festival was seeing musicians play together on stage. I was with a group of people who were all looking at something magical. You will hear sounds and rhythms in this space that you have never heard before.
We got to see live music from all over the world being mixed together, and it sounded great, almost like it had been practiced. This is where I first saw real musical talent for the first time. They enjoy music.
They can feel it right down to their bones. When you put together a group of talented musicians, they will come up with something new. This was the best part for me.