About Fest

Camp Stage photo by Howard Pitkow

Past, Present, and Future

Past: The Philadelphia Folk Festival emerged as a pivotal event in folk music history in the United States. Inaugurated in 1962 at Wilson Farm near Paoli, Pennsylvania, the festival featured renowned artists such as Reverend Gary Davis, Bonnie Dobson, and Pete Seeger. Despite expecting 2000 attendees, the festival drew in 2500 individuals, showcasing the growing interest in folk music. Over the years, the festival became a platform for musicians to share their talents and connect with like-minded individuals, contributing to the resurgence of folk music in the 1960s. This inaugural event laid the foundation for Philadelphia as a center for folk music culture.

Present: Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Old Pool Farm in Upper Salford Township, PA, the 61st Philadelphia Folk Festival promises an unforgettable experience from August 16 to 18, 2024. Attendees can expect captivating live performances, enlightening workshops, and a vibrant array of vendors. After a hiatus in 2023, the festival has been strategically restructured by the Board of Directors, ensuring its sustainability and vitality. As the flagship program of the Philadelphia Folksong Society, the festival warmly welcomes individuals of all ages, embodying a tradition of celebrating folk music and culture.

Future: Following a period of introspection and strategic planning, the Philadelphia Folksong Society is poised for a vibrant future. With the support of members and volunteers, led by a dedicated Board of Directors, plans for the 2024 event are well underway. Emphasizing inclusivity, the festival will continue to welcome attendees of all ages, fostering a sense of community and celebration. As the cornerstone program of the Philadelphia Folksong Society, the festival will uphold its commitment to preserving the rich tapestry of folk music and culture for generations to come.