59th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival August 13-16, 2020



Join us at the 59½ Annual Pocket Sized Philadelphia Folk Festival!

We are sure that you have all guessed that we will not be gathering together on the farm again this year, but PFS wanted to send you official notice of what WILL be happening.  While everyone has personal opinions and very deep feelings about what we could or should or might do, here is the information about what the PFS Board of Directors has decided based on what we are permitted to do.  Please know that great deliberation went into these decisions, especially given how quickly information has been changing.  The Board focused on safety first and foremost, followed by fiscal responsibility and mission:

Because we need both a Mass Gathering Permit from the Montgomery County Board of Health AND a Memorandum of Understanding from Upper Salford Township to be able to host any event, regardless of COVID, PFS consulted with both entities and here is what we can and cannot do as a result of COVID conditions:

  • We are permitted to have 1,000 paid customers in person
  • We are not permitted to have any camping
  • We are not permitted to stage the event on the farm

Also, the PFS Board has decided that:

  • All attendees must be fully vaccinated OR present proof of a negative COVID test from within the prior 96 hours

 Given that we are limited in our capacity for an in-person event, and needed a new location for this scaled down version, we will be presenting the 59½ Annual

Pocket Sized Philadelphia Folk Festival as a fundraiser at Spring Mountain Ski Area on Saturday, August 21 and Sunday, August 22.  This one in-person stage will be livestreamed on our folkfest.org site on the Martin Stage as part of a larger digital festival.  There will be additional music from international and other artists streamed on the Camping Stage, and to celebrate our 60 amazing years of Fest, curated archival footage will be streamed on the Front Porch Stage.

This event will be a wonderful opportunity for us to get back to our roots (our 1966 Folk Festival was actually held at Spring Mountain Ski Area!), celebrate our incredible legacy and indomitable spirit, and put all hands in the middle to do what we do best:  create a magical, musical experience for those who join us.


  • The festival is for all ages. Children ages ten (10) years and younger are FREE
  • Attendees 17 ages years or younger must be accompanied by an adult. Accompanying adult can be a friend, family member or guardian.
  • No outside food or drink will be permitted
  • No coolers will be permitted
  • No alcoholic beverages will be permitted to be brought into the Festival site
  • No pets of any kind! This is a Board of Health regulation. Besides, it’s going to be hot and they will be more comfortable at home!
  • Entrance wristband is void if tampered with or damaged
  • No wristband sharing
  • Onsite parking is available for $15 per car. Free offsite parking is available
  • Lineup and schedule is subject to change
  • Festival is rain or shine. Please dress appropriately
  • No refunds; all sales are final
  • No firearms, fireworks, or floating lanterns
  • No smoking
  • No high back chairs. Tarps and low back chairs only, please

The Legacy of The Philadelphia Folk Festival

The story of the Philadelphia Folk Festival starts with one of the most overused clichés in the world: ‘It was a cold and rainy night.’ You saw Pete Seeger’s breath before you heard his voice when he took the stage and the Philadelphia Folk Festival made its debut on an end-of-summer evening in 1962. Since that very first Festival, and every year since, we have delighted in presenting superstars and rising stars alike.

This year, we are thrilled to announce our partnership with Mountain View Staging to present the 59th Annual Festival as a fully digital interactive musical experience, complete with multiple streams of curated music, fully integrated chat features, campfire open mics, Zoom campsites, craft show, food and merchandise tents, and above all else: the invaluable sense of community and connectivity that comes from the shared experience of enjoying music together. This shift to a digital experience dashes geographical constraints and opens our doors in a new way, welcoming in our Global family.

Since that very first Festival, and every year since, we have delighted in presenting superstars and rising stars alike, inviting discovery and just sharing what we love by creating a safe space for our folk family to gather together. ‘Fest’ is a place where everyone is welcome and you will never meet a stranger. There is something so magical about what happens when a group of people come together with a unified spirit.


Founded in 1957 by a small group of folk artists and enthusiasts, the Philadelphia Folksong Society is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to to preserving the past, promoting the present, and securing the future of folk music and related forms of expression through education, presentation, and participation. The Society offers programs that present cultural history and provide enjoyment to tens thousands of people of all ages while preserving a vast variety of musical styles and historical perspectives. Its beloved landmark event the Philadelphia Folk Festival launched in 1962 and has gone on to become the oldest, continuously run outdoor music festival in all of North America. The Festival has earned a reputation for world-class programming, annually presenting both emerging artists and well-known talent that actively seeks to broaden public interaction with folk music that resides outside of typical perceptions of the genre. Now in its 59th year, the Festival responded to the global pandemic that devastated the music industry not by cancelling, but by pivoting the event to a fully interactive digital music experience that can by accessed by our core audience of four generations of festgoers in addition to music lovers around the world!

Man playing guitar


Contact Us
Kids listening to music. One is wearing a butterfly costume