& Crafts Festival
August 18, 19, 20, 2023
Summerfolk Music & Crafts Festival is an annual folk festival held in Owen Sound, Ontario during the third weekend in August. Summerfolk attracts performers and fans from across North America and the globe to Kelso Beach Park located on the west shore of Owen Sound on Georgian Bay. The festival was founded in 1975 by brothers Tim and John Harrison and is nationally renowned for its music and craft excellence. It was also a founding member of the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals now known as Folk Music Ontario.
Folk is not an exclusive term and Summerfolk welcomes all music lovers. Over the years, audiences have met musicians from every continent. With music from Mongolia to Mozambique, Chile to China, and Georgian Bay to the Georgia Strait, Summerfolk stages are just as likely to feature traditional songs from around the world as contemporary songs from around the block – sometimes in the same workshop. The festival that began with an audience sitting on garbage bags in a muddy field in 1976 has grown to a four-day festival with seven musical stages and an Artisan’s Village where dozens of vendors sell handcrafted wears. Now, the festival hosts thousands of attendees and hundreds of volunteers annually.
Since 2007, Summerfolk has reserved performance spaces for young performers through the Young Discoveries Showcase offering winners a chance to play at the festival. The contest is open to performers under the age of 21 and features two rounds of judged performances.
Many performers who have played at Summerfolk have gone on to great commercial success, such as Leahy, Valdy, The Rankins, The Arrogant Worms, and Natalie MacMaster. Other more commercial Canadian talent have also graced the stages over the years such as Gowan, Rik Emmett, Blue Rodeo, Moxy Früvous, and Bruce Cockburn. One of Summerfolk's most famous and revered performers was Stan Rogers.
The Blues & Roots Radio Team For Summerfolk 2022
Stevie Connor ( Canada )
Anne Connor ( Canada )
Blues & Roots Radio will be bringing artist interviews from the festival in 2023.
A big thank you to the Georgian Bay Folk Society and the Promotions Committee for facilitating our visit.
You can also listen to the official Summerfolk Festival Radio Show twice a week on Blues and Roots Radio from Owen Sound, Canada. Georgian Bay Roots shares some of the best music that’s made in and played in Grey and Bruce Counties with roots music from across Canada and around the world thrown into the mix. Hosts Kailey Hawkins, Kelly Babcock, Tim Harrison and Tom Thwaites bring the musician’s ear and the heart of a fan to the air waves with stories about performers and news about upcoming shows and releases. Tune in to hear some of your favourite acts and new bands that you didn’t know you loved. ( See Schedule )
Some Of This Years Performers
Blues & Roots Radio has been attending Summerfolk for a number of years,
here are some photographs from previous visits.
All Images Copyright Blues and Roots Radio, Photography by Anne Connor