& Crafts Festival
August 16, 17, 18
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.
Look out for the Blues & Roots Radio festival preview
The Blues & Roots Radio Team For Summerfolk 2019
Stevie Connor ( Canada )
Neil Mitchell ( Australia )
Anne Connor ( Canada )
Blues & Roots Radio will be bringing artist interviews from the festival in 2019, we will be airing a pre festival show dedicated to some of this years performers and we will be airing a series of shows after the event featuring interviews and music.
A big thank you to the Georgian Bay Folk Society and the Promotions Committee for facilitating our visit.
All Images Copyright Blues and Roots Radio, Photography by Anne Connor
Blues & Roots Radio has been attending Summerfolk for a number of years,
here are some photographs from previous visits.