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“Green” Folk Fest A Hit
by David Sepulveda | Sep 9, 2013 10:30 am
Posted to: Arts & Culture, Music, East Rock, Prospect Hill
As the sun set, a river of human silhouettes flowed against the backdrop of the 2013 CT Folk Festival stage. Festival organizers were already declaring it their best festival ever.
Perfect weather, a stellar slate of folk music artists and Green Expo vendors and exhibitors, drew a record crowd at this year’s festival, held Saturday at Edgerton Park.
Sometimes called “Brewster Park” after the owner who bequeathed the 25-acre estate to the City of New Haven in 1965, the grounds again proved a perfect setting for those that settled in early to catch an 11-hour run of quality folk music. Many visited the festival’s Green Expo to watch “cooking” lessons, get a tension-relieving massage, treat youngsters to a host of creative activities and workshops, or learn more about the theme, “Local is Green.”
According to Green Expo coordinator Coleen Campbell, more than 85 vendors were on hand to educate and raise environmental awareness, sell green-friendly, sustainable products and to provide purposeful entertainment.
Campbell said that the Expo, paired as it is with the CT Folk Festival, represents a long history of linkage between folk music and movements that raise social and environmental consciousness. “When we can sing together we are joined in community, and when we are joined in community we can change the world,” she stated.
Barbara Shiller, president of CT Folk Board of Directors, credited not only the fine weather and great musical line up for the event’s overall success, but the commitment and hard work of over 100 volunteers who stood out in their bright yellow T-shirts as they worked to ensure a smooth running festival.
Until last year, noted Shiller, events were ticketed, owing to the nationally known artists who headlined the festival. Even with the inclusion of lesser known names on the festival roster, the caliber of music remains high, and although donations are encouraged, the festival is free and made accessible to a larger audience. “My hope is that we are building a reputation fast; the public can trust the music is going to be fabulous,” she said.
Among New Haven bands that performed were Kindred Queer, The Professors of Bluegrass with (Yale President Peter Salovey on bass), Good Night Blue Moon, and Five in the Chamber. For a complete listing of festival performers and upcoming concert series, visit the CT Folk website click here.
Eagerly anticipated was the announcement of the 2013 CT Folk Songwriters’ contest. Jessica Smucker of Pennsylvania was this year’s contest winner.
What’s a festival without food? City Seed and Elm City Market had chefs demonstrating healthful, local veggie-based recipes for sampling. The familiar Elm City Kettle Corn folks popped all day. Lines at Ashley’s ice cream counter, as at their neighbor next door, Smoothies Raw You-niverse, were unrelenting. Caseus, Joe Grates Barbecue, Lalibella and the P and M Pizza truck all saw steady lines that had some vendors selling out early. Some CT Folk Festival veterans proved savvy, providing their own version of “tailgate” sustainability throughout the day.
Traveling from Memphis, Tennessee to perform on the evening program was two-time Grammy nominee Darrell Scott, whose rock-solid musicianship and soulful voice riveted the audience. Closing out the festival was the much anticipated Brother Sun, a trio that opened with a rousing a cappella number that had the audience chiming in.
Many attended the festival to network, some to glean the makings of a well-run festival for events in their own towns and cities. The love, support and respect that musicians expressed for one another were palpable, the range of musical expression emblematic of a folk scene that is anything but static.
As festivals go, the 2013 CT Folk Festival was a well-paced, laid-back affair, appealing to audiences enchanted by the park’s old-world beauty, captivated by a musical form that is winning new audiences even as it stirs musical embers in those that remember folk’s earliest roots.
Tags: CT Folk Festival, Gren Expo
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This was a great event free with 83 tents filled with excellent community groups and environmental organizations! One quick note, Elm City Market partnered with CitySeed on the Cooking Demos, and the two cooks in their tent, Amy Christensen and Nadine Nelson cooked up fabulous food next to our CitySeed tent! We had a blast cooking for everyone, listening to the music and enjoying the fun.
posted by: Elmcitywellness on September 11, 2013 10:28am
What a truly beautiful day! We were honored to be a part of it and look forward to next year’s!
Good review of the folk festival and its variety of venues. Especially enjoyed listening to the folk singers in the video that was embedded in the article. Keep on keeping us informed of the happenings in the area.