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May 17, 2022

Philadelphia Folk Festival to return in-person this summer for 60th anniversary

This year's weekend-long music and culture event will feature headliners such as Punch Brothers and Michael Franti & Spearhead

Music Philadelphia Folk Festival
Folk Festival Punch Brothers Courtesy of/Josh Goleman

Five-piece acoustic band Punch Brothers are among the headliners of this summer's in person Philadelphia Folk Festival, which runs from Aug. 18 to Aug. 21 at Old Pool Farm in Collegeville, Montgomery County.

After two years of all-virtual programming due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philadelphia Folk Festival is returning to Upper Salford Township, Montgomery County this summer. 

The Philadelphia Folksong Society's annual festival is being held from Aug. 18 through Aug. 21  at the Old Pool Farm, 323 Station Road. The event is the longest continuously-held outdoor festival in North America and is commemorating its 60th year of gathering to celebrate and listen to folk music. 

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"When we learned on March 11, 2020 that the COVID-19 virus was not only here but potentially here to stay, the Philadelphia Folksong Society sprang into action," said Justin Nordell, executive director of the Philadelphia Folksong Society. "Nearly three years after we last stepped foot on the Old Pool Farm in Upper Salford Township, PFF will welcome our folk family from near and far back home to the sacred grounds of the festival where Mari Black and dozens of other artists can finally take the PFF stage." 

Though the event's in-person concert series is returning, those who preferred the virtual version will be able to tune in and watch the festival live from home. 

This summer's headliners include Michael Franti & Spearhead, a hip-hop fusion band that delves into folk, funk, reggae, rock and jazz. Franti & Spearhead's latest album, "Follow Your Heart," is due out on June 3. The band's most recent single, "Brighter Day," mixes folk and rock elements for an upbeat, optimistic track. 

Punch Brothers are also on the list of headliners and the five-person acoustic band will join forces with Americana heavyweights Sarah Jaraosz and Watchhouse as part of their American Acoustic tour. Other headliners include The War and Treaty, a Michigan-based husband-and-wife soul and Americana duo. 

Christine Lavin, a folk singer-songwriter with more than 30 years in the business, will return as the emcee of the event and is also being showcased as a spotlight artist. 

Tickets are on sale now. For those who previously purchased tickets in 2019 or 2020, the Philadelphia Folksong Society will honor those tickets at the in-person festival. Visitors can purchase tickets to Friday's concerts at $60 for adults or $45 for youth aged 12 to 17. Saturday's performances cost $75 for adults for $52.50 for youth, while Sunday's concerts are $60 for adults and $45 for youth. 

Guests can visit all three days of the festival with a $178 package for adults, or $120.50 for youth. Additional packages include the Family Four pack for two adults and two youth-aged children for $555. The Friend of the Festival package includes reserved parking, reserved seating, provided lunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday, as well as meet-and-greets with performers. The VIP package is $388 for adults or $225.50 for youth. 

Those planning to camp can select from a few packages. In lieu of a regular admission ticket, those who wish to camp in a tent can do so for the whole weekend. Adult camping tickets are $223, youth camping tickets are $148, and children from 5-11 can camp alongside family for an additional $15.

If you want to bring an RV or mobile home for the weekend, it will cost between $125 to $150, in addition to a regular camping ticket. 

For those who want to stay home for the virtual broadcast, streaming tickets are $55. All additional ticketing information is available at the Folk Festival website.

In most years, the Folk Festival presents an opportunity for local artists to perform onstage. This year, the organization is keeping the tradition, but with a twist. Members of the PFS Philadelphia Music Co-op are currently participating in the Martin Stage Melee, an old-school battle of the bands. Out of 32 acts, one fan-chosen winner will receive a headlining slot at this summer's festival.

Streaming tickets for the semi-finals and finals of the Martin Stage Melee are available, with the top 8 acts ready to perform. These include Andrea Nardello, The Bent Benjamins, Emily Drinker, Erin Fox, Maggie Mae, Paul Saint John & The NightHawks, Rob Lincoln, and Turtle Ridge. 

Voters can cast a ballot up to 72 hours following the concert. The winner will be announced in July and will have the opportunity to perform on the Martin Guitar Stage. 

The Folksong Society has COVID-19 protections in place and will follow whatever Montgomery County's guidelines are at the time of the festival. Currently, all COVID-19 protections and restrictions have been lifted due to low case counts and positivity rates. 

The Philadelphia Folk Festival

Aug. 18-21, 2022
All day, beginning 10 a.m. on Aug. 18 | Ticket prices vary
Old Pool Farm
1323 Station Road., Harleysville, PA 19438