Philadelphia Folk Festival celebrates 60 years in 2022

The venerable Philadelphia Folk Festival is celebrating their 60th annual event this year, while also returning to a live, in person status after two years of pandemic restrictions forcing them to go virtual.

But as they return to their home base, the Old Pool Farm just north of the city, the Philadelphia Folksong Society who put on the festival, are pleased to announce that they will continue to offer digital, online access to their three stages of live music for folks unable to attend in person.

While the Philly Folk Festival has never been a bluegrass-specific event, they have long featured acts making noise in the bluegrass world. Separate performances by Bill Monroe and Doc & Merle Watson helped introduce their music to a new audience in the 1960s, particularly an urban market where their music had barely penetrated at the time.

This year Punch Brothers will play the festival, along with Dom Flemons and Twisted Pine, among the many traditional and contemporary folk acts on the program.

The digital pass for the festival sells for $55, a notable discount over the cost of the physical shows held August 18-21 in the park. Since no one can see all three stages at the same time, digital ticket holders will have access to the video of all performances at the conclusion of the festival.

Justin Nordell, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Folksong Society, says that they are quite proud of how they offered folk music online during COVID shutdowns, and are pleased to make it an ongoing part of the festival.

“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. Quietly postponing their full calendar, the organization became one of the pandemic pioneers of the digital format, presenting its first livestream concert on March 13 with the Mari Black Trio (a Philly Folk first-timer for 2020), and raising over $1000 for the group whose tour was among the trove of casualties induced by the pandemic. In the years following, PFS would go on to raise over $200,000 directly for artists through our digital concert venue, and the digital 59th and 59 1⁄2th Philadelphia Folk Festivals, all while doing what we do best: supporting and building our community.

Nearly three years after we last stepped foot on the Old Pool Farm in Upper Salford Township, PA, PFF will welcome our folk family from near and far back home to the sacred grounds of our festival, where Mari Black and dozens of other artists can finally take the PFF stage and replenish our souls with live music.”

Full details about the 2022 Philadelphia Folk Festival can be found online, along with ticket information.

Congratulations on 60 years!

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.