Philadelphia Folk Festival goes virtual with “Fest in Place”

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The Philadelphia Folk Festival has a groovy history in the City of Brotherly Love, bringing some of the best folk music in the world to a local stage for close to 60 years. 

This year, that tradition continues, but it will be transformed to a digital platform. 

As the novel coronavirus continues to impact Philadelphia and the world, organizers have decided it would be best this year to “Fest in Place” — which will not only keep concert-goers safe, but also open the doors to global partners and performances.

“Being able to present some of the finest artists from across the world and put a digital arm around our global partners is incredibly rewarding,” Festival and Programming Director Lisa Schwartz said in a statement. “I believe that music is what connects us and we could all use a positive reminder right now that we are all in this storm together. So, creating an event that can be enjoyed from anywhere in the world where there is internet, I hope will go a long way to bringing our community closer, especially at a time when we are forced to be apart.”

More than 160 artists from around the world—including Ireland, Canada, Wales, South Korea and Scotland—will join this year’s Philadelphia Folk Festival, scheduled for Aug. 13-16. The new global digital edition of the festival will offer viewers a more immersive and interactive experience, allowing them to watch from any web browser, smart tv, phone or laptop. 

The Philadelphia Folk Festival has partnered with Mountain View Staging to make the performances possible, and has created an interactive experience through various chat features, open mics, Zoom campsites, crafts and merchandise tents. Viewers can enjoy the entertainment on multiple stages with options to pause and rewind performances. All footage will be available for one week after the festival as well. 

“It is so important to give the artists something to focus on and get excited about until they can play gigs again,” said Schwartz. “The music and culture of these countries is so rich and so vibrant, it is meant to be shared and I am certain that our audience is going to love it.”

Tickets are available starting at $25 for a single-day ticket and $75 for the entire weekend. For information or to purchase tickets, visit folkfest.org

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