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by Rose (Bud)
August 9, 2005
The festival has five small event tents and one large main stage for evening performances, with at least four shows per tent during each day. The crowds are what you'd expect - a mix of young and old music lovers, many of the older ones tie-dyed and reminiscent of the ‘60s, very friendly, very tolerant, and very appreciative of the different musicians' talents.
Once you pay your entry fee (a little pricy for a "folk" event at almost $60 Canadian per day), you have the run of the grounds, including a very diverse food area with everything from Canadian fries to Thai, East Indian, Jamaican, Chinese, and Greek food and freshly roasted corn on the cob. It's a no-alcohol event, so the crowd never gets rowdy: children run wild between the stages, young moms breastfeed, and older folk dance on the lawns undisturbed.
If you're in the area during Folk Festival weekend, it's well worth catching the music, and, if you're of the appropriate age group, reminiscing about Woodstock and an era of peace and love.
From journal Vancouver & Vancouver Island 2005
April 11, 2005
The site is surrounded by temporary fencing, but attendees are free to leave and return with an intact wristband. The festival opens on Friday evening with several acts on the main stage. While there are seven other stages, they are used only for daytime performances on Saturday and Sunday. Seating is on the grass, so most attendees bring blankets, lawn chairs, and other creature comforts. There is no reserved seating, except for some areas set aside for those in wheelchairs.
We were advised to arrive early on Saturday and Sunday mornings to secure a good site for viewing those evenings’ headliners. After depositing our mats, we were free to wander from stage to stage to listen to those on that day’s schedule. It is a longstanding tradition for place-holding blankets to be left where they are for the return of the owners that evening. We were amazed at how proximate we were to some of the smaller stages. Naturally, if you stay put at one stage all day, you will have a better spot than if you wander from stage to stage. Nonetheless, even from the back of the crowd, we had a good view of other performers.
While many bring their own food, there are food vendors on site who are chosen for culinary variety and social consciousness. On-site food is reasonably priced, but because of ecological considerations, washable, not paper plates are used. Each plate had a $2 refundable deposit. We had some excellent grilled salmon with sides for less than C$10.
Water faucets were available for hand washing and the refilling of water bottles, but there were long lines during the day. The chemical toilets were cleaned daily and well maintained, but long lines could form. Also on site is a first-aid tent in case of minor mishaps.
We had sunny days for last year’s festival, but the show goes on regardless of the weather, so be prepared.
There were the usual arts-and-crafts vendors, but the busiest tent was the one selling CDs of the performers. The music sold out for many of the artists, especially right before that artist was available to autograph the CD.
We enjoyed our "newbie" year at the festival and plan on enjoying it even more this year. I was quite impressed with how well run it was in spite of a couple of inconveniences. It is well worth the trip to Vancouver to attend it.
From journal Vancouver Folk Festival 2004
Vancouver, British Columbia
June 4, 2003
Because it is always so busy during the day, we tend to come here as the sun is setting. This is the perfect place to enjoy watching the sun go down. One of our favorite things to do is pack a dinner, and a blanket, get a campfire going, sit back and enjoy the view. There is always driftwood around, so you don't have to worry about lugging your own wood in.
On a side note: dogs are not allowed in most sections of this beach. You will get a fine if you have your dog in an area that has not be designated as a dog area. So read the signs!
From journal Vancouver! Vancouver!
May 30, 2003
My first trip to the festival was the summer of 2002, for the 25th anniversary of the festival. What an adventure. Music from all over the world, blending together to make the most beautiful sounds. Songs with meaning . . . what a change. Lyrics that actually mean something. The most amazing part of it all, is that the artists are accessible to the festival goers. If you are bold enough to approach them, they are mingling with the crowd listening to the wonderful talent that has been brought to entertain.
The days are full of workshops that bring together different artists who collaborate together and blend their music. Each night of the festival there is a concert, with a set line-up . . . all the best acts.
Needless to say, you will find me at Jericho Beach the summer of 2003 again.
From journal Vancouver Summer Folk Festival