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Folk and Music Festivals
The Berea Sound Archives collections document audio recordings of folk and music festivals directed at celebrating and preserving traditional vernacular American culture. They also promote newer tradition-based forms, such as Bluegrass, newgrass, and cont
Launched in St. Louis, MO on April 29, 1934, the "National" was the brainchild of Princeton, KY's Sarah Gertrude Knott. Knott had an expansive idea of folk culture and drew upon performers from all over the United States. During the 1970s the festival was held at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, VA near Washington, DC. Holdings: 1969, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977
Smithsonian Folklife Festival - Washington, DC
Co-founded in 1969 by folklorists Ralph Rinzler and Archie Green, and using Washington DC's National Mall as a stage, the then Festival of American Folklife was an instant hit. Held annually over a two-week period centered around the 4th of July, it still regularly attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors. Holdings: 1974
National Oldtime Fiddlers Contest & Festival - Weiser, ID
Weiser, Idaho has welcomed fiddlers' contests since before WWI, but it was not until 1953 that a regular event was developed by Blaine Stubblefield. To preserve traditional fiddling, the Weiser fiddle contest makes authentic fiddle performance, and not showmanship or tricks, its focus. Today over 350 fiddlers compete in 8 different categories. Holdings: 1969, 1975.
San Diego Folk Festival - San Diego, CA
University of Chicago Folk Festival - Chicago, IL
Started in 1961. Holdings: 1974, 1975, 1977
Snoose Boulevard Festival - Minneapolis, MN
The Snoose Boulevard Festival was held in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis from 1972 through 1977. The headline performer was the Swedish-born singer Anne-Charlotte Harvey. In conjunction with the festival she recorded three albums of folk tunes, emigrant ballads, hymns, waltzes and comic songs. The non-profit Olle i Skratthult Project sponsored the annual celebration and the recordings. Holdings: 1977
Down Home Folk Festival - Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Other Regional Festivals
Fox Hollow Festival - Petersburgh NY
Started in 1966 by folksingers Evelyn and Robert "Fiddler" Beers and held on their farm in upstate New York. Fox Hollow was noted for its low key atmosphere, camaraderie, and intensely communal experience among performers and audience. The festival's popularity remained high until its demise in 1980, even after the death of Robert Beers in 1972. Holdings: 1976.
Florida Folk Festival - White Springs, FL
Organized in 1953 by Sarah Gertrude Knott as the All-Florida Folk Festival, it is one of the first of the larger regional folk festivals modeled on the National Folk Festival. Now the Florida Folk Festival, it always presents a range of music, arts, and crafts. Holdings: 1978 (25th Anniversary)
Arkansas Folk Festival - Ozark Folk Center, Mountain View, AR
The Arkansas Folk Festival has its roots in the Stone County Folkways Festival held in 1941, celebrating the musical heritage of the area. World War II prevented subsequent gatherings at the time, but the festival was revived in 1963 during the birth of a regional tourism effort. Since 1973 the festival has been held at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas. Holdings: 1976, 1977.
Kerrville Festivals - Quiet Valley Ranch, Kerrville, TX
Founded by Rod Kennedy, the Kerrville Folk Festival has run annually since 1972. Kerrville offers music of many styles including traditional folk, bluegrass, acoustic rock, blues, country, jazz, and Americana. Holdings: 1974, 1975 Folk; 1974 Ragtime;
Indiana Fiddlers' Gathering - Battle Ground, IN
The "Fiddlers' Gathering" has been held annually since 1973 at the Tippecanoe Battlefield near Lafayette, IN. In addition to the festival, the Indiana Fiddlers' Gathering operates a Traditional Music Center in Lafayette that holds their archives, hosts other concert events, and provides youth fiddle and banjo classes. Holdings: 1975.
Upstate New York Winter Country Music Festival - Rochester, NY
Held on the campus of the Rochester Institute of Technology, this mid-winter festival attracted urbanites, students, musicians, and music lovers for a daylong gathering of concerts, workshops, and jam sessions. Holdings: 1979.
Georgia Grassroots Music Festival - Atlanta, GA
The City of Atlanta Bureau of Cultural Affairs and the Georgia Folklore Society sponsored this free mid-September event in the late 1970s with the assistance of grants from the NEA, the Georgia Council for the Arts, and the Highlander Center. Noted folklorist George Mitchell directed the festival. Holdings: 1978.
Brandywine Mountain Music Convention - Concordville, PA
For twenty years beginning in 1974, the Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music presented a July weekend of traditional music titled "The Brandywine Mountain Music Convention." At the time, it was one of only a few old time music festivals in the country, and became a model for many other similar events. Holdings: 1975, 1979, 1990
Cornell University Folk Festival - Ithaca, NY
A descendant of the "Come All Ye" concerts of the late 1960s folk-rock, folk-blues, and traditional Anglo-American music. Cornell featured some of the first performances of Leslie Riddle and Sleepy John Estes outside the southern United States. Holdings: 1974
Salty Dog New England Bluegrass Festival - Moosehead Lake, Greenville, ME
This festival was created by Robert and Jane Lord of "Salty Dog, the New England bluegrass rag" and was only held one year, August 11-14, 1977. Featured artists included Joe Val, Simon St. Pierre, and the McLain Family Band. Holdings: 1977
Horseshoe Bend Bluegrass Festival - Lake of the Ozarks, MO