When asked what’s the most popular misconception about the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, managing director Linda Tanaka answers quickly.
“I think that some people believe that it’s all folk music, but there are so many other genres,” Tanaka explains.
“It’s music for everyone — it’s for the folks,” she adds.
After an impressive 33 years of bringing new artists and sounds to Jericho Beach, the festival continues the tradition from July 16 until July 18. The roughly 60 musicians and groups scheduled to perform include the The Avett Brothers, a self-described “punkgrass” trio from North Carolina, Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, a group from Mali, Africa that will sure to make the banjo-like ngoni a hit in Vancouver as well as local troubador Steve Dawson, who grew up in Vancouver and is receiving global recognition for his skills with a guitar.
“It’s really a festival where you can discover new music and cultures,” Tanaka says.
Like last year, children who are 12 years old and younger can experience this new music free of charge. Tanaka says this aligns with the festival’s mandate of creating a truly family-friendly environment.
“It’s just a great gathering of people where everyone can have a good time,” she says.
Unlike last year, another evening stage will be added, showcasing more music than the previous years.
“I hope it gives people the opportunity to wander at night and experience more music,” Tanaka says. “It adds another dimension to the night-time experience.”
This experience, however, does have some challenges. Tanaka says that the festival has experienced some significant funding cuts over the past couple of years.
“We didn’t receive any gaming funding last year or this year,” she says. “We’ve experienced a lot of cuts and that’s just forced us to rethink how to be sustainable.”
But despite the decrease in funding, Tanaka and the folk fest team have adapted and this year’s lineup is a testament to that.
“There’s so much diversity in our lineup this year and I think our audience will enjoy that,” Tanaka says. “I know I will.”
Fill your summer with music
• 25th International Vancouver Jazz Festival: June 25 — July 4
• Lilith Fair: July 1
• Vancouver 32nd Annual Folk Music Festival: July 16 — 18
• MusicFest Vancouver 10th Anniversary Edition: Aug. 6 — 15
• Vancouver Early Music Festival: July 25 — Aug. 14
• Eagles: Pacific Coliseum, June 1, 7:30 p.m.
• Sting with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra: The Centre In Vancouver For Performing Arts, June 2, 8 p.m.
• Nickelback with Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown and Sick Puppies: General Motors Place, June 3, 6:15 p.m.
• Steel Panther: Commodore Ballroom, June 3, 8 p.m.
• Xavier Rudd: Malkin Bowl, June 4, 6 p.m.
• Three Dog Night: Red Robinson Show Theatre, June 4, 8 p.m.
• Kaskade: Commodore Ballroom, June 4/5, 9 p.m.
• ZZ Top: UBC Thunderbird Arena, June 5, 8 p.m.
• Powerman 5000 featuring Guests: The Rickshaw Theatre, June 6, 7 p.m.
• Nam Jin: Red Robinson Show Theatre, June 6, 7:30 p.m.
• The Misfits: Rickshaw Theatre, June 7, 8 p.m.
• Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers; General Motors Place, June 8, 7:30 p.m.
• Woods with Special Guests: The Media Club, June 8, 9 p.m.
• A Flock of Seagulls: Cascades Casino, June 10, 8 p.m.
• Dionne Warwick: River Rock Show Theatre, June 12, 8 p.m.
• Metric: Malkin Bowl, June 13, 5:30 p.m.
• Boz Scaggs: River Rock Show Theatre, June 18, 8 p.m.
• The Gaslamp Killer with Special Guests: 560 Seymour (the new Richards), June 18, 10 p.m.
• The Offspring: PNE Forum, June 23, 6 p.m.
• Iron Maiden: General Motors Place, June 24, 7:30 p.m.
• Simon & Garfunkel: General Motors Place, July 3, 8 p.m.
• Blondie: Red Robinson Show Theatre, Aug. 13, 8 p.m.