Jam sessions starting tonight

Submitted photo


A woman entertains the crowd at last year’s Vancouver Folk Music Festival. It’s the festival’s 30th anniversary this weekend.

When Dugg Simpson arrived from his hometown of Windsor, Ont., he knew two people in Vancouver. One was volunteer co-ordinator for the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, then in its second year.

“A month after I got off the plane I was running a stage,” said Simpson, who is now artistic director for the festival, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this weekend.

While the event has grown from 300 to 1,200 volunteers, it has kept its original spirit intact.

“It reminds me a little bit of the Vancouver I moved to and fell in love with,” said Simpson. “It offers that option of a little bit of West Coast slack.”

And it’s always been a family affair.

“Now onstage we’re presenting groups with people in them who were festival kids,” he said. “They were running around in diapers and now they’re onstage playing in a band.”

As in past years, there will be a good dose of global culture, kicking off with Bhangra Authentic tonight. And there’ll be plenty of impromptu jam sessions, another hallmark of the festival. Local artists, the Be Good Tanyas, close the festival Sunday night.