PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Folk Festival is hanging on by a thread this year, and the question is: why? The festival has changed Philadelphia's cultural landscape in a significant way, and the city can no longer sustain itself without it. However, with a few important changes coming to the festival, it may be worth the wait. Read on to learn about the reasons behind the festival's recent troubles.
First, the festival has been struggling for years. Traditionally, the festival attracts around 12,000 people, but the attendance has declined. The festival's campground has become unwelcoming. In addition, the festival has lost a lot of its regulars. As a result, it's now on a tenuous string. Currently, the festival is surviving only because of the efforts of the people who put it on.
This year's lineup includes veteran folkies as well as some contemporary acts. Veterans like Tom Rush and Jim Kweskin will take the stage, and recent acts include Livingston Taylor and Happy Traum. Bettye LaVette will also be making a return appearance with The Hiss Golden Messenger Project. Other artists include Punch Brothers & Watchhouse, The War & Treaty, and Abigail Lapell.
The Philadelphia Folk Festival is in a bind, and the changes sweeping the music industry are impacting it. While the changes will disrupt the old-time performers, the event's future looks promising. Although the festival's structure is cooperative and tradition-bound, it is likely to be saved by someone with experience running successful festivals in other cities. While the new coordinator will annoy longtime patrons, will he save the event?