Friday at the Winnipeg Folk Festival is always the first full day, with daytime workshops and concerts taking place at the various smaller stages throughout the festival grounds. While the workshop idea isn't completely unique to Winnipeg, for many artists, it's not only a new idea but in some cases, even intimidating.
Not wanting to repeat the mistakes of the previous day -- especially with our Thursday choice for "Artist of the Day", Good Old War, leading off the night -- we arrived to Bird's Hill Park for Day 2 of the Winnipeg Folk Festival before the first notes chimed off the main stage.
Arriving to Bird's Hill Park and the Winnipeg Folk Festival grounds a bit late on the first night of the festival unfortunately meant missing some very talented artists in Snowblink and James Vincent McMorrow (luckily this wasn't our only opportunity to hear either of them, as they'll both be part of the "Your Indie Heart" workshop on Friday afternoon).
ShowbizMonkeys.com tries to bring you loads of coverage from festivals and cultural events, both from our own back yard (Winnipeg Comedy Festival) and around North America (San Diego Comic-Con, Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival). Each festival has its unique charms, and besides hopefully providing interesting things for you to read, listen to, or watch, it's also insanely fun for us. But it's been no secret on these digital pages which festival excites us the most: The Winnipeg Folk Festival -- with its genre-bending (but generally fairly rootsy) line-up of musical acts, the great landscape and climate of the Canadian prairie in July (with a hot sun, and hopefully mosquitoes kept at bay by some friendly dragonflies), and the friendliest group of volunteers and festivalgoers you'll find anywhere -- is the best five days we spend every year.
Despite its relatively small size, Winnipeg knows how to throw a summer party! From late June until the end of August, this prairie city known mostly for its cold winters and newly-returning hockey team comes alive with festival after festival celebrating music, theatre, and culture.
The Winnipeg Folk Festival finished its five-day celebration of folk, roots, and traditional music on Sunday with another day of beautiful (and sunburn-inducing) weather and a solo performance by Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy.
Saturday was a busy day for ShowbizMonkeys.com at the 2011 Winnipeg Folk Festival! We interviewed a couple critical and audience favourites -- Vancouver singer/songwriter Dan Mangan and Winnipeg folk-pop band Imaginary Cities.
Friday evening brought the first rain of the festival (not the most fun for our first night camping at the festival campground), but most of the day was sunny, hot, and humid. Highlights from Friday's line-up included Dan Mangan, k.d.
Unfortunately, as we alluded to yesterday, there won't be any big posts for the next couple days from the Winnipeg Folk Festival, as the exhaustion (and let's face it, fun) of camping is taking up a lot of our time over the weekend.
Thursday night at the 2011 Winnipeg Folk Festival featured some pleasant surprises, but it was indie folk mainstays Tegan and Sara who rocked the Bird's Hill Park field to a delighted and uncharacteristically raucous crowd.