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|I Am Skooter|
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
I wrote daily wrap ups of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival for Beyond Robson (click to read Day One, Day Two and Day Three on the site) which kept me busy and up late during the festival itself, so I didn’t write much here. A week later, I’m finally getting around to it.
I have a full collection of photos on flickr to browse through. I’ll excerpt some of those here along with some thoughts. Read on.
This was my first Folk Fest, and I was planning on being pretty mobile and taking pictures which means I didn’t rush down to get a coveted blanket position. This worked just fine for me, but I was amazed at the size of the crowd that was already there an hour after the gate opened. If I had been staking out blanket space I would’ve been well back from the stage. Impressive turnout, Vancouver. Nice show of enthusiasm. Now why don’t you go see any other shows? Sigh.
Day One only uses the Main Stage, with a constant rotation of acts. A pattern emerged of having a main act play followed by—and I apologize for the inelegant term here—a small, filler act. These acts keep the music going, which is a lot nicer than 20 minutes of silence while a stage is rejigged.
Day one’s highlights were Shane Koyczan & the Short Story Long, Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, the Avett Brothers and Calexico whose horn section was the perfect accompaniment as the sun set fire to the crowd. I’d absolutely see Calexico again in the right venue.
Thanks to a twitter comment I caught along the way, I knew there were going to be lanterns at the Folk Fest, but I didn’t know that there was going to be a nightly lantern parade. It’s hard to describe how beautiful these lanterns can be, especially in a starry outdoor sky. They hover in the air like spirits aglow, and the Folk Festival parade serves as a guide to light the way out of Jericho Park. There was a science fiction or space theme to some of this year’s lanterns, naturally making me a very happy boy. The Mr. Spock lantern was built by the talented Jacquie Rolston (who was also dressed in a Princess Leia costume) and the Serenity lantern was made by Jeannie. I got a little obsessed with both of these: sorry ladies!
A night of solid sleep after spending the day in the sun got me back to the festival fairly early the next day, and I caught the first of many workshops. This one was called Troubadours and featured Sarah Harmer who was definitely the star of day two if the opinions of my friends mattered.
I left the Troubadours to the sounds of Four Strong Winds and my ears took me off to the left (this might be the unique bias created by being deaf in my right ear, but I’ll leave it up to you decide.) The Gertrudes were packing the stage with something like nine musicians. A definite find for the weekend, I’ll be at every one of their Vancouver shows when they make it back here.
Other highlights included Playing for Change’s African rhythms which are trying to do nothing less than change the world, Alex Cuba’s latin infused rock and roll, the beautiful voice of PEI’s Catherine McLellan and Matt Epp. Day two was a day for exploring and finding, and the Folk Fest didn’t dissappoint.
I slept in a bit on day three, and got to the festival grounds at about noon. This means I missed a performance by The Gertrudes, but I can live with that.
The highlights of day three were concentrated on Stage Five for me, with the United Steelworkers of Montreal, The Gertrudes, Matt Epp, The Deep Dark Woods and the Malahat Revue all playing on the secondary stage. It was a definite home for the local indie rock crowd: there were a lot of familiar faces in the crowd.
Three days of sun, fun, lovely people and wonderful music in the glorious sunshine of Jericho Beach are no exception, and all things must come to an end. Will I be back next year? Count on it.
Posted by skooter at 3:50 AM
This entry is filed under Camera, Music, Vancouver.
This entry is tagged: Alex Cuba, Avett Brothers, Calexico, Catherine McLellan, Julie Fader, Matt Epp, Playing for Change, Sarah Harmer, The Gertrudes, Vancouver Folk Music Festival