Live From the Rock: Red Rock Folk Festival can count another stellar year in the books as over 2250 attendees descended on the festival grounds this past weekend for a lineup of almost 40 acts. In its 14th annual event, the festival drew hundreds of campers to the shore of Lake Superior for main stage acts, workshop shows, and campfire singalong. The festival has a great reputation and continues to grow every year since its iteration.
According to TB Newswatch, over 2000 people showed up for music and festivities on Saturday alone. The crowd themselves reportedly kept the folk spirit going even after performers left the stage with campfire sing-alongs at night and impromptu jamming sessions before the gates opened on Sunday.
While well-loved acts like Jean Paul DeRoover, The Moonshiners, Rodney Brown, and Shy Anne Horvoka drew crowds to the stage, many people also watched all the acts perform workshop sessions, where several artists sit in for communal sessions on the same stage and jam together to create unique music never heard before, and not heard again.
Kathy Chappell of the Chronicle Journal noted that Steve Poltz was a particular force during the workshop sessions: “Poltz had the audience captivated with his unique and at times eccentric of entertaining bringing the crowd to their feet. Some of his antics throughout the day had musicians in a workshop performing on their backs.”
Poltz wasn’t the only artist with interactive techniques. The Journal also reported that Madeline Roger and Raine Hamilton engaged festival attendees to help them write a song that honoured the festival’s theme: Stoked for Folk. The resulting tune was performed during closing ceremonies alongside other longtime favourites and traditional closing songs.
Over 200 volunteers committed themselves to this year’s event, and the board of directors have planned next year’s festival for August 11-13th.
If you’re still seeking North Shore music festival vibes, take a trip over the border to Duluth this weekend for the Bayfront Blues Festival. This year’s major headliners are John Mayall, Southern Hospitality, and War. In addition to full-day lineups of great blues acts, the festival is offering late night dance parties so revellers can keep the party going. For information on schedules, ticket prices, and more, click here.