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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Boston Folk Festival

The Boston Folk Festival, organized by UMass Boston’s radio station, WUMB, has for ten years now, serenaded the UMB community and Boston as a whole, with folk music that ranges from traditional Celtic to modern country. The history of the Festival is diverse as it is fertile with world class folk acts and thousands of people enjoying the folk culture through music, craft, dance, oral tradition, and customary foods. Sure, the music is great and the food is delicious, but the wider focus of the Festival is to expose a greater audience to the folk community, a group many people think was left behind in the 1960’s.

This year the Festival features a song-writing contest, outdoor activities for kids, and great food from New England vendors, although the sound of the music is what draws people in. And there will be plenty of it with three stages, nineteen bands, and a weekend to remember. The acts include old timers like Geoff Bartley, a musician on the New England scene since the sixties, and Bill Staines, whose classic tracks like “Roseville Fair” have become traditional folk songs. But there will also be members of a younger and more startlingly diverse folk crowd, including, Erin McKeown, Lori McKenna, Mark Erelli (a UMB graduate), and Antje Duvekot (a German immigrant who fended off loneliness in America by listening to classic folk artists like John Gorka).

The Festival will kick off Saturday, September 15th with the Song Writing Finalists Concert. It starts at 6pm in the Lipke Auditorium, located in the Umass Boston Science Building. There will be performances by Catie Curtis, Mike Erelli and the Song Writing Contest finalists. Sunday the 16th, however will be the climax. It all starts at 11am, but show up earlier if you want a good seat, at the three separate locations on campus. Artists will be doing song swapping with other artists at The Field Stage, outside on the front soccer field. The Coffeehouse Stage, a more intimate and relaxed setting, will be in the Ryan Auditorium on the third floor of the McCormick Building and the Summer Acoustic Music Week Showcase Stage, will be outside in the Plaza in front of the McCormick building.

An interesting new exercise this year is the In-The-Round, where up to 18 artists will be on stage at the same time, singing in rounds with each other and swapping out lyrics for others. Tickets are $40 for the two-day event, and can be purchased at www.BostonFolkFestival.org or in person at the WUMB station on the UMB campus. In addition to all the beautiful Folk music there will also be a number of craft vendors selling handmade trinkets as souvenirs for this year’s Festival. So bring a blanket, get comfortable and get ready for the most exciting Boston Folk Festival hosted by Umass Boston’s WUMB ever.