77°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Fun WUMB: Folk Fesival Sees its Sixth Year

There may be no better way for students to kick off the fall semester than to take part in WUMB-FM’s 6th Annual Boston Folk Festival, a three-day event scheduled to take place here on campus from Friday, September 19 to Sunday, September 21.

The station is inviting UMass Boston students to take advantage of a number of volunteer opportunities that will allow them to see the festival for free while providing a first-hand, behind-the-scenes look at activities.

Students will also able to purchase tickets at a discounted rate.

“We saw a lot more student faces at the show last year, and we were fortunate to have a number of student volunteers. It worked out really well,” said station General Manager Pat Monteith, “We look forward to working with students again this year.”

On May 1, the radio station announced this year’s festival line-up, including a Sunday evening performance by ten-time Grammy winner Emmylou Harris, as well as more than two dozen of the top names in acoustic and contemporary folk, local, national, and international singer-songwriters, bluegrass, blues, world music, and more.

Slated as a way to preserve folk music, the family-oriented festival features five stages, nearly 60 vendors, a children’s craft area, and mini-concert boat tours.

“It’s an event for everyone,'” says Monteith, “We tend to see families, older people and young kids-it’s really a mixed crowd.”

With indoor as well as outdoor stages, the event has changed to accommodate the increasingly larger audiences, like the sellout crowd of ten thousand that attended last year’s festival.

The rise in public interest has allowed the station to feature more prominent acts, such as Grammy winning blues artist Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson, Irish pop- star Paul Brady, and New England-girl turned Lilith Fair headliner Catie Curtis.

Each year, the Boston Folk Festival draws a growing number of attendees, many from around the world. This year, for the first time, the festival also includes a flatpicking contest and a songwriting contest, open to the general public.

On Friday night, musicians Tom Rush and Joel Mabus will act as judges, while contest finalists compete live in front of the audience.

“We’re all in for an amazing three-day weekend of folk music,” says Montieth, “This is really a first-class line-up: Emmylou Harris, Greg Brown, Tom Rush…and we’re very excited about the new songwriting and flatpicking contests. Lots of excitement this year!”

While it may seem a bit early for students to make plans for the fall semester, the first week of tickets sales has given the station a strong indication that the event will sell out. Students interested in volunteering, obtaining tickets, or entering the contests can check out the website at www.bostonfolkfestival.org, or by calling the WUMB-FM offices at 617-287-6900.