The Vancouver Folk Music Festival returned to Jericho Beach Park on July 18 with a stellar opening night line up that included Great Lake Swimmers, Wintersleep, and Andrew Bird.
This is the 37th annual Folk Festival, and over 60 artists from around the world will be performing throughout the weekend.
Opening night, although under cloudy skies, was busy in each direction. The main stage had chairs and blankets stretching to the far end- almost at the beer gardens. The eclectic food section often had line-ups of hungry festival goers, while the vendors were kept busy with visitors of all ages passing through.
The main stage was beautifully set up, and the sound was surprisingly great for an outdoor venue. Taking the stage the first night were some of Canada’s favourite artists, including Toronto-based Great Lake Swimmers– who were welcomed with cheers and claps as they performed on Friday evening. The band is scheduled for two workshops throughout the rest of the weekend. Following Great Lake Swimmers was Juno Award winners Wintersleep– a band with great stage presence and a solid fanbase in Vancouver. Throughout the crowd, many were singing along to Wintersleep’s set, especially during their hit single “Weighty Ghost”.
As the sunset, the festival’s stage lit up beautifully, and the headliner that evening began his set with a stunning violin solo. Andrew Bird & the Hands of Glory were definitely the draw and highlight for many attending the festival. Bird, an American songwriter and musician, is a multi-instrumentalist and a very talented one. While the crowd was mostly seated throughout the evening, Bird had everyone up on their feet, swaying in dance.
The Vancouver Folk Music Festivals continues throughout the weekend. Tickets are still available.