Stages were set, the Bazar Village was buzzing, and the food was cooking as the gates opened for the start of the 38th annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival at the scenic Jericho Beach.
Opening at 1 p.m., music fans brought blankets, lawn chairs, even sleeping bags, to make their full day comfortable at the event. With five different stages set, the music began at 2 p.m., and rocked until 11 p.m. For those who haven’t attended the Folk Festival in Vancouver, it is a family-friendly atmosphere that emits a community vibe. From local vendors, to local musicians, and local food, the festival brings together a crowd of all ages along the shores of Jericho Beach.
As music workshops took place across three stages, many early festival-goers took advantage of the sun to walk around and check out the Folk Bazar Village, which is located near the West Gate, and behind stage 6. Walking through the festival grounds, it’s clear some fans laid out their blankets and lawn chairs early to get the best spots at the main stage. By the time the music began at that stage, the ground was filled with a crowd that reached past the beer garden.
Friday’s main stage started strong with the sensational voice of Frazey Ford, just after 5 p.m. As local loves Said the Whale hit the stage around 6:30 p.m., their fans stood up – some near the far back, some right by the stage. They danced and sang along throughout their set. The smell of the delicious food trucks were overpowering as the evening progressed, and the food line-ups were growing. From dim sum, to Jamaican, the festival covered various cuisine to suit even the pickiest of eaters.
By the time Ontario’s Hawksley Workman hit the stage, the sun had begun to fade behind some clouds, and the beach breeze cooled the outdoor venue. Festival goers shouldn’t forget a light sweater for the evening portion of the event – although beer and dancing is also known to keep some fans warm. But when Richard Thompson got on stage, stillness and silence came among the crowd, who marveled at Thompson’s guitar playing. Thompson’s set was the ideal music to be playing as a bright red sunset lit up the sky behind the festival; and just like that, a perfect sunset was accompanied by a beautiful soundtrack.The evening concluded with the more upbeat Melbourne Ska Orchestra, which got the crowd back up and dancing as the night skies replaced the pink shades of sunset.
The Vancouver Folk Music Festival continues today through Sunday. Fans can check out the hashtag #VFMF2015 on social media to follow the daily events. Headliners on Saturday include Blind Pilot and Trampled by Turtles, while Sunday’s closing night includes Phosphorescent and Angélique Kidjo. Tickets are still available online, or at the festival gate.
Vancity Buzz is a proud media partner of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival