Top 20 Folk Music Festivals in the USA
Folk Music Festivals in the USA have become one of the best and popular things to do in the summer in the US
Featuring everything from star singers, old time fiddle bands, bluegrass, Irish, old country and western music, and even dancers and story tellers, the folk music festivals offer a wide range of entertainment.
Here is a selection of the main 20 folk music US festivals recognized by Top Events USA
Anchorage Folk Festival
For two full weeks in mid-January, the Anchorage Folk Festival, now recognized as the best free music event in Alaska and one of the Top 20 Folk Music Festivals in the USA, showcases more than 120 singers, dancers, storytellers, and groups from throughout Alaska and around the world as they perform traditional and original material in styles ranging from folk to Celtic, bluegrass, jazz, klezmer and more. The concerts and workshops are open to the public and are free.
For more information about the Anchorage Folk Festival visit:
Alaska Folk Festival
early to mid April
The Alaska Folk Festival brings the entire town of Juneau together for performances ranging from school groups to professionals to at-home hobbyists. Many people come from miles away to see and participate in this festive event. The event is held in mid-April, and admittance is free.
For more information about the Alaska Folk Festival visit:
Arkansas Folk Festival
Mountain View, Arkansas
Townspeople and visitors alike have saluted the folk culture of the Ozarks since 1963 with musical performances and dancing on the Courthouse Square. A highlight of this festival is an old fashioned "hometown" parade which brings out school bands, patriotic veterans groups, dudded-up horses, and decorated floats of all sorts. Other activities available in the area include tours of Blanchard Springs Caverns, mountain biking, camping and hiking in the Ozark National Forest, and fishing on White River.
For more information about the Arkansas Folk Festival in Mountain View visit:
A popular event for almost three decades, the Tucson Folk Festival, one of the largest free festivals in the USA, attracts more than 10,000 folk music lovers and showcases more than 20 hours of free, live music on five stages, as well as dance and other entertainment in downtown Tucson. Music highlights include bluegrass, Irish, old country and western music.
For more information about the Tucson Folk Festival visit:
Florida Folk Festival
White Springs, Florida
An annual festival of music, food, and traditional arts celebrating Florida's many folk cultures and traditions, the Florida Folk Festival began in 1953 in White Springs and has since become one of the nation's oldest continuous folk festivals. Held at the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, the festival showcases talent on more than five stages. Attractions include folk life demonstration areas, food booths, and activity areas.
For more information about the Florida Folk Festival in White Springs visit:
Topanga Banjo-Fiddle Contest and Folk Festival
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area – Los Angeles, California
Southern California's most popular Bluegrass, old-time and folk music festival for more than half a century, the Topanga Banjo-Fiddle Contest and Folk Festival promotes music and country dancing with over 160 performers and hundreds of instrumental and singing contestants and performances, including fiddle playoffs, singing playoffs and band playoffs, as well as clog, contra, and square dancers and a wide range of folk art booths.
For more information about the Topanga Banjo-Fiddle Contest and Folk Festival visit:
Kutztown Folk Festival
late June - early July
The oldest folklife festival in America, the family oriented Kutztown Folk Festival which has been going strong for over 60 years celebrates the Dutch heritage of Pennsylvania with the largest Quilt Sale in the USA, traditional crafts by 200 juried American craftsmen, historical reenactments, antiques, traditional music and dancing, and lots of activities for children. Attracting more than 150,000 visitors every year, the nine-day Kutztown Folk Festival has been named as one of America’s Top Celebrations by USA Today, and a “Must See” Festival by the Washington Post.
For more information about the Kutztown Folk Festival visit:
Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts Festival
A popular event for over 40 years, and one of the most recognized events in this part of the USA and one of the main 20 folk music US festivals attracting thousands of musicians, music lovers and arts and crafts people, the Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts Festival contests feature Appalachian folk singing (solo/duet), individual performers, youth square dancing, old time fiddle bands and Gospel singing. The crafts booths, barbecues and food stalls together with the free shows make for an ideal family outing.
For more information about the Fiddlers’ Jamboree in Smithville visit:
Montana Folk Festival
2nd Weekend in July
Celebrating the unique music, culture and cuisine found throughout the United States, the Montana Folk Festival is held in Butte against the historic backdrop of this unique and culturally diverse town. Since 1934, the Festival has showcased the country’s finest traditional artists as the signature event of the National Council for the Traditional Arts. The Festival incorporates but is not limited to the traditional music, culture and cuisine of the American West. Also included is a folk and traditional arts marketplace and ethnic foods.
For more information about the Montana Folk Festival in Butte visit:
Tallahassee, North Central Florida
The annual music festival at the oak-shaded grounds of the Tallahassee Museum showcases outdoor performances by the supreme singer-songwriters of the Florida folk music elite. The Swamp Stomp also features outdoor games, close-up animal encounters, living history demonstrations, and environmental education activities.
For more information about Swamp Stomp visit:
Lowell Folk Fest
The largest free folk festival in the USA, with continuous music on six outdoor stages, takes place in July in downtown Lowell. A family friendly event, the Lowell Folk Festival has presented an international array of folk music, ethnic foods, craftspeople and artisans, as well as kid’s activities to enthusiastic New England audiences every summer for over 20 years. Lowell also hosts the Lowell Summer Music Series from the end of June to the beginning of September.
For more information about the Lowell Folk Fest visit:
Waynesville and Maggie Valley, North Carolina
Folkmoot USA, North Carolina's Official International Festival, is a two-week celebration of the world's cultural heritage through folk music and dance. Held each summer across the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina, Folkmoot features performances, parades and workshops by more than 350 performers from a dozen or so countries. Performers demonstrate cultural heritage through colorful, authentic and original reproduction costumes, lively dance and beautiful music. During its 25-year history, over 200 folk groups from more than 100 countries have shared their heritage and culture at Folkmoot USA.
For more information about Folkmoot USA visit:
Newport Folk Festival
end July – early August
Newport, Rhode Island
Established in 1959 as a counterpart to the already established and very popular Newport Jazz Festival, the Newport Folk Festival is one of the oldest folk music festivals in North America, and has attracted some of the biggest names in folk music, from Bob Dylan to Johnny Cash, Elvis Costello and many more.
For more information about the Newport Folk Festival on Rhode Island visit:
Falcon Ridge Folk Festival
Hillsdale, New York
Recognized as one of the most popular, well-attended folk festivals in the USA, the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival is a three-day community event featuring folk music and dance at the foot of the Berkshires in east-central New York State. Showcasing some of the greatest contemporary singer/songwriters, folk artists and bands, the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival takes place on several stages. This event also features family oriented events such as puppet shows and clowns.
For more information about the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in Hillsdale, New York, visit:
Falcon Ridge Folk Festivalhttp://www.falconridgefolk.com/
Great Lakes Folk Festival
East Lansing, Michigan
Produced by the Michigan Traditional Arts Program at the Michigan State University Museum, the Great Lakes Folk Festival is an unique fusion of arts fair, music festival, county fair, and multi-ethnic festival. Taking place in downtown East Lansing, this free festival showcases the traditional cultural treasures of the nation's Upper Midwest and a sampling of the best of traditional artists from around the country and the world.
For more information about the Great Lakes Folk Festival in East Lansing see:
or visit: http://www.greatlakesfolkfest.net
Philadelphia Folk Festival
One of the Top 20 Folk Music Festivals in the USA, and a tradition for decades, the Philadelphia Folk Festival offers over 75 hours of music over three days with more than five dozen great musicians. One of the oldest music festivals in the world, and the longest continuously running US festival of its kind, the Philadelphia Folk Festival is an extravaganza of traditional and contemporary music, dance, crafts, camping, and children’s activities.
For more information about the Philadelphia Folk Festival visit:
Wheatland Music Festival
Created in 1974, the Wheatland Music Festival takes place the weekend after Labor Day each year, drawing 10,000 folk music fans to enjoy three days of music and art on the 160-acre festival site. They are there to enjoy a wide variety of activities, as well as the star-studded lineup on the main stage. There is a juried arts and crafts show, a raffle, children’s activities, teen and young adult activities, instrument and dance workshops, music, food, fellowship and fun. Impromptu jam sessions can be found throughout the campgrounds all weekend long.
For more information about the Wheatland Music Festival in Remus, Michigan visit:
Richmond Folk Festival
Richmond City, Virginia
One of the largest events in Virginia, drawing visitors from across the country, the free, 3-day, Richmond Folk Festival celebrates the roots, richness and variety of American culture through music, dance, traditional crafts and food. The Richmond Folk Festival features more than 30 performing groups on seven live music stages with continuous music and dance performances, along with a Virginia Folklife demonstration area, children's activities, a folk arts marketplace, regional and ethnic foods and more.
For more information about the Richmond Folk Festival visit:
Moab Folk Festival
An exciting gathering of artists from the national, regional and local contemporary folk music community, the Moab Folk Festival includes some of the finest singer/songwriter musicians in the country. Past performers include Chris Smither, Greg Brown, Christine Lavin, John McEuen and David Olney.
For more information about the Moab Folk Festival visit:
updated Top 20 Events USA pages do not include every single event on offer in each state or city in America – only those recognized as one of the top 20 in each location, elected by residents, tourists and visitors, the team of travel writers working for Top Events USA, and some officials of the relevant states and cities of the USA too.