Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Opinion
Classified Sites

Brandon Sun - PRINT EDITION

Folk fest has come a long way

The weather gods may be feeling a little nostalgic this weekend as the Brandon Folk, Music and Art Festival gears up for a weekend of music and entertainment.

For nearly three decades the festival has been reinventing itself, bringing bigger and better musical talent from around the country, and around the world. Thousands of people have enjoyed this Brandon-run event over the three decades of its operation, and though some years have been difficult, organizers have persevered.

But that first festival so many years ago was a different animal than the one taking place on the Keystone Centre grounds.

The first folk festival was held in mid-September in 1985 on the Brandon University campus. According to Brandon Sun archives, although 400 people were expected, only 250 entered the gates to catch what was then a 12-hour musical extravaganza with 21 individual and group performers, ranging from folk to jazz to rock. In fact, most of the performers were local.

Then-organizer Clark Marcino said poor weather may have deterred some potential festival-goers that year, and the festival was organized in a short period of time, which limited the amount of planning and promotion that was possible.

As an aside, we note that the festival may have to suffer through some unfortunate weather this weekend, as Environment Canada is calling for cloudy or stormy skies today and tomorrow, with highs of only 22 C and 21 C. The weather gods can be cruel.

Since that fledgling year, however, the festival has drawn some amazing musical talent. To echo a column written by former Brandon Sun entertainment writer James O’Connor in 1988, the Brandon Folk, Music and Art Festival grew from being a local talent showcase to a legitimate regional entertainment event.

And from there, it began to draw provincial, national and indeed international talent. Several high-profile names have taken the outdoor stage to the delight of local music fans, including the Crash Test Dummies, the Dave McLean Blues Band, Tom Jackson, the Sheepdogs, Hawksley Workman, Martha Wainwright, and this weekend, Martin Sexton and Cold Specks, to name just a few.

Former event organizer Drew Caldwell’s words were prophetic in 1990, when he suggested that the festival would continue to grow, not only in scope but in scale.

“As the festival develops, I think you’ll see a three-day festival evolve out of the Brandon festival,” Caldwell said. “We’ve discussed this at the board a number of times and weighed the pros and cons. It’s a direction I can see ourselves moving into it.”

Situational cash flow problems have popped up over the years, when grants have been lost or poor weather has hurt attendance. But the longevity of the festival is a credit to the organizers and the many volunteers who have put in thousands of hours to not only keep it going year after year, but make it a successful local venue.

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 26, 2014

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

The weather gods may be feeling a little nostalgic this weekend as the Brandon Folk, Music and Art Festival gears up for a weekend of music and entertainment.

For nearly three decades the festival has been reinventing itself, bringing bigger and better musical talent from around the country, and around the world. Thousands of people have enjoyed this Brandon-run event over the three decades of its operation, and though some years have been difficult, organizers have persevered.

Please subscribe to view full article.

Already subscribed? Login to view full article.

Not yet a subscriber? Click here to sign up

The weather gods may be feeling a little nostalgic this weekend as the Brandon Folk, Music and Art Festival gears up for a weekend of music and entertainment.

For nearly three decades the festival has been reinventing itself, bringing bigger and better musical talent from around the country, and around the world. Thousands of people have enjoyed this Brandon-run event over the three decades of its operation, and though some years have been difficult, organizers have persevered.

Subscription required to view full article.

A subscription to the Brandon Sun Newspaper is required to view this article. Please update your user information if you are already a newspaper subscriber.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media