Stars align for Folk Fest organizers


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The musical lineup for the 32nd Brandon Folk, Music and Art Festival has been a long time coming, according to organizers.

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This article was published 20/07/2016 (2330 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The musical lineup for the 32nd Brandon Folk, Music and Art Festival has been a long time coming, according to organizers.

“The artists that are our headliners, some of them we’ve worked on for years,” festival director Shandra MacNeill said. “John K. Samson … I’ve tried to book him since the first year I was director, and this is finally the year we’ve made it work — same thing with Ron Sexsmith.”

Add the foot-stomping goodness of Little Miss Higgins and the Winnipeg Five — who have been previously absent due to a heavy touring schedule and the arrival of a baby — and MacNeill says this year’s festival is an “exciting” example of stars aligning.

File photo Son Latino performs on the opening night of last year’s Brandon Folk, Music and Art Festival. This year’s festival begins on Friday.

The three-day festival kicks off this Friday on the Keystone Centre grounds with music starting at 7 p.m. Throughout the weekend, artists will be performing in a variety of daytime workshops with main stage concerts taking place every evening.

The all-Canadian lineup also features a number of local acts, including guitarist Matt Zimmerman, singer-songwriter Mitchell Mozdzen and teenage pop-rockers The 204.

MacNeill says the festival strives to attract Brandon-based talent.

“I think it’s really important to be continually encouraging young artists in town and putting them on stage with people who are international artists is a really exciting thing to be able to do,” she said.

Leading up to opening night, MacNeill and the organizing committee are busy setting up the grounds and tying up loose ends.

“Because the festival is made up of hundreds and hundreds of people — whether its audience members or volunteers or artists … anything that involves humans is kind of like wrangling cats,” she said.

A large contingent of the festival’s roughly 100 volunteers are returning this year, which will provide plenty of mentorship opportunities for younger apprentice volunteers. In recent years, the festival has also started encouraging people to volunteer with their kids.

“(It’s) great because then you have a next generation of volunteers being developed and we see more of that happening now,” MacNeill said, adding that the festival is still accepting volunteer applications in case of last-minute cancellations.

Tickets will be available online until Thursday at midnight and can be purchased at the gate over the weekend. Camping on the Keystone grounds is quickly approaching capacity, and those interested in setting up a tent or pulling in an RV should buy passes as soon as possible.

The festival is all ages and MacNeill is hoping families who have never been before will give it a try this year.

“Even if it’s a new experience for them, it’s a really wonderful time and parents will be able to find such a wide assortment of music … and there are so many activities in the family area,” she said.


» Twitter: @evawasney


This year’s Brandon Folk, Music and Art Festival evening concert lineup features a bevy of Canadian musicians:


• Richard Inman

• Dust Rhinos

• Allison Brown and “Uncle” Dan Henshell

• Scott Nolan

• Bicycle Face

• Jess Rae Ayre

• Festival Poem

• Ron Sexsmith

Host: 2 Dope Boys in a Cadillac


• Young Pixels

• Matt Zimmerman

• Sol James

• Logan Jax Oxenham

• Mitchell Mozdzen

• Shelley-Lynne Hardinge

• The Small Glories

• Leonard Podolak

• Dirty Catfish Brass Band

• Kev Corbett

• Little Miss Higgins and the Winnipeg Five

Host: Kev Corbett


• Chuck Copenance Band

• Jess Rae Ayre

• The New Customs

• Daniel Peloquin-Hopfner

• John K Samson and the Winter Wheat

Host: Daniel Peloquin-Hopfner

» For a full schedule visit

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