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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

The Summerfolk Music & Crafts Festival Is Gearing Up For Another Spectacular Weekend Of Music

Photo Credit: Summerfolk.

AUGUST 18, 19, 20, 2023


The Sound Cafe along with our sister platform, Blues & Roots Radio, will be bringing artist interviews from the Summerfolk Music & Crafts Festival in 2023, we will be airing a pre-festival podcast dedicated to some of this years performers and we will be airing a series of shows after the event featuring interviews and music from some of the performers at this years event.

You can listen to our interview with head of the Summerfolk media team, Ben Pettit, from last years event HERE followed by a series of interviews with Irish Mythen, Ben Corston, Mimi O'Bonsawin, Briar Summers, The MacKenzie Blues Band, RPR and Rick Fines who all appeared in 2022 HERE

Summerfolk Music & Crafts Festival is an annual folk festival held in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada during the third weekend in August. Summerfolk attracts performers and fans from across North America and the globe to Kelso Beach Park located on the west shore of Owen Sound on Georgian Bay. The festival was founded in 1975 by brothers Tim and John Harrison and is nationally renowned for its music and craft excellence. It was also a founding member of the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals now known as Folk Music Ontario.

Folk is not an exclusive term and Summerfolk welcomes all music lovers. Over the years, audiences have met musicians from every continent. With music from Mongolia to Mozambique, Chile to China, and Georgian Bay to the Georgia Strait, Summerfolk stages are just as likely to feature traditional songs from around the world as contemporary songs from around the block – sometimes in the same workshop. The festival that began with an audience sitting on garbage bags in a muddy field in 1976 has grown to a four-day festival with seven musical stages and an Artisan’s Village where dozens of vendors sell handcrafted wears. Now, the festival hosts thousands of attendees and hundreds of volunteers annually.

Since 2007, Summerfolk has reserved performance spaces for young performers through the Young Discoveries Showcase offering winners a chance to play at the festival. The contest is open to performers under the age of 21 and features two rounds of judged performances.

Many performers who have played at Summerfolk have gone on to great commercial success, such as Leahy, Valdy, The Rankins, The Arrogant Worms, and Natalie MacMaster. Other more commercial Canadian talent have also graced the stages over the years such as Gowan, Rik Emmett, Blue Rodeo, Moxy Früvous, and Bruce Cockburn. One of Summerfolk's most famous and revered performers was Stan Rogers.

Headliners this year are Loreena McKennitt, Serena Ryder and Matt Andersen.

You can also listen to the official Summerfolk Festival Radio Show twice a week on Blues and Roots Radio from Owen Sound, Canada. Georgian Bay Roots shares some of the best music that’s made in and played in Grey and Bruce Counties with roots music from across Canada and around the world thrown into the mix. Hosts, Kailey Hawkins, Kelly Babcock, Tim Harrison and Tom Thwaites bring the musician’s ear and the heart of a fan to the air waves with stories about performers and news about upcoming shows and releases. Tune in to hear some of your favourite acts and new bands that you didn’t know you loved every Tuesday and Friday. (See schedule)

Performers at this year's festival also include:

  • Dave Gunning and J.P. Cormier

  • The Lee Boys

  • Digging Roots

  • Le Winston Band

  • The Small Glories

  • Julian Taylor

  • Angelique Francis

  • Shred Kelly

  • Windborne

  • RedFox

  • Emilee Ann Pitawanakwat

  • Treasa Levasseur

  • Mimi O'Bonsawin

  • Mia Kelly

  • Scott Cook

  • Morgan Toney

  • Shane Pendergast

  • Marshall Veroni

  • The Pairs

  • David Newland

  • Jessica Pearson & the East Wind

  • AND MORE! Stay tuned for more updates over the coming weeks!

Photo Credit: Anne Connor.


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