WINNIPEG – Thousands of music lovers are getting their folk on.
On Wednesday, Birds Hill Park opened its gates to about 8,000 ticket holders for the 41st annual Folk Fest.
“We camped on Tuesday night in the provincial park and lined up bright and early Wednesday morning,” said festival attendee Jackie Miller.
80 concerts are being performed by more than 70 artists from around the world at one of the biggest festivals in western Canada.
“We’ve actually been able to build a culture of our own so people come out here because they know it’s a great time, they know it’s a happy place to be, everyone’s friendly, everyone’s smiling, everyone’s having a good time and they know they’re going to see quality music,” said Lynne Skromeda, Folk Festival executive director.
Operating for over four decades, the festival is a family tradition for some.
“We have grandparents come with their kids and their grand kids that have been experiencing it all together as a family for decades,” said Skromeda.
Those memories are what the festival is banking on with attendance numbers lower than last year.
“My kids were commenting on how it’s much more expensive to go to the campsites now,” said Susan Clubb.
To try and offset the added dollars, Folk Fest is free this year to all children under 12-years-old.
To also lower costs, the festival operates with the work of hundreds of volunteers, 300 of which are in the kitchen alone.
“It’s an enormous amount of work, it’s a lot of work…we’re doing 53,000 meals in the span of just under a week,” said Ben Kramer of Diversity Food Services.
That’s about 3,000 to 5,000 meals served daily at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Day tickets are still available for Sunday.