Winnipeg Festival Countdown

The Winnipeg Folk Festival is only 3 weeks away, Thursday July 8 to Sunday July 11.
This year, I asked to be a Folk Festival Volunteer. I volunteered to become more actively engaged in the Festival, to try to avoid drowning in memories of attending as a happily married husband and father, and to meet new people. My application seemed to go into limbo for a while. I was told that the coordinators need to check with past volunteers on their crews, and to give priority to returning volunteers.
I got the call yesterday. I’m on Site Security, which is divided into a number of crews. I am joining the collateral crew which has some shifts supporting the Main stage crew, and some shifts supporting the Site West (Daytime stages) crew. I expect to walk and to use sunscreen and bug repellent, answer questions, rescue lost kids and capture fence jumpers.

The spring weather in Winnipeg has been cool and wet. It seemed to be dry until the blizzard in mid-May, and we have had some heavy rain since then. If we have a few days or a week of sunshine and wind just before the festival, the site conditions should be good, because the ground dries fast. The Park is on a gravel esker. However the rain has left a lot of standing water, which means the mosquitos are breeding. It will be a bad year for people who don’t like to use DEET based repellents.
The Festival line up is strong. There have been additions to the Performers Page since I last checked.
I like singer-songwriters and this year Winnipeg has Dick Gaughan and Martyn Joseph, who are outstanding. Local performer Ted Longbottom is one of my personal favourites. Local newcomers Brandy Zdan and Dave Quanbury are getting a shot. I saw them at a concert recently and they are worth watching.
For more energy, Spirit of the West, Shoogenifty, and the Duhks.
I’m curious about a contemporary group called The Nits, from Holland. It’s the first time to my knowledge that a Dutch group has played Wpg. They had their own festival/convention in Utrecht last year, and that’s a familiar place name in the stories my parents tell about their memories of the old country, before they emigrated in 1952.
For name droppers Utah Phillips, Martin Carthy, Earl Scruggs, Taj Mahal, David Lindley, Ibrahim Ferrer and the Buena Vista Social Club.
The weather is due for a change. The Weather Channel has been talking about a moist low pressure mass stuck over the West for a while. When that moves we should get a nice dry high pressure mass over the prairies. It should be soon.


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