Folk Festivals in USA

The USA has the reputation of having of some of the largest and finest rock festivals in the world, but the country contains many folk festivals that showcases its traditional music and dance.

Crow Fair with horses, costumes and tepees

The largest North American Native Festival is the “Crow Fair” which is held each year on the third week in August on land surrounding the Little Big Horn River near Billings, Montana. The event is held over 3 days and attracts 45,000 visitors. The camp site contains 1,500 tepees for the attendees to sleep in. During the day the fair serves a display of the regions crafts and arts with Jam making, butter making and wood cutting contests. There is a rodeo event which in the evening makes way for the dancers. This is the major part of the event with their being up to 700 dancers present. The event which will be celebrating its 100th year in 2018 starts each day with the Crow Parade which is a precession of people travel around the campsite in traditional dress with some on horseback. There are prizes for the best authentic costumes which are divided into half a dozen categories.

Daytona Racetrack transformed into a music festival

The Country and Western music genre is a part of folk music and has been around in the United States since the 1920’s. One of the oldest Country and Western Festivals is “Country Fest” which has been held in Cadott, Wisconsin since 1984. The 380-acre sized location is a natural amphitheatre which now has permanent stages and infra-structure erected in the area. Surrounding this are the campsites that support 7,000 guests. The main feature of the festival is the high quality of the music. The very best of Country and western have played at the festival with the major acts taking the central stage, with local performers performing on the side stages. One of the newest festival is the Daytona 500 festival which is held over 4 days at the end of May. The location is within the Daytona race track and is Large enough to support 75,000 fans and their camp sites. The music is headed by international acts and there is also meet and greet opportunities with the musicians themselves. Other activities include outdoor games and a Ferris wheel, while there is large and varied, food and beverage options.

Blues music also has a number of festivals each year that are popular and well attended. The Chicago Blues Festival has been running since 1984 and is very much a city based event. It now takes place within Millennium Park where several stages allow the world class artists to perform. Each day the acts are on stage between 11 in the morning until 9.30 in the evening and although there are no campsites the park provides first class refreshments, and other basic facilities for the spectators. The line-up of musicians includes the very best that the Blues genre has to offer. The three-day event that attracts 500,000 spectators, it is free, and the city of Chicago boasts of being the “Blues Capital of the World”. This event proves that cities can host festivals and be just as popular as those with more rural type locations.

The Folk festivals in the United States are distinctively aimed at different genres of music. This has led to them being enthusiastically attended and the country boasts a great variety of these types of events throughout the year.

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