This is it. Today is the day that the campground opens on Reservoir Hill to tens of hundreds of folks who have traveled from as far away as England and as close as Pagosa Springs — all who want to be a part of the magic that happens when you gather so many people in a beautiful place to make and listen to beautiful music.
In case you don’t know, this year marks the 20th annual Four Corners Folk Festival, and what a journey it’s been.
Since 1996, we’ve amassed a FolkWest family made up of volunteers, staff, musicians and, of course, our amazing audience. We’ve joyfully watched a generation of kids grow up and start families of their own and we’ve witnessed with sorrow the passing of countless friends and loved ones. Through it all, the one thing that’s remained constant is the music and its power to unite, heal and create great joy.
This year’s anniversary lineup brings back many familiar names and faces: there’s Hot Rize (Tim O’Brien, Bryan Sutton, Pete Wernick and Nick Forster); the I’m With Her Tour featuring Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan; Eddie From Ohio; The Oh Hellos; The Black Lillies; SHEL; and Anne and Pete Sibley. These folks have all played the festival before, some of them many times. They are a part of festival history and it is fitting that they will be a part of the milestone event.
As always, there are plenty of brand new acts on the bill from far and wide. Ruth Moody is a Canadian singer-songwriter who is well-known as one-third of The Wailin’ Jennys. She’s currently traveling with her own stellar band.
The Jon Stickley Trio was a huge hit at last year’s Pagosa Folk ‘N Bluegrass and his Asheville, N.C.-based group makes its first appearance on the Four Corners stage this year.
Love Canon, from Charlottesville, Va., is an accomplished group of string musicians who have found a niche with their incredible reinterpretations of classic ‘80s songs.
Ages and Ages hails from the Portland area and has made an impression on indie radio with its song “Divisionary (Do The Right Thing),” as well as an appearance on NPR’s “Tiny Desk” concert series.
Also, new to the festival (and Colorado), Patchy Sanders is from Ashland, Ore. Their sound is hard to describe, but orchestral dreamscape meets old-time barn dance gives one an idea. They were warmly received at their first big festival appearance at High Sierra in July.
The Novel Ideas are a young country folk quintet from Massachusetts and, as odd as that may sound, really just speaks to the massive folk revival taking place in the northeastern U.S.
Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards, another Massachusetts-based (Boston) group, plays folk music “backed by grooves that alternately inspire Cajun two-stepping and rock-n-roll hip swagger.”
These artists will perform on two stages throughout the weekend.
In addition to the live musical performances, the family-friendly event will also feature music workshops, arts and crafts vendors, a food court, beer and wine garden and lots of picking circles in the campgrounds.
Admission is free for children 12 and under (accompanied by an adult) and there will be plenty to do and see in the Four Corners kids tent. Both days have free crafts, face painting, magic and juggling shows, and an original play performed by Pagosa Springs’ own Thingamajig Theatre Company.
For additional information about this weekend’s Four Corners Folk Festival, visit the website at www.folkwest.com or call (877) 472-4672.