Our Guide To The 52nd Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival, Returning With Five Stages Of Live Music, Camping, Crafts And More, August 15-18

The Philadelphia Folk Festival began in 1962 and is the largest and longest-running festival of its kind in the whole country. (Photos by G. Widman for GPTMC)

Now in its 52nd year, the Philadelphia Folk Festival brings the sweet sounds of folk music back to Schwenksville, Pennsylvania this weekend, August 15-18, during the longest-running festival of its kind.

The Philadelphia Folksong Society, the same organization that curated tunes for the blockbuster 2nd Street Festival in Northern Liberties just a few weeks ago, is the premiere folk organization in the greater Philadelphia region and is known internationally for this incredible annual destination festival.

This year, the fest features a super star-studded lineup, workshops and a craft fair, plus family-friendly activities and events, tons of food and drinks and more. You can even camp out so you won’t miss a single beat.

Check out our guide to the Philadelphia Folk Festival, below:

The Music

From August 15 through 18, music is everywhere — from headline performances, to late-night singalongs, to bonfires in the festival campgrounds, this festival is a music-lover’s heaven.

On the main stage, headliners include Toy Soldiers, Todd Rundgren, Black Prairie, Richard Thompson Electric Trio, David Bromberg, Asleep at the Wheel and the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

Beyond the main acts, don’t forget the harmonica jams and master classes in the Cultural Tent or the family-friendly concerts on the Dulcimer Grove stage.

With more than 100 scheduled shows on five stages, the opportunities to groove to live music are nearly endless and this year’s fest promises something for everyone to enjoy.

For the complete lineup and stage schedule online.

Food & Drink

Food vendors will be on hand from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. in the concert area, and 24 hours a day in the campgrounds.

This year, expect the Upper Salford Volunteer Fire Company to be dishing up all kinds of cuisine, from barbecue to crepes to vegetarian Mexican food.

Additional vendors include Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Nader’s Bistro Mexican fare, Nyota’s Ting non-dairy vegetarian dishes, Pigs & Gigs pulled pork, Ruby’s Smoothie & Fruit Cup and more.

Philadelphia’s own Yards Brewing Company continues its collaboration with the festival, setting up a beer garden during all three days of the event. The Beer Garden is located at the top of the hill on the festival concert side, in direct view from the mainstage, and features a handful of delicious brews.

Folks in the know, though, will partake of the Folk Fest exclusive brew for 2013 — Yards Pretty Sweet Wheat.

Note that alcoholic beverages are prohibited anywhere in the campgrounds, so the beer garden is the place to go to enjoy adult beverages.

Non-alcoholic beverages (bottled soda, water, juice) will also be served by all food vendors. Water is available at no charge at the water stations near the Tank Stage. You can also fill your water bottles there.

Crafts and Workshops

Aside from rockin’ concerts, there are also workshops galore, ranging from storytelling to songwriting to ukelele playing. You’ll be able to immerse yourself in these honored traditions with other folk fans.

Crafts are a huge component of the folk scene. The Crafts Village is located at the top of the concert hill where you can purchase one-of-a-kind handmade pieces. Walk through and admire the vendors at work from glassblowers to metalsmiths to candlemakers.

The Folk Festival has plenty of different activities for the whole family, too. Report directly to Dulcimer Grove, the shady area between the Crafts Stage and the Camp Stage, to find everything from puppeteers, jugglers and storytellers to hands-on crafts and kid-oriented musicians.


More than 5,000 people camp for the weekend at the festival. Camping is by weekend pass only and you must have a camping ticket to enter the campgrounds (get them at the camping gate entrance). The grounds have designated areas for both light camping (tents) and heavy camping (RVs). There are also quiet camping options for light camping.


Different types of tickets are available, and range from $55 all the way up to $150 for an all-festival adult ticket. Additional pass options are available for weekend-long tickets with tent and RV camping. Reserved seating and children’s tickets are also available.

Complete ticket information and purchases are available online.

See below for for a map of the campground at the Philadelphia Folk Festival.

Get ready for a weekend of outdoor folk fun!

The Philadelphia Folk Festival
When: August 15-18
Where: Old Pool Farm, 1323 Salford Station Road, Schwenksville
Cost: $65-$195
More info: www.pfs.org


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