This year, the Edmonton Folk Music Festival is making some changes to the city’s biggest music event.
First, fewer weekend passes, which go on sale with all tickets June 1 at 9 a.m. at the office downtown and 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster. The festival society chair Terry Prince says this move had to happen because of last year’s over-capacity issues.
But, to make up for fewer weekend passes, Saturday and Sunday single tickets are now good for the whole day’s worth of events, not just evenings.
The big performance announcement at today’s media conference was Grammy-winning blues legend Bonnie Raitt, whose Folk Fest debut will headline the Aug. 9 to 12 event.
Terry Wickham, festival producer, says in 1989 he tried to book Raitt but the society couldn’t afford her airfare. Turning down Raitt then, before she earned her many accolades, he says, haunted him for years.
Edmonton’s own Corb Lund is also performing. The former frontman of the Smalls has made his fair share of appearances at Folk Fest, but this will be the first time on the main stage.
In addition to big-ticket concerts, the Folk Fest is celebrating the late Woody Guthrie 100th birthday. Academics from around the world are flying in to discuss the impact that the political blues icon had on music and society. One of the guests, Guthrie’s eldest son, Arlo Guthrie, will also be performing.