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Richmond Folk Festival returns in-person | See full performance schedule here

Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 9:55 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 8, 2021 at 11:19 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Richmond Folk Festival is returning for an in-person event this year starting Friday night.

This will be the 17th anniversary of the festival which features a variety of American cultures through music, dance, traditional crafts, story-telling and food.

Hosted by Venture Richmond and other partners, this free event will have six stages around Richmond’s riverfront.

Organizers made sure they put some protocols in place to keep you safe. “All of our staff is vaccinated. We asked all of our artists to be vaccinated. Our volunteers, our crew, our musicians will all be masked up. Were asking the public to be good neighbors. Wear a mask. Come vaccinated,” Stephen Luckey of Venture Richmond said.

You can even get a vaccine on the spot if you’d like. Everything here is outdoors.

“If you want a mask, we’ve got them at all Car Max info booths. We got hand sanitizers. We’ve also spaced out things. Every venue is open air. There’s nothing inside out here so we’re ready for a good time,” he said.

The festival kicked off Friday. Here are the hours for the rest of the weekend:

  • Saturday, Oct. 9 from 1 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 10 from 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.

“This year, we are reaching back out to performers we had in 2020 that obviously didn’t get to perform,” said Luckey.

As usual, the festival has a wide variety of music, and this year, several new big-name artists will be gracing the stage. Also returning to perform is Rare Essence.

“We got a group called Plena Es out of Florida, which is bomba y plena music. We got Cherish the Ladies out of New York, which is Irish music. We got Dizzy Spells and he’s just an unbelievable trumpet player,” said Lecky. “We had them at the festival about a decade ago, and if you’re familiar with go-go music, it’s infectious and makes your head bop.”

Venture Richmond says this is only the tip of the iceberg for what’s to come for this year’s celebration and they’re excited to get the bands back together on stage.

“This year, more than ever, we may find a reason to celebrate each other’s traditions and cultures,” said Lecky. “We are looking forward to showcasing downtown Richmond’s riverfront once again for a beautiful weekend of music, food and crafts to provide an open, outdoor, safe space for people to enjoy the Richmond Folk Festival.”

Performance Schedule:

Saturday

ALTRIA STAGE

COSTAR GROUP STAGE

  • 1:00 – 1:45 Jasmine Bell & North Bear (Lakota hoop dance and Northern Plains drum)
  • 2:05 – 2:55 Step(s) to the Beat: Percussion Traditions—Quentin “Shorty Dud” Ivey, Samuel “Smoke” Dews, Danny “Animal” Henderson, James “Jas Funk” Thomas (Rare Essence); Pierre Ramos, David Lucca (Plena Es); Erfan Nazemzadeh (Nava Persian Trio); Brinae Ali, Wendel Patrick (Dizzy Spellz)
  • 3:15 – 4:00 Rosa Tatuata with Michela Musolino (Sicilian traditional music)
  • 4:20 – 5:10 Honky-tonk Heroes, Blues Belters, & Cajun Crooners—Redd Volkaert (The Western Flyers), Sugaray Rayford, Donny Broussard **
  • 6:10 – 6:55 The Brotherhood Singers (African American a cappella gospel quartet singing)
  • 7:15 – 8:00 Nava Persian Trio (Persian santour)
  • 8:20 – 9:15 Joanie Madden & Cherish the Ladies (Irish)

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION STAGE

DOMINION ENERGY DANCE PAVILION

RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH VIRGINIA FOLKLIFE STAGE

Sunday

ALTRIA STAGE

COSTAR GROUP STAGE

  • 1:00 – 1:45 Nava Persian Trio (Persian santour)
  • 2:05 – 2:50 Strings Together: Bowed, Plucked, & Struck—Danny Knicely & Will Lee; Sourena Sefati, Mehdi Bagheri (Nava Persian Trio); Pedro Giraudo, Nick Danielson (The Pedro Giraudo Tango Ensemble)
  • 3:10 – 3:55 Jasmine Bell & North Bear (Lakota hoop dance and Northern Plains drum) **
  • 4:15 – 5:00 Giving Voice: North American Vocal Traditions—The Brotherhood Singers, North Bear, Tres en Punto
  • 5:15 – 6:00 Rosa Tatuata with Michela Musolino (Sicilian traditional music)

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION STAGE

DOMINION ENERGY DANCE PAVILION

RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH VIRGINIA FOLKLIFE STAGE

For more on the festival and the artists, visit their website.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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