Arts & Culture

Folk festival to feature professional, student groups

Two-day event gathers musicians, students, vendors, celebrates folk culture, acoustic sounds

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, April 21, 2016

Instead of hordes of students crowding together to hear “1738” or the echo of Mac DeMarco’s guitars, students will be treated to a somewhat more relaxed musical event this weekend. The annual Brown Folk Festival is bringing dozens of folk musicians to campus for two days of post-Spring Weekend fun. The festival will be held Friday from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at Pembroke Field House and Saturday from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Ruth Simmons Quad. Tickets will be free Saturday and $3 at the door Friday.

The annual event is organized by a board of student coordinators who select musicians and organize the performances.  The festival will host a total of 11 groups — eight professional groups and three student groups — who will perform over the course of two days “of total relaxation and cool music and good vibes,” said festival coordinator Madeleine Olson ’18.

The professional groups are selected by board members who organize listening sessions where they sample a variety of local music. Some of the bands considered contact the board in hopes of being selected to play at the event while other future selections are the board members’ own discoveries and recommendations. Coordinators rate each band on a five-point scale. Selected bands are then contacted by coordinators and asked to perform at the festival, said festival coordinator Andrew Pisaturo ’17.

Olson and Pisaturo said that the festival coordinators are usually successful in convincing their first-choice musicians to perform at the event. “Usually the main constraint is price,” Olson said. In contrast to the professional groups, the student groups were selected in a battle of the bands competition held in the Underground.

Friday night’s lineup consists of two professional bands — The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow and You Won’t — and a student group called Felt.

Josh Arnoudse from You Won’t said the Boston-based band, which has been performing since 2011, decided to play at the folk festival after receiving an invitation from coordinators.

Arnoudse said he is excited to perform tracks from the band’s sophomore album “Revolutionaries,” which is due out April 29. “This is the first time we really get to perform all the new songs,” Arnoudse said.

Saturday’s lineup consists of professional bands Four Bridges, Shamanic, The Bones of J.R. Jones, Chasing Blue and The Novel Ideas. Student bands North of Home and Gallo Sin Pollo will also perform that day.

Daniel Radin from The Novel Ideas, who characterizes his group’s music as “somewhere between folk, Americana and country” said he first heard about the music festival through a friend, Laney Jones, who played at the festival in 2015.

Radin said he is excited for the festival atmosphere of the event. “In the winter you play indoors a lot,” Radin said. “Playing outdoors will be really nice.”

In addition to music, festival attendees will also have the opportunity to survey the offerings of a host of local craft vendors, who will be selling items that run the gamut from succulents to jewelry.

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