Woodstock Folk Fest to draw artists from throughout the country to the Square

A complete festival schedule included

The title might be Folk Festival, but expect celtic, bluegrass, jazz, country, blues, fingerstyle guitar, Americana, down-home swing and more from performers throughout the country headed to the Woodstock Square.

In its 32nd year, the Woodstock Folk Festival returns from noon to 6 p.m. July 16, with performances throughout the day in the Woodstock Square and at Stage Left Café, 125 W. Van Buren St. Entrance to the festival is by donation, suggested at $15 a person, $25 a family and $10 for seniors and students. Those who attend are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets.

The event also will include an open mic stage at Stage Left Café, a children’s area with hands-on arts, crafts and activities throughout the afternoon and a ukulele workshop from 2:15 to 3 p.m. July 16 at the café.

The festival has built quite a reputation through the years, said Carol Obertubbesing, festival president.

“The reason to come is because it’s on the historic Woodstock Square. The ambiance is beautiful,” she said. “We have great performers from around the country doing a wide variety of music, and you can’t beat the price.”

Those behind the fest are encouraging people to come for the weekend to take in all Woodstock has to offer, including a farmers market July 15 and the city’s Summer in the Park festivities, ongoing through July 16. For information on Woodstock attractions and events, visit

In case of rain, the festival will move to the Unity Spiritual Center, 225 W. Calhoun St. For festival information, visit Following is a complete schedule.

Main stage in the Woodstock Square

Co-hosts: Chuck VanderVennet and Rich Warren (“The Midnight Special” and “Folkstage”). Sound: Maurice Smeets.

Noon – David Hawkins. A singer-songwriter with songs of love, hope, death, loss, a splash of whiskey and an echo of the Divine. Hawkins also will lead the All-Sing Finale at the end of the festival.

12:30 p.m. – Bettman and Halpin. The folk duo won a “Most Wanted” spot at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival this year. Their performances combine upbeat bluegrass/roots-inspired compositions, meaningful lyrics, rich harmonies, a sense of humor and strong musical skills.

1:15 p.m. – Joan and Joni. When classically trained singers Allison Shapira (“Joan”) and Kipyn Martin (“Joni”) met at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance in 2013, they soon realized their musical influences were similarly shaped by the folk revival music of the ’60s. “Joan & Joni,” a tribute to Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell, was born. By weaving Baez and Mitchell’s music together with their own original songs, Allison and Kipyn place an important part of American history in a modern context.

2 p.m. – Michael Johnathon. Johnathon has a long-standing career in acoustic arts as a songwriter, playwright, composer and host of the live audience broadcast of the “WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour,” which has a public radio audience of more than 2 million listeners each week.

2:45 p.m. – Mari Black. This American, Canadian and Scottish Fiddle Champion and multi-style violinist is gaining a reputation as one of the most dynamic young artists of her generation.

3:30 p.m. – Pat Donohue. Grammy-winning fingerpicker Donohue’s devotion to acoustic guitar has made him an American standard.

4:15 p.m. – The Malvinas. Feminist folk trio of Beth Cahill, Gina Forsyth and Lisa Markley blends sounds of Quebec, Louisiana and Texas with a smorgasbord of original compositions for a feisty blend of jazz, traditional and folk- pop.

5 p.m. – Lifetime Achievement Award and performance by Jacquie Manning and Rich Prezioso of Small Potatoes. Based in Cary, the duo bring both tradition and humor to their performances, which take them from Stage Left Café to major festivals in Kerrville and Philadelphia, and across the pond to Ireland.

5:40 p.m. – All-Sing Finale led by Hawkins.

Open Mic Stage at Stage Left Café

Co-hosts: Mark Lyons and Gloria Burchfield. Sound: Andy Andrick.

12:05 p.m. – Begin sign-ups for Open Mic

12:15 p.m. – Open Mic begins

1:30 p.m. – Briar Road featured performer. A local favorite featuring a unique mix of traditional and original songs ranging from folk, country, blues, jazz and even some pop.

2 p.m. – Mark Lyons ukulele workshop

2:15 p.m. – Open Mic continues until 5:30 p.m.

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