Partner Folk Festivals
The traveling National Folk Festival, during its three-year stay in various host cities around the nation, endeavors not only to present three exciting, culturally rich events. It also strives to help each host community create a new traditional arts festival of its own.
The NCTA is gratified by how deeply the encounters with great traditional artists and culture seem to resonate with festival audiences. It is the enduring appeal of these arts, along with the strong community spirit and sense of local ownership that develops during the three years of the National’s stay, which is responsible for the remarkable string of festivals that have grown from the National’s tenure in cities across America.
The NCTA is proud of its work in fostering new traditional arts festivals that contribute significantly to both cultural and economic life in host communities. In some locations, the NCTA continues to partner in the planning and production of local successor events. Currently, these include major annual festivals in Lowell, Massachusetts, Bangor, Maine and Richmond, Virginia.
The Lowell Folk Festival is an outgrowth of the National’s stay in the City of Lowell between 1987-1989. Now entering its 27th year, this festival attracts an estimated 150,000 people annually, and is a highlight of the New England summer festival season.
Bangor, Maine, the National Folk Festival host city from 2002-2004, has a population of 40,000. In 2002, 80,000 people attended the 64th National Folk Festival in Bangor. Its successor, the American Folk Festival, has become the most popular event in the state.
The Richmond Folk Festival debuted in 2008 following a record-breaking attendance of 175,000 at the 69th National Folk Festival in 2007. In both 2011 and 2012, festival attendance topped 200,000.
In 2008, 2009 and 2010, historic Uptown Butte, Montana was the site of the 70th, 71st and 72nd National Folk Festivals. Butte and Montana continued the festival tradition with the launch, in 2011, of the Montana Folk Festival. A free, three-day outdoor celebration of traditional music and culture created on the National model, the Montana Folk Festival is an outstanding event located in the heart of one of the West's most fascinating communities.
For more information, please click the links below.
Montana Folk Festival
July 12-14, 2013
Lowell Folk Festival
July 26-28, 2013
American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront
August 23-25, 2013
Richmond Folk Festival
October 11-13, 2013
Other Festivals in the National Folk Festival Family
Other former host cities have continued the National Folk Festival tradition with excellent annual festivals that are now entirely locally produced.
Please visit our links page to learn more.
Johnstown Folkfest – Johnstown, PA – 51st, 52nd, 53rd Nationals,
Cityfolk Festival – Dayton, OH – 57th, 58th, 59th Nationals, 1996-1998
Great Lakes Folk Festival – East Lansing, MI – 61, 62nd, 63rd Nationals, 1999-2001