The Central Ohio Folk Festival celebrates its 26th season May 6-7 with dozens of in-person concerts, workshops, storytelling, and crafts the whole family can enjoy.
Once again, the setting will be the lush green forest and trails of Highbanks Metro Park, 9466 North High Street (US Route 23), Lewis Center Ohio, just a few miles north of Columbus.
Among the festival highlights:
More than 30 hourly concerts on 3 different stages. You’ll hear a wide range of folk music — bluegrass, blues, singer-songwriter, Southern roots, Americana, Celtic, and more….songs that often reflect the struggles of everyday people.
A giant 1960’s-style folk music community sing-along to open the festival at 11 am Saturday, plus a poignant song circle to close the fest.
More than 30 workshops on songwriting, the history of folk music, joining a jam group, important musical figures, and how to play guitar, fiddle, ukulele, tin whistle, and other instruments. Some workshops will be for beginning players, and others will be for more advanced musicians.
NEW this year, the “YouthFolk Tent” servingkids and youthwith performances and workshops. Youth workshop offerings include making a drum out of wooden box frames. Plus, an “instrument petting zoo” to let children handle folk instruments. Plus, hands-on arts and crafts. Also, festival mascot Darby Duck will be on hand for the young and young-at-heart.
2 drum circles where everyone, young and old alike, is invited to pound on a drum or other rhythm instrument to a mesmerizing beat.
A storytelling stage slot, featuring Lyn Ford, a fourth-generation, nationally recognized, Affrilachian storyteller.
Expanded informal jamming.Instead of 1 jam tent, this year will feature 4, each with a different thrust: bluegrass, old-time, folk-mix, and one led by the Worthington Square Jam Group, dedicated to encouraging the very beginner.
Sunday opens with an 11 am “Songs of the Spirit” session with the audience participating with chants, rounds, and songs.
Saturday, May 6th at 7 pm, in our main tent beneath a starlit sky, our headliner act, Nefesh Mountain, will perform a special concert with a unique mix of bluegrass, Americana, old-time, Celtic, and Eastern European music. The 5-piece band, headed by the husband-wife duo of Eric Lindberg and Doni Zasloff, has wowed music reviewers and sold out venues from Atlanta to Chicago to New York City. They’ve charted on the Billboard bluegrass charts — no mean feat for a band that sings in both English and Hebrew.
As people enter the festival grounds, we’ll welcome donations. For donations of $20 of more, you’ll get a free “flexible frisbee” and other fun stuff and there will be no other ticketing for the many activities, and that includes workshops, hourly concerts, jam sessions, children’s activities, and even the Saturday night headliner concert. The festival staffers are all volunteers, so 100% of the money that people contribute will help support this festival.
The festival is produced by the Columbus Folk Music Society and is co-sponsored by WCBE Radio 90.5 FM.