Columbus Folk Music Society

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Folk Festival Again Mixes 

Music and Nature for Family Fun

The Central Ohio Folk Festival celebrates its 27th season May 4-5, 2024 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 (U.S. 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 by soloists, duos, and groups, singing and playing guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, dulcimer, harp, and other instruments. You’ll hear a wide range of folk music — bluegrass, old-time, 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 on Sunday.
  • More than 30 workshops for beginning and advanced musicians alike.   Among the topics:  songwriting, jamming, playing for social change, the music business, and how to play autoharp, blues guitar, ukulele, mandolin, and other folk instruments.  
  • An area with special music, stories, workshops, and arts/crafts for children.  Plus, a perennial favorite — our “instrument petting zoo” to let youngsters handle folk instruments.  Festival mascot Darby Duck will also 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.
  • Expanded Informal jamming by anyone with an instrument or voice.  This year will feature 5 jam tents, each with a different thrust: bluegrass, old-time, folk-mix, voices-only, and one encouraging novice jammers.   
  • Sunday opens with an 11 am “Songs of the Spirit” session with the audience participating with chants, rounds, and songs, led by the nationally beloved folk duo, Mustard’s Retreat.
  • The festival will include 2 popular beer garden tents, where those 21 and older may purchase and enjoy a delicious Nocterra craft beer while the music from nearby performers wafts through the air.

Saturday, May 4th at 7 pm, our headliner act, The Arcadian Wild, will create musical magic.  The Nashville trio describes themselves as genre-bending, since they had roots in alt-rock and punk, but now mix bluegrass, classical, and other genres with tight 3-part vocal harmonies in original songs that defy categorization.  

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.  With donations funding the festival, there will be no charges for any of the activities.  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.

For more info, visit:

To donate early & to reserve a seat inside the tent for our headliner concert, go to:

Otherwise there is plenty of lawn seating.  

For more details, contact publicity coordinator Bill Cohen at 



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