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The International Writers Magazine: Be in Winnepeg Next July

Lay Back & Listen
• Lizzie Clarke
at the Winnipeg Folk Festival


It’s a rarity to find someone who doesn't enjoy live music, delicious food, and good times. If you attend the Winnipeg Folk Festival, you’ll get five days of just that. This Canadian, outdoor music festival takes place in the beginning of July every year, and what started as a one-time celebration for Winnipeg’s 100th anniversary, now attracts around 80,000 people every summer. Artists and bands come from all over the world to perform on eight stages scattered across the festival site.

Weaved in-between the stages are a variety of food stands, shaded picnic areas, audience services (such as first aid), and the Hand-Made Village, which is an eclectic collection of high-quality products made by a handful of Canadian artisans. For those attending who are 18 and over, there is the Big Rock Tavern and Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Patio. If you have small children, keep them entertained in the Family Area with special children’s performers and activities including, but not limited to face painting, drumming, circus performances, yoga, arts and crafts, and a giant sandbox. After spending the day lounging in the sun, you'll almost certainly find yourself feeling just as happy, light-hearted, and free-spirited as the thousands of people enjoying this experience with you.

In the past, bands and artists such as The Avett Brothers, Barenaked Ladies, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Neko Case, Crooked Still, Dawes, The Duhks, Fred Eaglesmith, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Iron & Wine, K’NAAN, Randy Newman, and John Prine have performed. With so much variety, there’s something for everyone. Watch a montage of the 2013 festival here.

Performances can run long past midnight, so rest up while you can. When you've finally had enough, you can drive back to the campsites, which are roughly ten minutes away from festival grounds. When purchasing tickets, you have a choice between the festival campground and the quiet campground. If you’re looking to get a good night's rest, you’d probably be better off in the quiet campground. After the last performer leaves the stage, the party simply moves to the festival campground, and the festival goers generally put on a show of their own, with drums, guitars and probably some instruments you've never even heard of before, accompanied by very loud singing and laughter.

A full, five day ticket for both festival entrance and quiet camping is roughly $260.00 (in Canadian dollars) and $170.00 for youth/seniors. Festival camping is $40.00 extra dollars, but children under the age of 12 are free for both entrance to the festival and camping on any site. Directions to the campsites and the festival grounds, as well plenty of other information, can be found on the Winnipeg Folk Festival website.

“I look forward to going to the Winnipeg Folk Festival every year,” says Sue Clarke, an 8 year patron of the festival. “It’s relaxing, it’s a beautiful setting, and there’s so much good, live music.”

*We’re offering three ukulele courses with renowned player Kate Ferris. Click here to see the course descriptions. Bundle the course fee with a ukulele and you’ll get 10% off the instrument!

Lizzie Lizzie Clarke

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