Brandon Folk Fest

By Brandon Folk Music & Art Society

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Preparations are nearing completion for the 22nd Annual Brandon Folk Music and Art Festival, under the trees at the Keystone Centre, running July 28 to the 30th. This year features a wide variety of music – seasoned country crooners, emerging singer/songwriters, jazz/rock/punk fusions, and blasting rock..

Attendees will see local favourites including The Errant, a folk/blues based group including Brent White, Kerry Skinner, Albert Hajas, Adrian Kruyliw, and Wes Stobbe. Other Brandon acts will be Fingal’s Last Pint, the NuPhunk Orchestra, Whiskey Hippie, the Farmers, Matt Duboff, Andrea Antoniuk, and more.

Headliners include Andrew Neville and the Poor Choices, wielding their unique brand of country-punk, loaded with crowd-pleasing attacks on traditional songs by Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, and Bob Dylan. And soul meets country and rock ‘n roll as Cam Penner & the Gravel Road takes the stage, telling tales of misguided love, endless nights and long hauls through the prairies.

Greg MacPherson’s high volume rock and acoustic punk punch wins crowds over with his Canadian lyricism and working-class activism. The Bills, formerly the Bill Hilly Band, are turning heads from Copenhagen to California with their exuberant live performances, evocative songwriting, and refreshingly innovative interpretations of traditional tunes from around the globe. And don’t miss Mark Berube, former Brandon resident, and fresh from yet another European tour. His Leonard Cohen-meets-Billy Joel-meets-Tom Waits style speaks of real stories of real people, poetic ballads that also entertain the occasional chaotic improvisation.

Other notable bands and artists include Rodney Decroo, Corin Raymond, James Hickerson, Washboard Hank, Yael Wand and Sara Kreindler. Laurie Block will return to this year’s Folk Festival to lead the spoken word segment.

This year’s festival will feature an expanded children’s area, hosted by the Birthscape Doulla Collective. Entertainment will be provided by Washboard Hank, among other musicians and storytellers. The Under the Canvas area will feature a wide variety of vendor tables and artisan demonstrations.

Advance weekend passes are available at Surridge’s, Ted Good Music, Ten Thousand Villages, and Lady of the Lake, for only $30 (camping included). Day passes will be available at the gate, for $18 (adults) or $12 students and seniors. Parking is free and close to the grounds, making the Brandon Folk Music & Art Festival a fun-filled and easily accessible vacation destination.

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