The Winnipeg Folk Fest is Leaking

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Starting this month, the venerable Winnipeg Folk Festival will be leaking names of acts lined up for the 2008 event once a week. This week's announcement unveils two upcoming performers: Austin-based 11-piece Latin funk orchestra Grupo Fantasma and Baton Rouge Cajun/blues/jazz quintet The Red Stick Ramblers. Get your own Folk Fest updates by signing up to its newsletter.

Grupo Fantasma, called the "best band in Austin," was a definite favourite from some of the folks who were down at SXSW last year. One MARIA staffer was so impressed that he worked the word "fantasma" into the office lexicon.

In honour of its 35th birthday, Folk Fest is offering up a great online retrospective, including images from the last 35 years.

I've attended 28 festivals in the last 31 years, so this is some weird loop of nostalgia that has me remembering all sorts of Festival memorie. Best workshops, meeting icons, falling down repeatedly in mud, and attempting to negotiate with beer tent volunteers. Like a lot of people here, I can trace a lot of what I listen to back to Folk Fest, so in some way this is my birthday, too. So happy birthday to my musical development! And I'll see some of you at Bird's Hill on July 10, 2008.

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