What Can You Do at the Folk Festival?
The goal of the Festival is to encourage you to participate in the joy of playing music, singing, and dancing. Many of our activities are hands-on, and we hope you'll join in. Here are some of the things you can do:
Learn something new!
One of the things that makes the Albuquerque Folk Festival so unusual is the incredible variety of workshops available. Musicians and dancers delight in sharing their love for what they do with you!
- If you play an instrument, or would like to get started with one, we have dozens of workshops from penny whistle to Klezmer music with an emphasis on getting beginners started (and yes, we have more common instruments like guitar, banjo, harmonica, sometimes even kazoo!).
- Prefer to move your feet to the music? You can learn about square dancing, contra dancing, swing, salsa, Irish step and Scottish country dance, Argentine tango, Hawaiian, and international folk dance throughout the day.
There are singing workshops all day Saturday, and you can always sing along at the various jam sessions. And be sure to come to our 6:30 pm Singalong! We'll provide the lyrics, you provide the voices!
We have two formal (well, as formal as jamming gets) venues for jamming at the festival. At the hosted jam tent, a different host every hour will keep things moving, encourage everyone's participation, and perhaps influence tune selection. At the Jam with the Band venue, you can play along with your favorite local bands.
But nobody says jamming has to be confined to the jamming tents! There always seem to be informal groups playing around the grounds. And this year, with camping on Friday and Saturday nights, the jamming can just keep going!
Remember: it's easy to bring an instrument to the festival! We provide a free instrument checkroom all day Saturday so you can store your instrument safely.
Dance all day at the dance workshops, and then continue on into the evening with swing, international folk, and contra dancing.
Can't get enough of the folk festival? Set up camp on Friday night on the Albuquerque Balloon Museum grounds, and stay until Sunday morning. We're planning some great activities at the campsite, including formal and informal workshops and lots of jamming.
Spend the whole day exploring different kinds of music and dance at the Festival, but be sure to spend some time at Planet Music, where you can explore dozens of different instruments. Also, check out the Music Guild's tent, where you can try out symphonic instruments.
This year, we're bringing back the Sign-Up Stage, a centrally-located venue where any performer (musical bands, individuals, dancers, singers, etc.) can sign up on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more info: Sign-Up Stage.
Have some fun, get a chance to play on stage, and maybe win a ribbon: sign up for the eighth annual Band Scramble, where you'll be assigned to a random motley group of people and have less than an hour to come up with a band name and a couple of tunes, before performing those tunes on stage.
Bring the kids!
Along with a special venue with activities aimed at children, kids are welcome throughout the festival. The ever-popular Planet Music is back this year; kids of all ages can try out different instruments.
Kids 11 and under can come to the festival for free! And admission for kids from 12 to 18 is only $5. The Folk Festival is an inexpensive day-long activity for the whole family.
Enjoy the music!
Our three stages feature a great mix of performers this year and will be rocking all day and into the evening on Saturday.
Featured acts include Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum, Growling Old Men, The Mike + Ruthy Band, the Bill Hearne Trio, and many more.
Listen to stories
Some of the best regional storytellers will entertain you all day on Saturday.
You can help the Festival and have a chance to win a $250 gift certificate from Guitar Vista, 10 hours of studio time, a $100 gift certificate to Music Go Round, a facial treatment or teeth whitening, an acupuncture treatment or a recording-quality electric piano by entering our annual fundraising raffle. Buy a few raffle tickets at the Fundraising table inside the museum...you can't win if you don't enter!
You might also win some concert tickets by filling out a feedback form. Feedback is very important to the Festival, so we want to encourage you to let us know what you think. If you fill out a form, you'll be automatically entered into a drawing for tickets to three upcoming concerts.
And, finally, you could win the Band Scramble. Team up with a few randomly chosen musicians, singers, and dancers, and wow (and/or bribe) the judges with your band's name and performance.
You can find musical instruments, toiletries, rocks, glass, jewelry, candles...all kinds of delightful things! So allow a little time (and money) for checking out the vendors' wares.
Do you have some musical instruments that you aren't using? Help the Festival, help yourself, and declutter your instrument collection: bring those instruments to the Festival to sell at our consignment sales table (nothing over $500). You get 80% of the proceeds, you get to donate 20% to the Festival, and you'll have room for new instruments!
You can also donate instruments to be sold at the consignment sales table, so 100% of the proceeds go to the Festival. Remember, the Festival is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, so the donation is tax deductible.
OR, are you looking to buy an instrument? Be sure to check the consignment sales table! You might find a great deal and you'll be helping the Festival: 20% of the sales price is donated to the Folk Festival. All sales are cash only. Please pick up your instruments or proceeds by 5 pm on Saturday.
We've lined up a great selection of food vendors for this year. From Scotland to Hawaii to the Philippines good ol' American and New Mexican...there should be something for everyone's taste.
Help us out!
If you want to get even more actively involved in the Festival, we can always use volunteers. If you'd like to get involved and work for a few hours at the Festival, see our Volunteers page for more information.
To sum it all up, here's what's in the works for 2016:
- Performances by great national, regional, and local bands
- Sign-up Stage.
- Two dances on Saturday night plus a dance floor at the Bill Hearne Trio concert
- Music Workshops
- Dance Workshops
- Singing Workshops
- Planet Music
- Band Scramble
- Hosted Jams and Jam with the Band
- Free Parking
- Free Camping
- Kids Showcase
- Free Welcome Tent outside the Museum
- Free Bike Valet
- Food Trucks
- Beer (Bosque Brewery)
- Consignment Tent
- Sunny Birklands Puppet Playhouse
- Free Instrument Check
- Musical Petting Zoo (Music Guild of NM)
- Shaded eating areas
- Friday Kick off concert with Ray Wylie Hubbard