Albuquerque’s annual Folk Festival brought melodious tunes to Bosque School this Saturday, June 15.
In this all-day festival, patrons were welcomed to purchase items from local vendors, participate in educational sessions, enjoy live performances and eat from a variety of food trucks. This was the first year the festival was held at Bosque School, as it was originally held at Balloon Fiesta Park.
The day officially began at 10 a.m. as attendees lined up outside of the school's doors. Walking in, a group of local performers played classic folk songs. Here, patrons could also ask for assistance in signing up for workshops, signing up for Band/ Dance Scramble, and locating any one of the three large stages.
Free to anyone attending the festival, workshops taught a variety of subjects. Titles included, “Blues Harmonica,” “Women’s A Cappella Singing,” “Celtic Mandolin,” “Intro to Traditional Irish Fiddle” and “Amazing Breath Lesson.” Workshops were taught by Ben Hunter (cq.x2) and Joe Seamons(cq.x2), Danny Santos(cq.x2), Bayou Seco(cq.x2), and more.
Band/Dance Scramble offered a friendly competition to anyone interested in signing up. Open to attendees of all ages, talents, and skill levels, groups were invited to register before 3:30 p.m. After being given enough time to rehearse, groups were required to reappear at the Sandia Stage in order to compete. The top three performers received a prize, and all children enrolled were given a participatory ribbon.
Band/ Dance Scramble was just one of the attractions illuminating the Sandia Stage on Saturday. In fact, the stage welcomed a total of 10 live performance groups. Located under the large cottonwoods that run alongside the river, the Sandia Stage created quite the peaceful ambiance.
“The festival is lovely. The clouds are here which is great, because it’s a lot cooler out here than when we got here,” said Rachel Tietjen of the T Sisters, one of the groups who performed on the Sandia Stage. “Everyone’s been really friendly, and they all seem to be enjoying the music.”
Music groups were each given an hour to take the stage, and performances lasted from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Resonating throughout Bosque School, hints of Americana, Bluegrass, Old Time Blues, Northern New Mexican Roots, and even Southwestern Chilegumbo breathed life into the festival.
Local food vendors lined the pathways with flavors from all parts of the globe. From savory barbecue to fine shaved ice, food trucks brought delicious and unique tastes to hungry attendees. Vendors included Doner Kebab Truck, Kimo Hawaiian BBQ, Nates BBQ Grill, Platero Fry Bread and the Sanchez Food Truck.
For members of the Albuquerque community, the Folk Festival offers an educational and entertaining day out. Additionally, the program promotes the success of local groups. According to Volunteer Coordinator Braden Frieder, the city has a rapidly growing folk music community, and the festival gives everyone a place to get together to play.
According to the Albuquerque Folk Festival Board of Directors, the festival is focused on public participation. It is about teaching, not just entertainment. Their goal is to pass on knowledge, skills, and traditions to ensure the survival of folk activities.
Luisa Pennington is the culture editor of the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @_luisapennington_