FEST: Old Songs Folk Festival of Traditional Music & Dance


The 39th Annual Old Songs Folk Festival of Traditional Music and Dance will be held on Friday-Sunday, June 28-30 at the Altamont Fairgrounds in Altamont, celebrating roots music from around the globe – Celtic, Quebecois, Americana and world music from Ireland, Scotland, England, Quebec, Italy, South Africa, the Midwest, Appalachia, New England and more.

Sing, dance, jam, and listen at this highly participatory three-day event for the whole family. Old Songs encourages audience members to join jam sessions, take part in learn-how workshop sessions, sing sacred harp, move their feet to dance bands or take a Friday afternoon class.

School age children who play an instrument can participate in the “Great Groove Band” during the festival with the help of music coaches and musical instruction. The band will play a closing-day stage performance on Sunday.

There are three main stage concerts, each featuring multiple artists on Friday & Saturday from 6:30-11pm, and Sunday 3:30-7pm in the leafy, open-air main stage area (rain site also provided). During the day on Saturday and Sunday there are 100 plus performances, dances, interactive workshops, and jams in ten areas around the grounds. An extensive artisan area and diverse food concessions are also available.

Here’s the newly announced line-up of performers for the 2019 Old Songs fest:

Emma’s Revolution
Bill Staines
Sharon Katz & The Peace Train
John McCutcheon
Mary Flower
Bruce Molsky
Archie Fisher
Tommy Sands
Rob van Sante & John Connolly
Beppe Gambetta
Bon Débarras
Keith Murphy & Becky Tracy
Poor Man’s Gambit
The Vox Hunters
Musique à bouches
Cathy Barton & Dave Para
Sam Gleaves, Deborah Payne & Hasee Ciaccio
Lil Rev
Charm City Junction & Footworks
Ken & Brad Kolodner Trio
Sally Rogers & Howie Bursen
Clare Horgan & Matt Diaz
Pete’s Posse
Tui (Jake Blount & Libby Weitnauer)
Heather Wood
Bill Destler & Rebecca Johnson
John Roberts
Deb Cowan
Fennig’s All Stars
Stefan Amidon
Bill Jones
John Dickson
The Great Groove Band
Ron Gordon
Jake Thomas
Roger the Jester

All day and evening long, dancing on a wooden floor, contras, sean-nós, Quebecois step dancing, and more, with music by Pete’s Posse, Charm City Junction & Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, Bon Débarras, the Vox Hunters and Fennig’s All Stars with callers Ron Blechner and Janine Smith.

Tickets for the Old Songs folk festival are on sale now. Advance all-fest tickets are $130; seniors $125; students $50; children age 12 & under FREE.

HIGH MUD COMEDY FEST @ MASS MoCA, North Adams, March 29 & 30
NORTH ADAMS O+ FESTIVAL @ various locations, North Adams, May 10 & 11
TASTE OF COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, June 7-9
MOUNTAIN JAM @ Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, June 13-16
SOLID SOUND @ MASS MoCA, North Adams, June 28-30
TAIL WINDS MUSIC FESTIVAL @ Hudson Valley Regional Airport, Wappingers Falls, June 29
FREIHOFER’S SARATOGA JAZZ FESTIVAL @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, June 29 & 30
GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL @ Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, July 12-14
WOODSTOCK 50 @ Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, August 16-18
BETHEL WOODS MUSIC AND CULTURE FESTIVAL @ Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, August 16-18 (cancelled)

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