the Folk Music Festival

This was the 28th annual Folk Music Festival ... THE big festival on the west coast of North America ... happening July 15-17, 2005.  It is held in Jericho Beach Park, a few blocks east of UBC, and features breathtaking views across English Bay, toward downtown, Stanley Park, and the mountains of West Vancouver in the distance.

Pete Seagull, the Festival logo

The festival is produced by a non-profit, volunteer organization.  It has been running in the red for some years, but folks are getting it together.  Bookkeeping and budgeting have tightened up, without sacrificing the ideals of anti-commercialization and green sustainability.  Hopefully, the folk shall rally and ensure that there is a 29th annual festival, and beyond.  Pictured left is Pete Seagull, the Festival's logo since 1978 (remember him?  he played banjo with the Wavers?).

Alison listening to the Jaybirds

Alison is listening to John Reischman and the Jaybirds at Stage 3 for the first concert Saturday morning.  (Reischman formerly played eclectic mandolin in the Bay Area bluegrass band Good Old Persons.)  From 10am to 7pm on Saturday and Sunday, there are small concerts at 7 stages around the park; after 7pm, there is the big evening concert at the main stage.  This meant a lot of running around for us, since we didn't want to miss anything.  We, and most others, had carefully notated programs with circles and arrows, to plot our daytime concert strategy.  There were far too many performers and photos to include here, so you'll have to be content with a link to the festival's website artist list.

festival crowd

Above:  The festival crowd at the main stage Saturday night.  The main stage is the clamshell toward the right; the smaller white tents in the center are for the sound and lighting crews.  Toward the left, there is downtown in the distance, and the mountains of North Vancouver beyond.  Having flown in, we had no folding chairs, nor plastic tarps, and found ourselves pretty far back by the time the evening concert started.  Experienced festival-goers did the morning tarp charge:  attempting to secure some turf as close as possible to the main stage (just like at California's Strawberry Festival).

the Grande Mothers
Alison with hula hoop

Above:  Stage rear during the Grande Mothers set ... this is a revival band composed of musicians who played in The Mothers of Invention, and continue to play Frank Zappa's music.  We are looking north across the water to West Vancouver.

Left:  Alison plays with a communal hula hoop.  There is an organization which brings toys to share at concerts.  Other groups fashion elaborate Japanese lanterns, and parade through the crowd during the evening concerts.

Alison at Granville Island

Here is Alison at Granville Island, looking across False Creek toward the downtown end of Burrard Street Bridge.  False Creek is an extension of English Bay, separating the thumb from the rest of the hand.  She is bundled up in her raincoat because it is rainy Friday.  Granville Island is Vancouver's version of Seattle's Pike Street Market.  It is located under the south end of the Granville Street Bridge.  There is a large Public Market with many vendor stalls featuring (really nice) fresh produce, fresh fish, butcher shops, bakeries, delis, and such.  There are also artists' studios, galleries, really cool shops, and an increasing number of tourist traps.  There is a tension between concepts of Granville Island as a community resource vs. tourist destination ... the latter seems to be winning.  On any given day, the place is crawling with tourists (like us) ... imagine shopping for produce at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.