Folkface Fest V 2021: A Folkface Odyssey
It’s been a long year with almost no activity from the Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation. It’s been a mighty struggle for music venues to stay alive, and that includes the Sportsmen’s Tavern. The Hall Family has made a heroic effort to keep the light shining on live music, and it appears we are breaking through to a possible return to normalcy in the coming months. The SAMF will be planning some events and getting ourselves reorganized and reviving our membership roster soon.
In the meantime, we’re excited to announce the SAM Foundation is once again sponsoring the Folkfaces Fest, this year to be held Sept. 30 through Oct. 3.
First, a little bit about Folkfaces (but I’m pretty sure most of you are familiar with them). Folkfaces are a Buffalo-based band that plays a mix of jazz, blues, folk and American roots music.
The music is driven by songwriter and frontman Tyler Westcott (vocals, guitar, banjo, harmonica, kazoo). who founded the band in 2011. The rest of the band has taken many forms over the years, but the current lineup includes multi-instrumentalist and fiddler Brendan Gosson, upright bass player, Patrick Jackson and percussionist Dan Schwach on drumkit and washboard.
Folkfaces are past Band of the Year nominees at the SAM Foundation Awards Show and they’ve also played on the SAM Foundation stage several times, including at the Sportsmen’s Tavern and Sportsmen’s Park and at Silo City. You can learn more about them at www.folkfacesmusic.com.
This year’s fest is entitled “A Folkface Odyssey” and is space/alien themed. It will be held Thursday, Sept. 30 – Sunday, Oct. 3 at Cherry Hill Campground in Darien Center (located directly across from Six Flags Darien Lake Theme Park).
This is the fifth annual camping music festival hosted by Folkfaces. The four-day event will feature regional and national acts from a wide variety of different genres, along with art, beer, food vendors, art installations, workshops, yoga, film fest, costume contest, songwriter circle, mushroom walk and more.
Tyler and Folkfaces are optimistic about the state of the world by the Fall and about restoring the festival’s attendance to something similar to years past. They have a Covid plan in place and will be following all CDC and health department guidelines to ensure a safe and fun time for all.
It is strongly encouraged that all attendees get their vaccines or provide a negative covid test within a week of the fest. Cherry Hill Campground is a beautiful and well-manicured campground with 63 acres to space out. Each campsite has a fire ring and a picnic table. Six restrooms and two showers are available for use on-site, as well as multiple spigots with potable water. Very limited spots for RVs will be available as well as a few VIP tickets. Well behaved, leashed, cleaned-up-after dogs are welcome with an additional fee.
In years past they have been able to bring in amazing headlining acts. In 2017, they hosted Baby Gramps, “the Salvador Dali of Folk Music”; in 2018, the Grammy Award-winning co-founder of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Dom Flemons, graced their stage. In 2019, with a crowd of over 300, YouTube viral sensation and street performer Abby the Spoon Lady headlined as well as champion fiddler Aaron Jonah Lewis, Cristina Vane, Woody Pines, Yes Ma’am and many others. In 2020, old-time music/folk duo Richie and Rosie headlined the reduced capacity, socially distanced, covid-safe version of Folkfaces Fest. They are currently putting the finishing touches on this year’s lineup and working out scheduling. I’ve heard a couple of the names and I’m excited to see the full confirmed lineup. Ticket prices and more information coming soon.
It’s been a long wait to get to the point where we can go out and safely enjoy live music. By September, whether you go for the full weekend or just a day or two, “A Folkfaces Odyssey” is sure to be a great time!
SAM Foundation Board Member