July 15 2012
The place couldn’t be more perfect -Jericho Beach, Vancouver. Last weekend’s Vancouver Folk Music Festival celebrated its 35th annual event (July 13, 14, 15) with a stellar cast of international and local musical artists who managed to thrill thousands of sun-seeking festival visitors.
This year’s event also saw almost perfect summer weather, with Sunday being the lone day where visitors witnessed specks of rain –a complete downpour never happened.
People, young and old, packed the seven stages and took advantage of the expansive park to either sleep between sets, read books, or eat at the dozen or so vendors. The attire of the visitors ranged from skimpy two piece swim suits, to hippie style bandanas –preferred by twenty-somethings, t5endy hats, or long flowing skirts by some older women. Sunscreen and floppy hats were visible everywhere during the first two days of the festival. On Sunday, the weather moved from cloudiness, to sun, and a few sprinkles of rain. But despite the mixed weather, music lovers took to the performers in full — in fact, attendance to the 35th annual Folk Music Festival appeared to smash attendance seen last year and earlier festival editions.
This year’s festival also seemed to be loaded with a slate of female performers. Equally numerous were performers backed up by a group of musicians playing all kinds of instruments, ranging from keyboard, trumpets or a guitar section. The usual raffle sellers made their colorful appearance, bedecked in a variety of costumes, ranging from skimpy to angelic.
BC’s own Roy Forbes stood out for being the only performer who didn’t have a back up band. During his Sunday night one hour show, he appeared relaxed, and took time to reminisce about his early days as a singer-songwriter working in small towns. During one part of his show, he got the audience to wail along to one his songs, too. At one point, it was quite hard for the crowd to reach the high note –which he politely completed.
No matter what kind of music took to the stages, the festival’s very polite audience lapped it all up with enthusiasm and no doubt gratitude that the sun shined through –most of the time.