The music that connects cultures and generations – yours

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That song mom hummed. The dance from a family wedding. Experience the music that connects cultures and generations – yours. It’s roots music.

Dance, sing and play it – at the San Francisco Free Folk Festival.

The San Francisco Folk Music Club presents the 32nd Annual San Francisco Free Folk Festival
Two Free Days of Music, Dance & Song: June 21-22, 2008, noon-10pm.

City College of San Francisco, 50 Phelan Avenue

For Immediate Release: April 30, 2008

Or: Karen Imperial, Festival Director,, 650/269-4988 (Cell)

32nd Annual San Francisco Free Folk Festival:

June 21–22, 2008

Fishtank Ensemble, Palm Wine Boys, Holdstock & Macleod, Axton Kincaid, and Rick Dougherty of the Kingston Trio featured in two days of free music, dance & song.

San Francisco, CA - The 2008 San Francisco Free Folk Festival will take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 21st and 22nd from noon–10pm at City College of San Francisco, San Francisco (50 Phelan Avenue). Featuring two days of free music, dance and song performances and workshops, the festival has something for all ages - and the range of cultures and countries whose heritage is explored covers the world. With over 70 concerts on four stages, over 35 dance workshops, over 40 music workshops, and with three evening dances, it is fun and inspiring. Great healthy food will be available on site, and guests will also enjoy a music and crafts marketplace with distinctive and handmade items. As for 32 years, admission is free.

Between 2,000 and 3,000 people attend the event every year. While the festival would be a special event under any circumstances, what makes it unique is the fact that it is an all-volunteer effort. Not only do members of the presenting organization – the San Francisco Folk Music Club – serve as volunteer organizers, but all performers and workshop leaders donate their time and talents to the festival as well. It takes about 200 volunteers to stage the Festival – and more are always welcome!
Headliners: A proven showcase for emerging talent, the festival attracts back many folk-lovers and successful alumni. This year, we feature Fishtank Ensemble, Palm Wine Boys, Holdstock & Macleod, Axton Kincaid, and Rick Dougherty (of the Kingston Trio).
Festival History: This joyous festival is a gift to the people of San Francisco and the Bay Area from the San Francisco Folk Music Club, founded in 1949 by Dave Rothkop. Organized as a nonprofit ten years later by Herb Jager to assure its continuity and promote concerts like the monthly mainstay - “Hootenanny” – plus benefit performances and activities benefiting the community. When Jager left the area in 1962, Faith Petric took responsibility for the club and two years later started the publication of folknik. The club shares with esteemed folk icon Pete Seeger the aim “to put songs on people’s lips instead of just in their ears” and to remind us that music helps put dancing in our feet. This event is for those who want to smile a lot, create new friendships, and be surrounded by music, dance and song - and by a wonderful community.

Improved Venue: Now in its second year at City College after enjoying other venues across the city for three decades, the festival will occupy the newly-opened Wellness Center. Co-sponsor of the festival, CCSF is one of the largest community colleges in the nation, offering courses and degree programs in a wide variety of subjects, with comprehensive continuing education, distance learning/online programs, as well as contract education and vocational education programs.

Two days of free music & dance: Performers representing traditions from around the world will be involved in the two-day event, which is staged completely free of charge. All Bay Area lovers of music and dance are encouraged to participate. Nationally and internationally acclaimed performers, as well as gifted local musicians, singers, dancers, and storytellers will offer concerts and workshops throughout the festival. Family-oriented activities will include crafts and special music performances.
Festival details: for those who want to be hands- (and feet-) on, a sampling of workshops to be offered includes:

  • Instrumental music: concertina, Cajun jam, acoustic bass, tin whistle, mandolin, Contra dance band, 1950s blues…

  • Singing workshops: sea shanties, ballads, barbershop harmony, song circles - and songs of love, lust and seduction!

  • Dance workshops:  Scottish country dance, tap, waltz, Lindy hop swing, salsa, tango, and English ceilidh.

  • Children’s and all-family activities: crafts, music & movement, storytelling, songwriting and beginning guitar

  • Evening dance parties: International folk dancing, vintage Ballroom, Contra dance - and much more.

Directions and Parking

  • By public transportation: MUNI lines 29 Sunset, 49 Van Ness/Mission, 15 Third Street, 36 Teresita, 43 Masonic, J Church, K Ingleside, and 54 Felton run along Phelan and Ocean Avenues. Balboa Park is the nearest BART station, about a 10-minute walk from the college.
  • By car: City College is easily accessible from I280 – from whichever direction you come, get onto I280 in San Francisco, and exit at Ocean Avenue.  If heading South/West, turn right onto Ocean Ave.  If heading North/East, turn left onto Geneva Avenue, and it will merge onto Ocean Ave.  Turn right at Phelan Avenue and right again at the next light onto City College campus.  Follow the signs on campus for parking instructions and walking directions to the festival site in the northeast corner of campus.

Further information: For a complete schedule of concerts, activities, and workshops, access the festival’s Web site at The Web site will be updated continually as performers and workshop leaders are added and confirmed.


Music with a Past… Yours!

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