It seemed odd that I had never been to the Regina Folk Festival, but I guess I’ve never been a real ‘folk festival’ type of guy. In its 44th year, the festival has changed venues and identities over the years, but has always offered solid programming. And the trend of many genre festivals (jazz fests, blues fests, folk fests, etc) drifting further towards pleasing a broader audience actually worked in my favour in Regina, as many of the acts I was most excited about (Man Man, Charles Bradley, Hayden) weren’t the classic ‘folk fest’ artists.
Some of my highlights of the 2013 Regina Folk Fest included:
1. The cover of Neil Young’s “Helpless” by Elisapie, Hayden, Reuben & the Dark and Rah Rah on a Saturday workshop stage.
2. The Carolina Chocolate Drops were stand-out participants of a Sunday workshop stage with Hayden, Neko Case and Roseanne Cash and they also put on an outstanding performance on the Sunday main stage.
3. Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires. Easily my top pick of the festival, the ‘Screaming Eagle of Soul’ put on an incendiary performance of original neo-soul tunes on the Sunday night main stage. He also brought out a cover of a Neil Young tune, doing his own rendition of “Heart of Gold.”
4. The food vendors offered a great variety of international and down home cuisine for festival goers, and some of them were open late!
5. Victoria Park itself! The park offers a central location and natural landscape, which combine well to make a comfortable, convenient backdrop for the festival.
Check out some photos from the 2013 Regina Folk Festival below:
All photos (c) 2013 Jay Allen