Blessed by warm weather and clear skies (at least for the most part of it), the 2012 edition of Vancouver’s legendary Folk Music Festival took place from July 13 to July 15 at Jericho Beach. Following its unique taste and decades-lasting tradition, this year’s line-up also showcased both well seasoned musicians like and fresh talent. This mix attracted thousands of visitors, locals and foreigners alike, to enjoy an almost magical weekend in Vancouver to celebrate music – and to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of this much-revered Folk Festival in Vancouver.
Among the artists featured at the 2012 Folk Fest were big names from around the globe. Performing on the main stage were the best internationally known artists like Ani DiFranco, The Johnny Clegg Band, Hey Rosetta!, Dan Mangan, and K’Naan. On other stages scattered over Jericho Park took place the so-called “workshops” where less veteran but equally talented musicians performed almost non-stop.
Some of the most memorable shows on those workshops included that by New York-based Ghanaian singer Blitz The Ambassador, featuring an interesting style that mixed pop, Caribbean and Latin American rhythms, and hip hop that made people dance, clap, and beg for more at the end. Another workshop featuring Tunisian traditional singer Emel Mathlouthi, Mozambique’s Wazimbo, and Mali’s Sidi Touré, which created together an exotic taste of African rhythms and sounds to enrich even more the variety of styles at the festival.
But not all the memorable talent came from abroad. Canadian artists made their part at the festival by performing delectable repertoires to please all tastes and likes. Such were the cases of relatively new talents like Geoff Berner, Good for Grapes, and Serena Ryder, as well as more seasoned Canadians like Veda Hille, Leela Gilday and Colleen Eccleston.
The weekend went by fast, and the Folk Fest came to an end on its 2012 edition with a major closing ceremony, appropriate enough to celebrate the Festival’s 35th birthday. The 2012 left us with a very sweet taste in our mouths, and we are craving for more. It will be a long year until the 2013 edition of this festival, but we will certainly be looking forward to it.