This is the 11th year for the festival, which will feature music and dance by folk and traditional performers coming from all around the world, along with a Virginia Folklife demonstration area, a marketplace, a family area and mix of food offerings.
It’s incredibly rewarding to see the festival continue to thrive in Richmond,” said Lisa Sims, the festival’s director. “It brings people together from all over the region, and we’re grateful for our ongoing partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts, our amazing and steadfast volunteers and community partners who make it possible to carry on this important Richmond tradition.”
Among the artists are The Alt, The Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band, The Campbell Brothers, Shemekia Copeland, Danny Paisley & the Southern Grass, Deacon John’s Jump Blues, Grupo Rebolú, Ensemble Shanbehzadeh and Brazilian tap dancer Leonardo Sandoval.
In addition to the festival, several performers will visit area public schools the week prior to the festival. There will also be a performance by Sandoval at the Richmond City Justice Center on Oct. 12.
The Richmond Folk Festival’s budget is about $1.4 million each year, and is largely supported by sponsorships, private donations and volunteer hours. VCU and VCU Health are among this year’s sponsors for the event.
The event will feature a diverse set of artists who hail from as far as Brazil, France and the Republic of Georgia. It will also include some in the genre of latin dance music, Ethio-jazz (one of Ethiopia’s defining musical sounds in the 20th century) and Appalachian Blues.
Our festival is a multi-cultural experience like no other,” Sims said. “We’re so proud to bring performers that most Richmonders may never have seen, or even heard of before. We know they will leave a lasting impression on our community long after the festival and (we) can’t wait for October.”
The festival is produced by Venture Richmond, a non-profit organization that seeks to engage business and community leaders in partnering with the city to enhance the vitality of the community, particularly Downtown. The group partners with the National Council for the Traditional Arts to bring the event to Virginia’s capital.
Venture Richmond produces various events in the Richmond area such as Easter on Parade, Friday Cheers, RVA Fireworks on the James and the 2nd Street Festival, and partners with the Richmond Sportsbackers to co-produce Dominion Riverrock.