30th Annual Lowell Folk Festival

Friday July 29th - Sunday July 31st, 2016


In its 30th year, the Lowell Folk Festival continues to provide the finest in traditional music, craft, foodways and more in downtown Lowell. This year, the theme of the festival is "A Sampling of 30 Years of Tradition". Numerous performers, who have signed on, continue to represent the finest in traditional folk music and their efforts to continue the tradition of performing and sharing their knowledge to the next generation.

"This year marks the 30th Festival in Lowell," said Craig Gates, Executive Director of the Lowell Folk Festival. "The lineup will be a mix of new performers and returning favorites from the festivals 30-year history. This community has embraced a festival that has drawn millions of people over the last 30 years. We're very excited to present the 30th Annual Lowell Folk Festival this July."

Among those performing this year are:

  • Ana Lains - fado
  • Debashish Bhattacharya & Family - Indian slide guitar
    Koikata, India
  • Gibson Brothers - bluegrass
    Upstate New York
  • Deacon John's Jump Blues - jump blues
    New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Rahim AlHaj - Iraqi oud
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Sri Lankan Dance Academy of NY - traditional Sri Lankan dance
    Staten Island, New York
  • Savoy Family Cajun Band - Cajun
    Eunice, Louisiana
  • Lurrie Bell's Chicago Blues Band - Chicago blues
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy - Cape Breton
    Cape Breton by way of Ontario
  • King Sunny Ade & His African Beats - Nigerian juju
  • Piena Es - bomba y plena
    Sunrise, Florida
  • Spencer Taylor & the Highway Q.C.'s - gospel
    Washington, D.C.
  • Jason D. Williams - rockabilly
    Memphis, Tennessee
  • Dennis Polisky & Maestro's Men - Polish polka
    Colchester, Connecticut
  • Old Bay Ceili Band - Irish
    Baltimaore, Maryland
  • Rebecca McGowan - Irish dance
    Lexington, Massachusetts
  • Qi Shu Fang Peking Opera - Peking Opera
    Woodhaven, New York
  • Charlie Walden - Missouri old-time fiddle
    Evanston, Illinois
  • Oi Pontoi - Pontic Greek
    Tewksbury, Massachusetts and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tarniriik - Inuit throat singing
    Ottawa, Ontario
  • Angkor Dance Troupe - Traditional Cambodian dance
    Lowell, Massachusetts

To recognize the 30th Lowell Folk Festival, a new, special logo has been commissioned to mark the occasion.

At the Folk Craft Area, you can walk about and observe master craftspeople carving letter forms in stone, working clay, marbling paper, and carving fruit so stunningly it deters eating. Watch musical instrument makers plane a plank of spruce or insert a decorative inlay. Marvel at the material culture of Lithuanian mid-summer. Pose in one of the Crazy Hat Ladies Fiesta's creations as you learn how one venerable tradition spawns a new one. You will even have the chance to sit down and personally experience cultural traditions of folk beauty that originate in Africa, India, and the American South.

To celebrate the Festival's 30th Anniversary the Foodways area will be featuring cooks who have adapted their traditions ranging from small islands to regions of large continents, and how they found their way to America, and to the Lowell Folk Festival! Make sure you stop by and have a "Taste of Tradition!"

As always, there will be lots of fun for the whole family in the Family Fun Area on Shattuck Street.

Festival Hours

Friday Evening July 29
Downtown Parade at 6:30 p.m.
Boarding House Park at 7:00 p.m.
Dutton Street Dance Pavilion at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, July 30:
Noon-6PM - Five Stages of Music
7PM-10:15 p.m. Boarding House Park
7:15 PM-10: p.m. Dutton St. Dance Pavilion

Sunday, July 31:
Five Stages: start at noon and finish between 5:45 PM and 6:30PM.

The Lowell Folk Festival is presented by Lowell National Historical Park, Lowell Festival Foundation, the National Council for the Traditional Arts, the City of Lowell, the Greater Merrimack Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, visit: www.lowellfolkfestival.org

Series Sponsors


Lowell Summer Music Series

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