The Philadelphia Folk Festival is an annual folk music festival near Schwenksville, Pennsylvania in the vicinity of Philadelphia. The four-day festival is sponsored by the non-profitPhiladelphia Folksong Society. The event hosts contemporary and traditional artists in genres under the umbrella of Folk, including World/Fusion, Celtic, Singer/Songwriter, Folk Rock, Country, Klezmer, and Dance. It is held on the third weekend in August. The Folk Festival celebrated its 50th year in 2011 and continues to be the oldest continuously run outdoor music Festival in North America.
Gene Shay helped found the festival, along with George Britton, Bob Seigel, and others, and has acted as Master of Ceremonies since its inception. Originally held on Wilson Farm in Paoli, Pennsylvania, the event now hosts over 30,000 cumulative visitors and nearly 7,000 campers at the Old Pool Farm. The event presents over 75 hours of music with local, regional, and national talent on 8 stages. A special Camp Stage show takes place on Thursday night, hosted by WXPN radio for the nationally syndicated "Live From the World Cafe" with David Dye.
The campgrounds at the Philadelphia Folk Festival are sectioned off into neighboring camp communities consisting of the quieter camping section, tent camping section, and the RV/vehicle camping section. The Dulcimer Grove, located in the corner of the camping site right next to the secondary stage hosts the kid's area which presents crafts, juggling, magic, and music.
The Philadelphia Folksong Society presents the Philadelphia Folk Festival and has a full-time, year-round staff. The Philadelphia Folk Festival is almost completely volunteer-run and organized.