Annual folk festival features performers, workshops, family activities
The 43rd Annual GottaGetGon Folk Festival will be held Memorial Day weekend, May 25 through 27, at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa. Sponsored by the Pickin’ and Singin’ Gatherin’ (PSG), the Albany area’s participatory folk music organization, the GottaGetGon is a small, family-friendly festival. There are concerts and workshops for those who like to listen and lots of campground jamming for those who enjoy making their own music.
This year’s featured performers, appearing in concerts and workshops throughout the weekend, are:
–Nora Jane Struthers, a rising star based in Nashville, who infuses bright, fresh lyrics into traditional genre with sheer intelligence.
–Beverwyck String Band, with Peter Siegel, offering a high-spirited selection of reels, jigs and waltzes expertly articulated by fiddle, mandolin, piano, guitar and maybe banjo.
–Guy Van Duser, internationally known for his unique “stride guitar” style of playing, as well as his imaginative and sometimes outrageous arrangements for finger-style guitar.
–Andreas Transø, a modern embodiment of the old seanchaí (shanachie) tradition, a musician and educator keeping alive traditional folk culture and history while captivating and entertaining his audiences.
Other musical treats include the New Generation Folk Concert featuring some of the area’s best young musicians on Friday evening, and a family “barn dance” with the Beverwyck String band and swing music workshop with Dave Crump on Saturday evening. Sunday morning brings a sing, featuring gospel music and songs of hope and humanity. Following the final concert on Sunday afternoon, everyone is invited to perform at the open stage. After dinner on Sunday there will an a cappella sing for all who will. There is jamming most of the time.
Weekend admission is $50 for adults (age 23 and up) and $25 per day for students (ages 19-22). Admission for one day is $27 for adults. Young folks under 19 are free with a paying adult. On-site camping is free.
To keep the festival small, friendly and inexpensive to attend, there are no food concessions, except for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Attendees may prepare food at their campsites (no open fires, please) or patronize Ballston Spa’s many excellent shops and restaurants.
For information on the festival, including a detailed schedule of events, visit the festival website at www.pickingandsinging.org/web2011/GGG.html. For information by phone, please call Howie at 518-882-6809 or Bev at 518-429-7461.