Coming from Manitoba, one summer highlight is the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Held in Birds Hill Provincial Park, it is a remarkable community affair. Just imagine Woodstock superbly run for decades! I have terrific childhood memories of dancing to merry tunes, magical musical moments and mischief with friends as a teenager/young adult, and best of all – the joy of contributing as a volunteer – not only during the festival but as a year-round labour of love coordinating the site security (now safety) crew aka “Fun Managers”.
July 2013 is the 40th Anniversary. It is now a five night, four-day affair, exceptionally organized, harnessing the energies of thousands of dedicated volunteers. While the programming has evolved over the years under various artistic directors – the core of folk, local and global music remains. There is always something to discover…
And I miss the festival – seriously miss it. There is nothing that even comes close to it in India despite sincere efforts and interesting developments over the last twenty years. For me, the Winnipeg Folk Festival is THE benchmark for outdoor music festivals. And yet, I hate to admit, only managed to get the Fest once since moving back to India in 2003.
So… there is just no way I could miss this year! Used frequent flyer points to obtain two return tickets from Mumbai to Toronto, snagged a seat sale for the balance to Winnipeg and contacted the Folk Fest office to see if, pretty please, may I return as a volunteer? Once you have been part of the festival in that special way, something is missing going any other way.
I’m pleased to share that my request met with success and I can’t wait! Camping is arranged at the Site “Embassy” – so dubbed by Campground Security as the space began a favourite camping spot for Site Security crew coordinators and supervisors. Tent and gear is courtesy of my sister – who remains in Winnipeg and a committed volunteer. It will be my partner’s 1st Winnipeg Folk Fest and am looking forward to witnessing his reaction to my beloved festival.
Is there anything that you are passionate about that you haven’t done in a long time? What holds you back?